With a passion for cycling and a mind for business, Kevin Richards has found a way to combine his talents to live the life he's always wanted.

His dedication to those pursuits were recognized Saturday as his business, Bike Central, was named Business of the Year by the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce.

Richards said when he was told Bike Central had been selected as this year's winner, he was surprised but very happy to receive the privilege.

"You generally don't think of a small upstart type of business being given that kind of prestigious award," Richards said.

However, when Peggy Sitzmann, 2015 chamber president, presented the award at Saturday's chamber dinner, it was clear why she believed Bike Central was the right choice.

Sitzmann said the business has had a positive impact on those who participate in cycling and also has the ability to bring families and the community together for "some great quality time."

Involving the community is a priority for everyone who works at Bike Central, Richards said.

"We try to promote a little healthier lifestyle," he said. "We try to actively engage as many people as we can in the activity of cycling."

Richards opened the doors to the bike shop in downtown Le Mars four years ago.

Since the beginning, Richards said his goal for the business has always been customer service.

"We don't necessarily need to be the largest bike shop in northwest Iowa, but we want to be the best bike shop in Northwest Iowa," he said.

He would also like to see more people riding.

"We want to see every butt on a bike," Richards said.

Richards has been living locally for about 30 years.

But his love for cycling extends even further back.

"I've ridden bicycles since I was a teenager," Richards said. "I think I bought my first 10-speed bike in 1975."







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