Remembering a bike trail pioneer

Dedication of bike racks honors work of a late county supervisor and bike shop owner who was instrumental in developing the Ozaukee Interurban Trail

ON HAND TO DEDICATE NEW bike racks last Wednesday on Chris Kegel Day at the Ozaukee County Trail Ridge Park near the Interburn Bike Trail bridge over I-43 were (from left) county Planning and Parks Director Andrew Struck, Kegel’s wife Mary Kegel, her son Bodhi Patterson (kneeling), Kegel’s daughter Tessa Kegel and Cindy Petted, founder of Wisconsin Women Cycling. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press staff

About 30 people were on hand last week for the dedication and ribbon cutting of two bike racks at Trail Bridge Park to honor Chris Kegel, a businessman, bicycling enthusiast and former Ozaukee County supervisor who was instrumental in development of the bike trail that winds its way through the length of the county.

Kegel, who died in February 2017 at the age of 63, was owner of retailer Wheel and Sprocket.

On hand to dedicate the trailside park on the northwest side of the bridge that spans I-43 in the Town of Grafton were members of his family, friends, county officials and cycling enthusiasts.

The dedication was part of a bike ride that started in Grafton to celebrate Chris Kegel Day, which was created in 2016 by the Ozaukee County Board to recognize Kegel’s contribution to development of the bridge, trail and to biking in general.

“Chris was part of the committee that helped in fundraising for the bridge so it was paid for without the use of tax levy,” county Planning and Parks Director Andrew Struck said.  “It was really important to him. His time and his words and his vote were critical to getting this passed. He would have been very happy to see the wayside.”

The wayside is less than a quarter acre and includes benches and picnic area.

Struck said lthe event was the first Chris Kegel Day bike ride, which the county plans on sponsoring each year on Oct. 3.

Kegel joined Wheel & Sprocket as a bicycle mechanic in 1973 when there was a single shop in Hales Corners. By 1989 he was president and owner. Today the retailer has outlets  in the Milwaukee, Fox Valley and Chicago areas.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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