In 1889, a bicycle with a back-pedal brake was patented by Daniel Stover and William Hance of Freeport, Ill. (No. 418,142) for the Stover Bicycle Man'fg Co. - Freeport, IL. The brake would later be known as the safety brake and became a standard feature on most brands of bikes. "The Coaster Brake"
In 1909, Joseph Kegel purchased a bicycle Shop owned by Michael Redlinger which had been in business since 1897.
In 1910, Kegel's started selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This was the first Harley-Davidson dealership in the country.
In 1923, Joseph Kegel sold the Bicycle and Motorcycle business in Freeport to his brother Julius Kegel. Joseph Kegel then moved to Rockford and opened Rockford Cycle Sales on Madison Street. (Currently Joseph's grandsons, Mark and Karl Kegel, run the Kegel Motorcycle Co.)
1946 Joe's two sons Harold and Robert bought in as equal partners. In April of 1947 Joe died of a heart attack and their mother Margaret inherited Joe's shares where she remained an equal partner until her death in 1956. In 1948 the brothers opened a second location exclusively for bicycles.
In 1953 the brothers decided that since Harold liked the bicycle business and Robert enjoyed motorcycles that they should divide the business. In 1954 Rockford Cycles Sales became Kegel Motorcycle Co. and Kegel's Bicycle Store. Harold moved the bicycle store to 219 East State Street (currently Runners Image), and eventually expanded to 223 East State.