Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame: Chris Kegel, Industry 2017

Chris Kegel was one of the most beloved and well known bicycle retailers in the country. He was best known for his unflagging positive attitude and for providing support for countless people on thousands of rides. Despite being one of the largest Trek dealers in the nation, Chris could often be found pumping up tires as he provided mechanical support for a charity ride.

In 1973, Chris Kegel, a third-year UW Milwaukee business student, got a job at the newly-opened Wheel & Sprocket bike shop in Hales Corners to help pay his way through school. In the spring of 1974, at the end of what was to have been his final semester prior to graduating as a Bachelor of Science in Business, things at the bike shop got busy, very busy. Faced with a choice of preparing for his final exams or his responsibilities at the bike shop, Kegel chose work.

Many might have thought it a foolish decision, but under his guidance Wheel & Sprocket has been voted America’s Best Bike Shop many times, been on the National Bicycle Dealer Association’s Top 100 Bicycle Retailers list for over 20 years, been a Top 10 Trek Dealer for 25 Years, and been named a Top Workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

So after forty three years in the bicycle business, it is fitting that in 2017 the UWM Lubar School of Business gave him an honorary doctorate degree. Beyond his success in business, Chris has served as a board member for many of the most influential cycling advocacy groups in Wisconsin and nationally including: the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Bikes Belong, League of American Bicyclists, National Bicycle Dealers Association), Recreation for Individuals Dedicated to the Environment, the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Wisconsin Off Road Bicycling Association, the State Trails Council, Mequon Trails committee and Ozaukee Interurban Trail Advisory Council, as well as serving on ride committees for countless charity rides.