After a weekend of intense training, 14 cyclists have earned the prestigious certification of League Cycling Instructor (LCI) from the League of American Bicyclists, a 125-year-old national bicycling organization.
LCI seminar participants learn how to teach bicycle safety and skills to all levels of riders. They receive the LCI designation only after qualifying for the seminar and demonstrating excellence in these skills and the ability to teach them.
Last week-end seminar was a collaboration between the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE) and the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition (Bike SLO). Of the 14 new LCIs, two are from Santa Barbara, three from Santa Maria, one from Lompoc and eight from San Luis Obispo.
For the first time since SBBIKE has hosted instructor trainings for local cyclists, a waiting list of prospective instructors was generated. Education Director, Christine Bourgeois, is excited about what that means for the community. “Cycling is booming all over Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo Counties,” she says. “People want to educate themselves, but they also want to educate others.” The group’s diversity, she notes—the new instructors range from PE teacher to fire fighter to bike mechanics—ensures education on safe cycling will reach a wide audience, including students, city officials, public health workers, businesses, and commuters.
The role model aspect is an important factor in spreading the message. “All of these new instructors are ambassadors for cycling,” Bourgeois explains, “examples riding around the community and showing how to do so safely.” Safe cycling is a leading way to reduce bicycle-involved accidents. A fleet of new instructors and more to follow adds up to an ever-growing wave of safe, confident cyclists sharing the roads. Both modeling and direct instruction mean fewer cyclists endangering themselves and others by making inappropriate riding choices, such as cycling on sidewalks or running red lights.
The 2 new LCIs from Santa Barbara are Christy Lozano, PE teacher at McKinley Elementary School and Diana La Riva, SBBIKE volunteer coordinator. Ian Sadecki, a firefighter in Lompoc will use his bike teaching expertise at the Lompoc Open Streets. Angela Ojeda, Robert Hatch & Jeff Spalinger who have been volunteering at the new Bici Centro Santa Maria are looking forward to expanding bike education in Santa Barbara North County.
Thank you to Bike SLO County for partnering with SBBIKE and for hosting the seminar in San Luis Obispo.
To learn more about becoming an LCI, contact Bourgeois at [email protected] or 805-699-6301.