Our original bike mayor...
In the photo above our first Mayor Daley, Richard J., rides a Schwinn tandem with Keith Kingbay at the opening of Chicago's first bike lane. Old Man Daley, ever ready with a witty if misplaced phrase, he referred to it an a tantrum bike. The photo was taken on Clark St, running along Washington Square Park. He unveiled the 34-mile bicycle route in May 1971.
While most folks in the City of Big Shoulders associate our bike friendly city with his son, Richard M., his old man played the critical role in developing Chicago's bikeway system. In August 1972, Daley established rush-hour bike lanes along Clark and Dearborn. At a time marked by soaring gas prices and heightened concern about energy and air pollution, the public enthusiastically embraced this and other initiatives.
Old Man Daley's bike buddy, Keith Kingbay, was a successful bike racer, industry professional, advocate, and author. He first made a name for himself in the Wisconsin racing scene of the 1940's. Then he moved to Chicago to work for the Schwinn Bicycle Company. Known as the Bicycling Ambassador, he traveled to Schwinn dealers around the country, promoting biking with group rides. Kingbay's PR duties obviously supported Schwinn's bottom-line; but he quickly became the most famous pro-bike advocate of the time.