On Sunday, February 12, 2017, eight Tampa Bay area 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). 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. Julie Bond, a certified LCI and the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Program Director, organized and hosted the seminar, and urged CUTR’s Director, Dr. Robert Bertini, to complete the seminar as well. “It continues to be a great pleasure for CUTR to host the bicycle safety programs including the League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructor courses,” says Dr. Bertini. “we are grateful for the fantastic collaboration we have with the League.”
The other candidates certified were Lucas Cruse, Bicycle Pedestrian coordinator for the City of St. Petersburg, Christine Acosta of Pedal Power Promoters, Jonathan Weidman of Two Wheel Valet, Sara Hendricks from CUTR, and Officers Chad Hill, Allyson Cravero and Gregory Vickers of the University of South Florida Police Department. In particular, the police will be focusing on helping teach bicycle skills to USF’s international students, many of whom do not have access to a car.
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 seven-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.
“On a personal level, I am very happy to have achieved my certification as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI),” says Dr. Bertini. “This has been a goal of mine for the past several years, but it took my arrival at CUTR and the fantastic opportunity to complete the LCI course to accomplish it. I’ve been an avid cyclist and bike commuter for many years, have taught sustainable transportation courses, and now as an LCI I feel even more energized to teach bike safety and encourage more people to see cycling as a safe, fun, active, and reliable transportation mode.”