Say hi to Ed here!
1) How/when did you get into cycling as a profession?
From paper routes to college to commuting to work, I had always
loved bicycling and seen its societal benefits. A 1993 direct mail
letter motivated me to join a local DuPage trails advocacy group,
in hopes of bringing that same joy to others. My volunteer bike
advocacy work grew for the next seven years, including a 1997
invitation to join the board of the League of Illinois Bicyclists
. In 2000,
LIB’s volunteer Executive Director Al Sturges stepped down. My wife
Laurie encouraged me to follow my passion and apply to become
paid staffer. After a late 2000 “internship” with Randy Neufeld and
CBF, I became LIB’s Executive Director in 2001. I’ve had the
tremendous honor and satisfaction to serve in that role since
2) How does your organization directly benefit cyclists?
heavily involved all around the state in our goal to improve
bicycling conditions, through more bike-friendly road designs, more
trails and funding, education of cyclists and motorists, local bike
planning, legislation, and more. We serve as a liaison between
bicyclists and government in many ways, from representing cyclists
at state-level meetings, to guiding local cyclists’ efforts to make
their towns more bike-friendly. Some recent highlights include
detailed work with IDOT on implementation of the state’s Complete
Streets law, training of 500 municipal road designers and planners
on bicycle accommodations and planning, the three-foot law and a
new Share the Road license plate, training driver ed instructors on
use of our Share the Road lesson plan and video, bike safety info
distribution to over 200,000 Illinois 4th graders, our
“(In)Complete Streets” report critiquing 46 Chicago-area road
designs, and much more.
3) Do you specialize in a certain type of cycling?
for all Illinois bicyclists, recreational or utilitarian, on-road
or off. I personally ride a road bike for recreation and longer
transportation trips, and a hybrid for shorter rides, averaging
about 3000 miles per year since 1988.
4) What are your "must-have" items for cycling
be a tool, an accessory, a food, etc.)
With my LIB
hat on, I’d say that “must-haves” include knowledge of traffic
skills and techniques to bicycle more safely – plus the recognition
that each of our actions affect public perception of bicycling.
We’re our own worst enemies when we don’t do our part to Share the
Road properly. From a personal standpoint, a long ride “must-have”
is the location of a Dairy Queen and a cookie dough blizzard.
5) What do you see as the biggest area of opportunity in your
If bicycling is considered as that “niche market”, then I see huge
opportunity in mainstreaming “our little secret”: that bicycling is
a very feasible way to save some money, reduce our environmental
impact, stay young and fit, squeeze physical activity time into our
overburdened schedules, better know our communities – and have
fun!! Bicycling is one part of the solution to many issues faced by
individuals and by society, and there is a great opportunity to
open people’s eyes to that.
6) How do you think the cycling community has changed in the
last year or two?
Lots more bicyclists! This leads to a “safety in numbers” effect
that can multiply the increase. Also, bicycling seems to be
overcoming some of the nerdy portrayals in the media and gaining
more social acceptance.
7) If you could go on a bike ride with anyone (living or dead),
who would it be?
My dad and my 17-year-old son, both of whom bike at almost my