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On Sunday, June 19, twelve Tampa Bay area candidates completed a three-day seminar to become League Cycling Instructors (LCIs). The League of American Bicyclists teaches instructors “to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike, to create a mindset that bikes are treated as a vehicle, and to ensure that people on bikes know how to ride safely and legally.”

Candidates studied ahead of time, completed modules in classroom sessions, and rode hard, too, since one-third of the seminar is on the bike. Jim Nicholson of South Carolina was the LCI instructor and coach, teaching both classroom curriculum and on-bike skill sets. Currently certified LCIs assisted in teaching the seminar and assessing the candidates.

Over three days, hopeful LCIs 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.

Julie Bond, a certified LCI and the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Program Director, organized and hosted the seminar at the Center for Urban Transportation Research on the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus in Hillsborough County. “We want to get more trained instructors in the area to teach bicycle safety courses,” she said. “It’s important to our local cycling community that people who ride in the Tampa Bay Area ride smart.”

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