In Good Company- Robb Sinks
Photograph by Nels Akerlund Photography + Video
Rock Valley College (Educational Resource Center - library entrance)
3301 N Mulford Rd., Rockford
Robb Sinks has been riding bicycles ever since he could walk.
Sinks, the owner of Kegel's Bicycle Store, started riding around the neighborhood. As he got older, Sinks learned to make his own custom-made bikes. Soon, he was racing competitively at the Rockford BMX Track at Searls Park, one of the top-ranked tracks in the country.
I've always been a bike geek," he says. "It's just evolved over time."
By the time he was a teenager, Sinks got a job building bikes at Kegel's. Eventually he worked his way up to store manager, and in 1997 he bought the 100-year-old business.
Recently, Sinks' shop was named one of America's Best Bike Shops for 2014 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association. "That was huge," he says. "We work really hard. It's an honor to get national recognition."
Kegel's showroom features more than 200 bikes, including hybrids, mountain bikes, BMX, road bikes and cruisers from brands such as Specialized, Linus, Rallye and Fuji, along with plenty of other biking accessories. Kegel's is also a place where enthusiasts come to hang out and talk bikes.
When he's not working, Sinks can be found cruising the trails at Rock Cut State Park on his mountain bike, or along the Sinnissippi Rec Path.
"It frees your mind," says Sinks of his favorite pastime. "And if you ride with a group, there's a certain comradery you develop with other riders."
(Written by Paul Arco)