Column: Kestner and his bikes


There must be 100’s, maybe even thousands.  Kids, who woke up on Christmas morning over the years to learn they were the owner of a brand new shiny bicycle.  Since 1979, if it was a Schwinn, chances are it came from Mr. Nick Kestner.  He must sleep well at night knowing how many hours of enjoyment he provided to kids racing to the end of the block, couples getting their Sunday afternoon exercise or teenagers pedaling to their friend’s house.

Nick Kestner was honored at the annual Carmel Chamber of Commerce Images of Excellence Awards Luncheon. His daughter Ceci Trenshaw said, “He was truly touched.  I know he had no idea about the award, but his biggest surprise was seeing both of his daughters in the audience.”  Lici Lytle made the trip from Chicago and Ceci is a teacher in the Carmel School System.

Nick Kestner’s name became the 4th so inscribed on the Harold Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award.  People who receive the “Kaiser” do so because their body of community service work extends over decades.  The Chamber recognized Nick for his impressive record of past service, noting that he isn’t done yet.

Kestner is a taskforce member for the Homeplace, Old Town and Range Line Road overlays.  A Carmel Rotarian and past president.  A multi-year Dad’s Club sponsor.  He served on the Carmel Plan Commission at two different times in his life.  A Chamber of Commerce board member.  A Gleaner’s volunteer.  He has a Carmel Range Line Road pioneer Award to his credit.

He is best known as Mr. Parks, having always been a big supporter of parks, trails and bicycles.  He was a charter member of the Monon Greenway Committee.  A member of Carmel’s first Parks Committee.  A long-time member of the Carmel-Clay Parks Board.  He was President of the Central Park Building Commission and a key player in the construction of the Monon Trail.  Nick was there when they started the Hamilton County Alternative Task Force to study and promote the construction of multi-use paths throughout the county.

If you attend any of Carmel’s bike appropriate festivals and you utilize the free Pedal-N-Park; thank Nick Kestner.  He is also the guy who built the crowd pleasing 10-person bike for the CarmelFest parade.

Kestner accepted the award humbly and went on with his day, most likely imagining how much more could be done.  Good Day Carmel.

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