Sunday, February 10, 2013

Becoming an LCI

LCI = League Cycling Intructor.  My friend, Adrienne, sent me a flyer advertising for someone who is passionate about bicycling to teach bicycling skills to 5th graders.  This sounded like the perfect part-time job for me.  I have a lot of bicycling experience, I know how to teach 5th graders ... this will be a snap.  Ha!  I would soon realize there was much more to learn and I wasn't all that good on a bicycle.

Step 1: join the League of American Bicyclists.  Organized in 1880 as the American League of Wheelmen, the original purpose was to encourage the paving of roads in the USA and led to our national highway system.

Step 2: take Traffic Skills 101 which I did in mid-January.  I only passed this class after practicing the instant right turn, rock dodge, and quick stop until I could be retested at the end of January.

Step 3:  study a binderful of materials to get ready to take a pre-test which consisted of 50 multiple choice, 25 true/false, and 10 short answer.  For some reason I didn't get the email which said where to send the completed test.  On Saturday 2 Feb, I was sent into a panic when I got an email which said turn in the test by Sunday night or forget about it.  Thank goodness I could send my answers by email (to South Carolina no less).  By the next morning, I received word that I didn't get 85% or better and didn't pass but could resubmit.  The test corrector gave excellent feedback as to where I went wrong.  Although the directions said the short answers should be 2-3 sentences, what was actually wanted was 2-3 short paragraphs.  I spent the first 3 quarters of the Super Bowl redoing and resubmitting the pre-test and raised my score to 90%, but I was not a very nice guest at the party.

Step 4: On Wednesday 6 February - just two days before the Seminar began - the group of 16 participants received an email assigning us to groups of 3 or 4 and a topic for a presentation and an individual topic for another presentation.  Uh-oh.  Time to panic again.  I imagined myself competing to become the Next Food Network Star.  "You will be working with 2 people you will only meet on the day of the presentation. You have 48 hours to perfect an 8-minute commercial on the Principles of Traffic Law.  You may communicate by email if you wish, or not."

In my wackier moments I thought about The League and how it reminded me of the (DC Comics) League of Justice. If I become an LCI, I'll have reached senior-citizen superhero status. Ooh, I need a costume not just the stance and the arched eyebrow.

I continued to practice the instant right turn,

learned how to adjust the rim brakes,

and collected materials for my individual presentation on Sharing Paths/Trails and Group Riding.

February 8-10, UC Davis, the Transportation and Parking Services building was the location of the Seminar.  

20 hours of teaching, learning, discussing;

setting up, teaching, and performing the handling drills in a parking lot;

presentations (everyone was nervous) and critiques by everyone in the room; road testing and teaching on the streets of Davis; and a night ride.

In the end, I passed!  No one failed, but about half must do some remediation and be retested by an LCI trainer before moving on to the next step.

I sent out an email asking permission to post this picture to the blog and received this response from Scarlet:  "I want full credit with huge arrows pointing at me and a caption saying something about me being the best student in the class. And by 'best', I mean the one who liked to participate in every frickin' thing and was probably really annoying!!!  You have my permission to use my likeness on your personal blog and might I suggest just putting a big fuzzy blotch over whomever declines your request?! That was a great weekend and I feel very blessed to have met you and (almost) all the other participants!!"

Whew! I'm so glad it's over.  This was the most challenging thing I've done in a long time.  I know so much more than I did when I started and realize I will never stop learning how to be a better bicyclist.
I also need to thank Dick for his help and patience over the past few weeks.  Never once did he complain even when I wasn't the easiest person to live with at times.


  1. Congratulations!!! Wow, I think you do need a costume and deserve a medal. That is crazy! I can't wait to hear about teaching!

  2. All I can say is 'how lucky are the children that get to be in your class with someone so experienced in teaching and bicycling'. Congratulations and Good Luck.................Marion

  3. Thank you so much, Nicole and Marion. Great to hear from both of you and thanks for posting comments to the blog.

  4. Message from Paula: "You are a super senior hero! Knew from our emails that it LCI stuff was a lot to do and very demanding. You will also do well on whatever comes next." Thank you, dear friend.