LCI Spotlight: Bevin Barber-Campbell
The League certifies hundreds of League Cycling Instructors every year and there are thousands of LCIs across the country leading bike education efforts in their communities. In our LCI spotlight series, we share the stories of League Cycling Instructors doing what they do daily: 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.
This spotlight is dedicated in honor of Bevin’s recently departed father, Craig Barber, who instilled in her a love of bicycling and was one of Minneapolis’s original bike commuters.
Today we’re connecting with Bevin Barber-Campbell, who’s been an LCI since 2011 and a bicycle advocate for even longer! She is a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) instructor, involved with FC Bikes (the City of Fort Collins, Colorado’s Bike Program), Bike Fort Collins, the Montrose Area Bicycle Alliance (Montrose, CO), and Local Motion (Vermont). Bevin has written over a dozen articles on safe cycling and has been instrumental in supporting communities efforts to achieve stellar rankings in our Bicycle Friendly America program. This includes Fort Collins becoming the 4th Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC), co-leading a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) push in Fort Collins (resulting in the city having more BFBs in 2015 than any other), supporting efforts for Montrose to receive their first BFC award in 2019, and fostering the first BFB award in Montrose.
As stated in her nomination, “Bevin Barber-Campbell’s passion, dedication, and wealth of knowledge, and experience make her one incredible role model. She ALWAYS sets an example for others by showing up on her bicycle – whether she is taking her kids to school or hauling equipment on her Xtracycle cargo bike! Bevin’s passion for her community is evident in the time and energy she commits to ensuring that everybody has the knowledge they need to safely use a bicycle for transportation and recreation.”
Know an inspiring LCI we should feature next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!
Tell us a little about yourself and why you enjoy teaching bike education.
I love sharing what I have “learned by doing.” I think that the many days/years I’ve spent bicycling in traffic, or in the heart of winter, are what have made me a good teacher. More than once, I have received feedback after a class that the student learned something they couldn’t find on the internet.
What first motivated you to become an LCI?
There was a push in Fort Collins to have more LCI’s in 2011 so there was a scholarship to pay for my training. I had also started teaching SRTS. I do think I was an ideal candidate, with many years of bicycle commuting under my belt.
Give us an interesting or funny fact about you.
I invented the first bike skort (sold through Terry Bicycles) and then became their apparel product manager. My dad was one of Minneapolis’ original bike commuters. I’ve been using a bike for transportation since I was a kid.
What has been your greatest reward in teaching bike education?
One notable experience was Charlotte Webb (yes, that’s her real name!) who attended my Seniors & Bicycling workshop in Montrose. She came to class with a tremendous eagerness and trepidation about getting back on her bicycle after a ten-year hiatus.
At 79, with a recent knee replacement, she was ready to try. The first challenge for Charlotte was simply getting astride her bicycle. After some scooting and gliding, we had her pedaling.
Halfway through, she and I shared an emotional private moment…. Tears shed in joy as well as terror. Charlotte was determined and successful in her mission to ride again!
What is your favorite memory from being on a bike?
This is the day I rode all the way around Lake of the Isles with my dad, after learning how to ride a bike at age 7.
What is your favorite thing about being on a bike?
The profound feeling of rightness that comes with moving and getting places on a bike (I feel the opposite in a car). Being on a bike is experiencing the sensations of perfect symmetry, balance, simplicity, self-sufficiency, efficiency. I ride because it makes me feel like I am a part of a revolution.
What are your favorite classes to teach?
- Winter Cycling (I am such the Minnesotan!)
- Women & Bicycling
- Seniors & Bicycling
What is your best piece of advice for an LCI who wants to teach a class but isn’t sure how to get started?
Make connections in the community. Reach out to local businesses (bigger corps have wellness programs) & organizations (women’s, seniors, community corrections, Scouts). Study, but customize your presentations so they have a personal touch (make them your own).
What is something you think that all LCIs should know about teaching bike education?
All LCI’s don’t always agree with each other. And I think that is ok. While there are “industry standards” about the guidelines for safe cycling, I have found that we do vary in our opinions about best practices based on personal experience. I do believe we each have to evaluate and tweak the recommendations to what makes sense to us.