LCI Spotlight: Justino Garcia
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 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 League Cycling Instructor has been described as a magician for how quickly he helps new riders build confidence and skill. Meet Justino Garcia, our LCI in the spotlight this month.
Justino shares his bike expertise with many bicycle clubs and advocacy orgs across the Los Angeles, California, region. His affiliations include Bikesan@s Del Valle, Yellow Gate Bicycle Club, Roots in Motion Bike Collective, Cumbia Bicycle Club, and La Vacacicleta.
His nominator says, “Justino gets new people out safely on bikes. He is kind, accessible, fun, and takes every opportunity to build new riders’ confidence. He loves working at the ‘bike campus’ at Santa Monica beach, but he is also all over enormous LA County doing great work. He is one person introducing a new lifestyle choice to all kinds of people who want to ride in a huge urban environment that is not always friendly to non-motorized transportation, but they don’t necessarily know where to start. His efforts are appreciated by his students and advocates alike.”
Read more about Justino below. 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 getting more people on bicycle saddles in any way possible.
What first motivated you to become an LCI?
My sister got into a major traffic collision while riding her bike home from the gym – the Muni bus in San Francisco smashed her. I’ve been trying to make streets safer for cyclists ever since.
What has been your greatest reward in teaching bike education?
The feeling of legacy. Knowing no matter what happens to me, there will always be hundreds of people going on countless bike adventures, thanks at least in part to the work that I love to do.
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 your local bike organizations to assess what’s needed. If none exist, try to advocate for starting a bicycle club at your local college campus!
What is something you think that all LCIs should know about teaching bike education?
Everyone joins our classes with their own individual hesitations, anxieties, and perspectives. If you can take the time to address those so they can feel comfortable riding, you do have the ability to change someone’s life for the better.
What is your favorite memory from being on a bike?
Teaching people to lose their fear of riding a bicycle.
Give us an interesting or funny fact about you.
If you do a Google Maps search of the Santa Monica Bike Campus and look at the reviews, you’ll see a small glimpse of how profoundly we can change people’s lives doing the work we do.
Click here to read through the reviews that genuinely speak to the ways that Justino is changing people’s lives. One review says, “Justin is a magician! I have no words to describe how amazing and easy he made this lesson and how comfortable he made me feel on the bike immediately as we started the lesson. I had years of phobia from childhood trauma and he made it vanish in 5 minutes!”