Outspoken Cyclist – 2/10/2024

My first guest today is Dave Simmons, the executive director of Ride Illinois.  In our conversation we talk about bicycle related crashes and fatalities in the state along with some data, or lack of it about eBikes.

I wanted to catch up with Dave because of the Ride Illinois “Bill Tracker” that the organization has made available on their website.  It offers you the ability to not only track statewide bills, but also federal legislation as it pertains to bicycling infrastructure and such things as eBike rebates.

Illinois, along with so many other states, is experiencing the horrific consequences of more people riding bikes more often – which is, was, and always will be the goal of all advocacy organizations. 

Bike crashes, injuries, and fatalities are up and whether there needs to be more legislation, better enforcement of the rules of the road, or something more comprehensive, is part of my discussion with Ride Illinois executive director, Dave Simmons.

Who knew that a bronze replica cannon would lead to a lifetime of machine work?  And, that is exactly what happened when Paragon Machine’s Mark Norstad first realized that you could actually MAKE such a thing in a machine shop.

Taking all the machine shop classes that were offered in high school and on into college, Mark started Paragon Machine Works in his parents’ basement in 1983.

Fast forward several decades and Mark is about to pass the torch to his son Cal as Mark looks at retirement this summer.