Introducing the Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame

The Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame honors those who have made significant contributions to bicycling in our state in advocacy, industry and sport.

When Otto Wenz passed away in 2016, the Bike Fed published a memorial story about all he had done for cycling on our website and in our print magazine, but it just didn’t feel like we did enough. It felt like we should have a more permanent way of recognizing Otto for everything he did to make Wisconsin bike racing world class. When Chris Kegel was diagnosed with stage-four cancer later that same year, we started discussing a hall of fame as a way to formally honor Chris, Otto and the many other bicycling luminaries whose selfless and tireless efforts have helped make Wisconsin cycling so special.

We are looking for a permanent location to house the Hall of Fame plaques and memorabilia. If you have a suggestion, please email Dave Schlabowske.

In addition to the plaques on display at Velobahn, we created fun collector cards for each of the inductees. You can pick those up from Velobahn or our office in Milwaukee.

In 2017, we held the inaugural Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame Gala to induct Otto Wenz (Sport), Chris Kegel (Industry) and Phil Van Valkenberg (Advocacy). In 2018, we inducted former 7 Eleven professional bike racer Tom Schuler. 2019 was a year of transition for the Bike Fed, and we did not have any inductees, but we plan to have another Gala later in 2020. More details about that will be shared soon.

Going forward, we hope to host a fun gala to celebrate the new inductees each year. For each new class of inductees,  honorees will be chosen for their leadership in one of three categories: advocacy, industry or sport, and for their significant contributions in competitive, recreational or utilitarian cycling. The Bike Fed will host an Hall of Fame Gala for to introduce the new inductees and to help raise funds to support the Hall of Fame program and Wisconsin cycling. Each inductee will be recognized with a photo relief plaque that will be on display in the museum, along with some photographs and memorabilia when we have a physical location for the Hall of Fame.

Otto Wenz’s track bike, jersey and US Bicycling Hall of Fame plaque were on display next to his Wisconsin plaque at the first gala.

Anyone may nominate someone for the Hall of Fame by filling out the form on the nomination page. Those nominations will be reviewed and selected by members of the Inductee Selection Committee.

The mission of the Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame is to honor those who have made significant contributions to bicycling in our state, document their accomplishments for posterity, and inspire future generations to build on the work of those who came before them.