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Meet Minnesota’s Newest League Cycling Instructors

Meet some of our newest League-certified ambassadors for better biking! In October, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) hosted a BIPOC League Cycling Instructor (LCI) seminar that certified nine new LCIs in the Minneapolis area. LCIs get more people in their community safely and confidently riding and we love to see more joining our movement to build a safe and inclusive Bicycle Friendly America for everyone!

“For everyone” is the key element of our mission to build better biking in America. That’s why in 2021 we partnered with Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) to offer LCI Seminar Equity Scholarships for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) who want to become League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) and we continue to to host LCI Seminars specifically taught by and for BIPOC in select communities with QBP and local bike advocacy organizations in an effort to build a more representative LCI network. 

League Cycling Coach Neil Walker led the Minneapolis seminar for the second year in a row after teaching the first-ever BIPOC-led and focused LCI Seminar in Minneapolis in 2021!

Check out BikeMN’s website for more on the BikeMN-hosted BIPOC LCI seminar! 

Under the mentorship of Neil, as well as BikeMN’s education director Angela Olson and coach Jan Mattheus, participants spent three days learning how to teach the Smart Cycling curriculum as LCIs. Participants spent classroom-time on presentations about pre-assigned cycling topics, spent time outdoors learning how to teach evasive maneuvers and group riding, and brainstormed how to support encouraging more bicycling within the community.

According to Neil, “Throughout the seminar, there was a lot of discussion around the diversity of cycling and participants communicated their desire to instruct a variety of groups that included youth, adults, seniors and persons with disabilities.”

We love to hear what inspires people to better their cycling knowledge and teaching skills by becoming an LCI and what our newly-minted cycling educators look forward to achieving with their certification. Read below to find out more about what some of the Minneapolis LCI seminar participants had to say.

Laura Galaviz

Laura Galaviz

I am a Xicana bike mechanic & educator as well as a visual artist. I am the founder of Bici Xicas, a bike collective based in Minneapolis centering non-white women, femme, and non-binary people. Our focus is bike safety and accessibility. 

The resources, national network, and training opportunities within the League of American Bicyclists are what attracted me to become an LCI. I believe being an LCI can help my career development and can help me collaborate with other professionals throughout the U.S. 

I plan on leading classes, workshops, programs, and bike rides around the U.S. through a new project called FUERZA XICANA (Xicana Strength). I plan on sharing bike mechanic and road safety knowledge with various communities of color. I would like to encourage other Indigenous, Black, and Brown people to become LCIs and to keep bicycling!

Helena Howard

In 2016, I made a failed attempt to bike across the country (my first bike ride over 20 miles) and it sparked my interest in bike repair. Since then, I have worked as a bike mechanic, facilitated bike repair nights with Grease Rag, a local group for FTW riders, and currently, I organize and teach BikeMN’s Adult Learn to Ride program. I love biking slowly through the woods and riding in the winter keeps me from crying as much.

All of my coworkers at BikeMN are LCI certified, so when I joined the team this spring I knew I would go through the seminar at some point. I was really excited to have the opportunity to participate in a BIPOC-centered training that was hosted at our office, and to recruit folks from our Adult Learn to Ride program to participate as well.

I gained skills and confidence from this training that will be super helpful for me as someone who is pretty new to bike education. As my first busy season at BikeMN comes to a close, I have a lot of ideas on how to expand and improve programming for next year. I feel really inspired by our cohort, who are all so energized and passionate about spreading their love of bikes!

Kennis Littleton

I am 39 years old, born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the owner of a community bicycle shop called Venture North. I heard about the League of American Bicyclists from our friends at the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN).

Becoming an LCI not only gave me the training needed to be an informed instructor but it allows me to teach my community the information provided by the League. I look forward to teaching small group classes about the importance of bicycle safety and group riding techniques!

If I can do this, then anyone can!!

Reyna López

I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, but I came to Minnesota a few years ago and I now work as a volunteer with different non-profits. This let me discover that my Latin Community has just little presence in sports and outdoors. I am a cyclist and I would love to see more of the Latino community using bikes as transportation and I want to encourage my people to be outside. 

My bike has allowed me to meet wonderful people who are now part of my life. I have been able to travel on it and with it visit wonderful places, serve and help others, and fill my little heart with their words of thanks and their smiles. I wish from the bottom of my heart that more people in my Latin Community have the opportunity to experience that beautiful feeling of feeling free on two wheels. That is what inspired me to become an LCI and I am so excited and ready to help them learn how to cycle smart.

Thank you Bike MN for this opportunity and my instructors for the knowledge.

Want to host an LCI Seminar? 

Want to be a part of our next group of newly-certified League Cycling Instructors? Registration for our last two LCI Seminars of 2022 closes on November 11, 2022, at 11:59 pm ET:

  • Albuquerque, NM, on December 2-4 
  • Newark, NJ, on December 2-4

Keep an eye on our LCI Seminar Schedule as we continue to add seminars happening across the country for 2023!