LCI Spotlight: Dorothy Wong
The League certifies hundreds of League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) every year and there are thousands of LCIs around 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.
We’re continuing to shine the spotlight on League Cycling Instructors who are molding the next generation of cyclists. Meet Dorothy Wong, our LCI in the spotlight this month. Find our earlier LCI Spotlights in our blog archives.
Dorothy is the committee chair for Altadena Town Council’s Safe Streets Traffic Safety & Mobility Committee and is on a mission to make Altadena, California, a safer and easier place to introduce both young and older cyclists to the joys of riding car-free — an effort that takes collaborating with the city, local biking and walking organizations, local schools, other LCIs and so many more who are invested in the safety and connectivity of their community’s walkways and bicycle infrastructure.
Altadena Town Council is one of 11 organizations to receive our 2022 Community Spark Grants — each a catalyst for empowering communities through bike-related projects. With their newly-granted Spark Grant, Altadena Town Council will host a community-led demonstration to build awareness about the need for safe routes to parks and schools, traffic calming, and green street multi-use path solutions. The planned project includes designing a bicycle route from the park to local schools and showcasing a temporary bike lane and pedestrian walkway/multi-use pathway.
The need for safe routes to school in Altadena is one Dorothy can attest to after spending many years working on youth bike education in the Altadena area, from leading one-on-one instruction to working with local organizations to host bike rodeos. Read on to learn more about Dorothy and her LCI journey.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY YOU ENJOY TEACHING OTHERS TO BIKE.
I love sharing the benefits of the bicycle and how I found my love of bicycling as well as helping newer riders both young and old to get moving. I enjoy my time in the saddle riding with the Altadena Bicycle Club and TEAM SoCalCross and lend my hand in bicycle advocacy as a board member for the California Bicycle Coalition.
WHAT FIRST MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME AN LCI?
So many things! I reached a point in competitive bicycle racing where I thought “what’s next?” and learned about the LCI certification. I was already growing as a bicycle advocate and after finding and attending the League Women’s Day and National Bike Summit as well as WABA LCI classes in Washington, DC, becoming certified was the most natural progression. I had no idea it would take my life to where it is today. I’ve learned so much about bicycling safely and to this day continue to learn more including its never-ending benefits!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST REWARD IN TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
Teaching in schools with youth including starting an after-school high school bicycle club, working with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition on a middle school bike club that empowers children to plan their own rides and take advantage of the fleet of bikes on-hand at school, and supporting special needs high school PE class sessions to teach them how to use transit. I believe youth have the most potential and the most need for bike safety education.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR AN LCI WHO WANTS TO TEACH A CLASS BUT ISN’T SURE HOW TO GET STARTED?
Find bike skills classes in your region and take one! Bicycling 101 class will help you build confidence for taking the next step in showing others the ropes. Also, volunteer whenever and wherever you can.
Use the League’s Connect Locally map as a resource for finding classes and other ways to get involved!
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK THAT ALL LCIS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
It’s simple. Be yourself. Share your passion. Feel motivated knowing you’re helping to get one more person moving safely by bicycle!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM BEING ON A BIKE?
Wow, there are so many! Riding my bicycle to places I’ve never been and traveling without a car can be empowering. Each trip is an adventure. Meeting new people along the way, while taking the time to stop and smell the flowers, and see the colors of life and nature. Spending so much time driving in a car in the past and now moving multi-modal brings a new story each time.
Know an LCI who should be featured next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!