LCI Spotlight: Robyn Short
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.
Meet Robyn Short, a League Cycling Instructor with a passion for staying active on all fronts and our LCI in the spotlight this month. Find our earlier LCI Spotlights in our blog archives.
As a bike educator out of Upper Malboro, MD, Robyn spends her time outdoors, sharing with others her love for cycling and embracing the joy that comes from seeing new riders soar. When she’s not riding, she spends her time in the dojang as a taekwondo instructor and an accomplished competitor. Read more about Robyn below.
ARE THERE LOCAL BIKE GROUPS YOU’RE A PART OF?
I teach in the adult and youth education programs at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). I’m also part of WABA’s advocacy group for Prince George’s County, MD. In addition, I’m on the Leadership Team for Black Women Bike DC and a member of DIVA Cycling.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY YOU ENJOY TEACHING OTHERS TO BIKE.
I’m always outside! I love teaching bike education because it allows me to share the joys of my favorite things–fun, fitness, wellness, and the outdoors–with others.
WHAT FIRST MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME AN LCI?
I was encouraged and inspired by the amazing LCIs on the Leadership Team of Black Women Bike DC. That group was a big part of my growth as a cyclist and I wanted to pay it forward. In addition, I recognize that representation in cycling is important. Feeling like you don’t belong in a place is the biggest barrier to entry. When students see instructors who look like them, it makes a big difference. Be the change you want to see!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST REWARD IN TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
My greatest reward is watching people overcome their fear and lack of confidence to succeed at something new and scary. The joy on their faces when they start pedaling for the first time NEVER gets old! It’s a privilege to participate in that journey.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR AN LCI WHO WANTS TO TEACH A CLASS BUT ISN’T SURE HOW TO GET STARTED?
Start where you see a need. Find someone who wants to learn and teach them. It doesn’t have to be formal. You can also connect with your local cycling advocacy organization or other LCIs in your area to get resources and information. A big part of being an LCI is just sharing the joy of cycling and helping other people understand how they can get started on a bike. This is something you’re surely equipped to do!
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK THAT ALL LCIS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
Every student comes to class with different experiences, goals, abilities, and perceived limitations. Therefore, success will look different for each individual. Your role as an instructor is not just to teach the curriculum, but to know how to adapt that curriculum to each person. Be willing to adjust and even break “the rules” occasionally to meet the needs of your students. Aim to learn as much from them as they learn from you. Even if they don’t leave your class riding, they should leave believing that they *can* ride!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING ON A BIKE?
My bike is a way of escape and a gateway to adventure. Wandering outside calms my mind and gives me the space I need to decompress.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM BEING ON A BIKE?
I remember the afternoons I spent racing my bike all around my grandparents’ huge yard, jumping over tree stumps, holes, piles of leaves, and other obstacles. That’s where it all started! 🙂
Know an LCI who should be featured next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!