The Chainlink

We need to help locate this cyclist -- Karl Szwet and looking for his friend "Bill"

Can anyone help? Please follow link and read post.
On May 25 Karl Szwet, a resident of Northwest Indiana and active member of the Chicago bike scene, was on a ride with a friend known only as “BILL”. On the ride Karl reportedly fell off his bike after suffering a heart attack AND an aneurism. Karl was taken to the hospital thanks to “Bill.” It took the hospital around 4 days to find a family member to contact. Karl is still in the hospital and things are looking very grim. He has been unconscious since the accident and doctors are not confident he will make a recovery.
The family is just wanting to ask some questions and help make sure all of Karl’s things are taken care of. They don’t even know where his truck or his wallet is. If you know Karl and can help provide ANY information at all that may be useful to the family PLEASE DM me.

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I'm saddened to hear this. Karl was a longtime Chicago Critical Mass rider and a great guy. I'm glad I got to ride with him during the April Mass. If you still need help getting in touch with people who knew him, please contact me at jgreenfield[at] Here's a quote from Karl from the 20th anniversary celebration for the Daley Plaza rides:

Karl Szwet, an HVAC technician from Highland, Indiana, who’s been riding with the Mass for many years, told me a story about the early days, when participants posted flyers in Spanish in Pilsen days before the ride to alert residents that the ride would be coming their way for the first time. “So when the Critical Mass did go through the neighborhood, everybody was out. Every porch had people on it waving and clapping, and all the lights were on. It was so exciting to see it — it was like we had bridged something there.”

A familiar face from CCM. Karl Szwet, R.I.P. 


A couple of pieces of info that may be useful for tracking down Karl's truck:

An acquaintance of Karl’s said he used to park his truck somewhere on
or near 31st in Bridgeport before doing Chicago rides.
Another acquaintance of his who’s says that the CPS has “plate reader cars” — apparently
officers can drive around in these vehicles and automatically scan license plates — so
if the family contacts the 9th Police District, they may be able to search Bridgeport for the truck.

Karl at a CCM ride

Karl and Peter at a Critical Mass ride

Memorial ride for Karl this Friday 6/29 6pm from Daley Plaza. "Shortly after May's Critical Mass ride, longtime CCM participant Karl Szwet suffered a heart attack and passed away some days later in a hospital. Karl started riding in Critical Mass in 1999 and hundreds of people knew him through his tireless enthusiasm and advocacy over the years. He may have hailed from Indiana, but Karl was a true Super Fan of everything Chicago, especially Da Bears! This month's Critical Mass ride is dedicated to Karl, biking by some of his favorite South-side spots, and then ending for a tribute at Soldier's Field."



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