The League certifies hundreds of League Cycling Instructors every year and there are thousands of LCIs around the country leading bike education efforts in their communities. In our LCI spotlight series, we are sharing the stories of League Cycling Instructors doing what they do every day: educating, mentoring, empowering. You don’t have to be an extraordinary athlete or overachieving student to be a stellar LCI, all you need is the conviction that life is better for everyone when more people ride bikes.
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Spring across the country and soon that hopefully means more people getting out on bikes, some for the first time in a while. What a great time, then, to share another story about an League Cycling Instructor whose love for bike education truly shines like a Spring day. Find our earlier LCI Sportlights in our blog archives.
League Cycling Instructors are teachers, they are mentors and perhaps most of all, they bring bike joy to so many. Lisa Giacchino of Vancouver, Washington, loves biking because of “the sense of freedom. Being able to see life, nature, my surroundings from a different perspective.” As an LCI, she has found an outlet to share that passion with others — including her children! Read more about Lisa’s thoughts on being an LCI below.
Are there local bike groups you’re a part of locally?
Tell us a little about yourself and why you enjoy teaching others to bike.
I have such enjoyment riding a bike so when I had children, I couldn’t wait to share my joy in riding. I quickly realized the importance of teaching them safety first, even when toting them in the trailer. Thus began our family involvement in bicycle education. When kids feel safe on a bike, they are free to explore, gain independence and become connected with their community.
What has been your greatest reward in teaching bike education?
When I hear, “This is the most fun I have had in so long!” Listening to the excitement and pure joy kids have simply riding their bike. When I see them using their safety skills and communicating them to others, I know I have made an impact and have helped to create a safe rider. Many of the kids we teach have never had their own bike, do not know how to maintain a bike or in many cases, know how to ride a bike. Helping them to have a sense of freedom, self-confidence and independence has been incredible.
What is your best piece of advice for an LCI who wants to teach a class but isn’t sure how to get started?
Wanting to teach a class means you have passion. Passion is what others see, is what inspires people. Share that passion! Reach out to local non-profits, schools, neighborhood associations.
What is something you think that all LCIs should know about teaching bike education?
Even if you don’t think your audience is listening or watching, they are. Teaching children can be challenging at times, but when it involves their safety, I have found they truly listen. Your joy for riding, for the environment, and for their safety will show and they will be so lucky to have you.
What is your favorite memory from being on a bike?
I have so many! Riding with my family, listening to their laughter whether it is hearing their screams of joy mountain biking or the challenge of riding up a steep long hill. One of my recent favorite moments was teaching a bike leadership class and having the students just wanting to ride, even in the cold rain asking for the program to be extended for a couple more weeks. Win!
Know an LCI who should be featured next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!