Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl cut the ribbon Thursday to officially launch the city’s newest bike shop, Wheel & Sprocket, located at 1027 Davis St.
On hand for the opening at the former location of Ten27 Cycles, was 4th Ward Alderman Don Wilson and Chris Kegel, the store’s sole owner and president, who started out as a bicycle mechanic just two weeks after the company’s first store opened in Hales Corners, Wis., in 1973.
Since then, according to the company’s website, Kegel has worked in every position, from sales to management to cleaning bathrooms. Eventually he became a partner and then bought the company in 1989.
He said that Evanston is a great cycling town that considers the needs of its cyclists seriously.
In fact, as part of Friday’s opening ceremonies, Evanston’s Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation, Jim Maiworm, delivered a presentation about the city’s new bike plan, including the extension of bike lanes from downtown to McCormick Boulevard, along Church Street.
When entering a new market, Kegel said he prefers to acquire an existing store, such as Ten27 Cycles, rather than attempting to compete with stores that are already there.
He said he knew both partners of Ten27 and was pleased that one of them, Chris Mailing, agreed to stay on as manager of the new store, as did several of the employees.
In addition to the new Evanston store, Wheel & Sprocket has four stores in the Milwaukee area and two in the Fox Valley.
Top: Mayor Tisdahl and owner Kegel cut the ceremonial ribbon as store manager Mailing looks on.