On Sunday, February 11, 2018, 10 candidates completed a three-day seminar at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) on the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus in Hillsborough County, to become League Cycling Instructors (LCIs). Julie Bond, Senior Researcher at the Center for Urban Transportation Research and Program Director for Bike/Walk Tampa Bay, organized and hosted the seminar. “We host the League Cycling Instructor course each year to increase the number of trained instructors in the Tampa Bay area,” said Bond. “Over 25 new instructors have received certification because of our efforts.” An increased number of LCIs in Tampa Bay area bolsters the City of Tampa’s and City of St. Petersburg’s Bicycle Friendly Community statuses, as well as USF’s status as a Bicycle Friendly University.
The candidates certified were Carrie Waite, a Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Board member and founder of the St. Pete Co-Op, Jonathan Forbes, a Temple Terrace resident who serves as the city’s representative on the Hillsborough County Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Adam White with the University of Tampa, Vanessa Wheeler with the Center for Urban Transportation Research, and Rachelle Webb, a Safe Routes to School community educator with the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Other candidates came from across the state including Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Vero Beach
Jim Nicholson of South Carolina was the LCI instructor and coach, teaching both classroom curriculum and on-bike skill sets. Over three days, the candidates learned the ins and outs of the League’s Smart Cycling curriculum and wove in and out of obstacles during parking lot training. Other on-bike curriculum included a six-mile ride that candidates took turns leading one another through, a night ride to evaluate visibility on dark roads, and intersection safety drills. Current LCIs and Coach Nicholson observed the candidates and evaluated their progress and safety behaviors.
“I’ve been helping people learn bicycling skills for fifteen years,” said Vanessa Wheeler, “going through the LCI seminar has been invaluable and despite having a lot of experience coming into the program, I learned a lot!”