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LCI Spotlight: Sarah Mazze
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.
Gaining the confidence and knowledge to ride a bicycle can introduce a child to a world of freedom, joy and wellbeing. That is why we are shining a spotlight on League Cycling Instructors who are meeting children where they're at with cycling education — the school system. Meet Sarah Mazze, our LCI in the spotlight this month. Find our earlier LCI Spotlights in our blog archives.
As an educator and Safe Routes to School Coordinator in Eugene, Oregon, Sarah enjoys using her time to promote the benefits of bicycling to children and their families. Read on to learn Sarah's favorite thing about teaching the next generation of cyclists.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY YOU ENJOY TEACHING OTHERS TO BIKE.
I'm the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Eugene School District 4J, and as such, oversee a two-week bike safety class for middle schoolers, teach Confident Cycling for Families classes, and more recently launched a Learn-to-Ride program for kindergarteners and 1st graders. I'm motivated by climate change and the possibilities that biking creates for a better future, not just in terms of climate, but also in terms of improved mental and physical health for those who ride, independence for those who do not have the ability to drive a personal vehicle, and in terms of reclaiming public space currently dominated by personal vehicles.
Along with my dream job, I'm busy with quality time with my husband, daughter and other friends and family; playing mandolin and singing in a band, Meadow Rue; time outside in my garden and the woods and rivers of Oregon; and I always love a good book while I snuggle with my kitties.
WHAT FIRST MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME AN LCI?
I became an LCI when I started as Safe Routes to School Coordinator five years ago so that I could teach the Confident Cycling for Families classes and better understand the curriculum we were teaching middle schoolers.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST REWARD IN TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
My greatest reward has been hearing from parents that they now feel comfortable to bike with their children. It's also been incredible to support literally hundreds of children in their first successful pedals in our Learn-to-Ride class, since I get to be a part of that magic moment in their lives that, for many, will be the start of an incredible journey.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING ON A BIKE?
I can't narrow it down to one, but I'll share several of my favorite things: the feeling of flow; witnessing moments of beauty on the earth like a golden sunset or an eagle catching a fish in the river that my bike ride to and from work follows; getting my blood pumping and squeezing exercise into my day while I'm getting from place to place; the mental space; the opportunity to see people I know and have a moment of connection with them as we pass each other by.
GIVE US AN INTERESTING OR FUNNY FACT ABOUT YOU.
I biked to middle and high school with a friend on a tandem bike. You can go really fast down hills on a tandem!
Know an LCI who should be featured next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!