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LCI Spotlight: Tia Carter 

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, and 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 month, we’re catching up with Tia Carter, an LCI and Lancaster Bicycle Club member who came up with the idea of the “Bike to 30K” program as a way to recruit more members. The Bike to 30K is meant to build cyclists’ confidence by starting with a 5-mile slow ride and training over 10 weeks to complete a 30K ride by the end of the program.

This year, Tia’s program celebrates ten years of getting more people on bikes! We’re so excited to celebrate this milestone to inspire our network of changemakers across the country. Tia’s nominator shares our admiration for Tia’s efforts, sharing, “She introduces new people to cycling every year with her entry-level program. You just have to read this article about her, it’s so inspiring!”

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.

By day, I am a Human Resources Professional.  In HR, we wear many hats including Wellness Coordinator.  One year, after facilitating a workplace wellness initiative and with the approval of my local bike club, I created and executed a beginners’ community cycling program now known as The Bike to 30K Program.   

Because of The Bike to 30K Program, I interact with so many people within my community- all on their individual cycling journeys.  It is a true blessing to touch so many people and empower them to not only ride on the road but to do so safely and with confidence. This is why I enjoy teaching bike education.

What first motivated you to become an LCI?

Before becoming an LCI, I would lead a lot of rides for my local bike club.  This is what motivated me because I wanted to make sure I had all the information to lead a ride safely.

What has been your greatest reward in teaching bike education?

My greatest reward is seeing the graduates from my program put their knowledge into action.  They often graduate from the beginners’ program and lead rides for the club applying all of the safety rules of road cycling to keep others safe while riding. 

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 teaching mojo and your audience will follow.  Be yourself and have fun with it.

What is something you think that all LCIs should know about teaching bike education?

Be fluid with the curriculum.  Yes, we have a curriculum to deliver but deliver it in a way that your audience will receive the information. Be adaptable.

What is your favorite thing about being on a bike?

My friends. We have power rides where we are focused, and we also have social rides.  Both are fun but laughing and enjoying one another is priceless. Especially when we stop for pictures with the camels, peacocks, and other animals we find on our local farms!

Give us an interesting or funny fact about you.

Well, where do I start? I lobbied for AAA to include Bike tows as part of a membership. My favorite fun bike rides are centered around Ice Cream.  Fun Fact: My bike club has created The BEST Bike Ride in Pennsylvania and it’s centered around Ice Cream! Oh, and I am known for matching my socks with my cycling jerseys!  Check out my Nerds candy socks and jersey →

What is your favorite memory from being on a bike?

Riding past someone’s home and seeing an elephant. He was feeding the animal in his front yard. We assume the elephant was part of a play production.