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New League Cycling Coaches Enhance the Smart Cycling Program

The League is growing! Our Smart Cycling program has recently added three new Coaches to our elite group of expert bicycling instructors. League Cycling Coaches are the talented people who train our League Cycling Instructors (LCIs). They have demonstrated their ability to teach the Smart Cycling curriculum, are active advocates in their communities, have assisted with multiple LCI seminars, and have proven their ability to run an effective and efficient LCI seminar independently. To learn more about our League Cycling Coaches, click here.

We are thrilled to welcome Malia k Harunaga, Bernard Green, and Rio Oxas to our community of League Cycling Coaches. Here is a bit about each of them:

Woman wearing a helmet and smiling. 

Malia k Harunaga

Honolulu, HI

Harunaga was born and raised on the island of O‘ahu and has enjoyed cycling from a young age in the balmy, beautiful Hawai‘i weather. After becoming certified as a LCI in her freshman year of college she joined the Hawaii Bicycling League as their Adult Education Manager and has been rigorously putting her LCI certification to work for the past seven years. She is driven by her passion to make cycling accessible to everyone.

Why did you decide to pursue becoming a Smart Cycling Coach?

Preston Tyree served not only as my Coach in 2011 but as my mentor for the past seven years. He truly is an inspiration and I feel has helped lead me on the path to Coach-dom. The Hawaiian islands are quite geographically remote, so by becoming a Coach I hope to be able to service and certify more passionate & patient, friendly & knowledgeable cyclists to help grow Hawai‘i’s happy cycling community.

Why is bicycle safety education important to you?

Bicycle safety education is crucial in furthering knowledge, preventing injury, creating respect, and bettering the enjoyment of bicycling – for all users of the road. Riding a bicycle may not be fun for everyone, but I think it can be, if people are empowered with their rights and responsibilities, the skills, the right equipment, and encouragement. If I am able to give back at least a little of the full-strength euphoria and gratification I experience when I’m on my bike, I will be thrilled.

What is one fun fact about you?

My commute to college included a hill, half a mile long, that is an average of 14% gradient (maxed out at 27%) – the first time I rode up on my pieced-together “Frankenbike” I literally thought I was going to have a heart attack at the top. After four years of doing that daily, sometimes three times a day, I don’t even arrive at the crest out of breath. Not everything is easy at your first attempt – the important thing is to keep at it and you will persevere! (Right on, Malia! – editors note)

 

Man smiling
Bernard Green

Monterey, CA

Bernard Green has been teaching Smart Cycling since 2013 and became a Coach in 2018. He is an engaged member of multiple advocacy organizations: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, California State Bicycle Coalition, and Families of Color Monterey County. As the current director of Republic of Place, Green particularly excels at perfectly executing the Instant Turn (e.g., the Quick Turn).

Why did you decide to pursue becoming a Smart Cycling Coach?

My pathway to Coach actually mirrored my journey to becoming an LCI. A deeply held passion for cycling inspired learning as much about the ancient mode of travel as possible, which drove me to share that love with others looking to save money, regain their health, and so much more! The chance to support others in empowering their communities with bicycles seemed like a natural transition.

Why is bicycle safety education important to you?

Well, I think of the bicycle as simply a tool. One that allows a mother to propel her children to school, and a champion rider to peak the highest ridge – sure, but a simple tool still. I’ve heard it said that a tool is only as good as its user. And with most cycling-related crashes being the result of rider error, I’d say there’s a great opportunity for improved rider awareness and discretion. The League’s Smart Cycling program happens to be the most thoroughly developed medium for delivering that message to millions of Americans.

What is one fun fact about you?

Volleyball is #life. I’ve been playing since 2011 and can’t get enough! I hope to form a club team soon and see where we’ll stack up after years of humble learning.

 

Photo courtesy of Sonia Hernandez.

Río Oxas

Woodland Hills, CA

Río was born and raised in Echo Park with Central American roots and is now People for Mobility Justice’s Policy & Programs Organizer. People for Mobility Justice helps the Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) family seed critical consciousness around Mobility Justice in all the communities they work in to ensure that everyone can move in public spaces with love and dignity. Since 2002, Río has worked across the United States on issues of mobility justice, transportation equity, food justice, healing justice, land liberation, resisting displacement and much more. With self-acclaimed doctorates in bicycles- from safety, mechanics, art, bike touring, and more, People for Mobility Justice views bikes as medicine and prioritize this type of work alongside other BIPOC who are Queer Trans* and Intersex.

Why did you decide to pursue becoming a Smart Cycling Coach?

The number one reason is institutional capital. This is important for me and for the communities I work with. I truly believe that the insurance coverage you get from becoming an LCI is critical, especially for our more vulnerable LCIs. I want to be proactive in coaching LCIs who are of resilient communities – those who are Black Indigenous People of Color, Queer, Trans, Intersex, etc. I also want to advance Smart Cycling in other languages beyond English and Spanish. While I recognize there are many bike safety curricula you can teach, the legal backing which comes with LCI certification is key. Legally protecting our LCIs is super important. In addition, there are a lot of elements in the Smart Cycling curriculum that I share passion about. Of course, I think there are many things missing in the curriculum that I will be proactive in addressing while being a Coach. Ultimately, the more people have great solid skills and facts about bike safety the better it is for everyone.    

Why is bicycle safety education important to you?

Bike Education is critical to my life. Bikes saved my life, it is my Bike Medicine. It opened me up to a world where I found a tool that helped me develop my physical, mental, and spiritual health. Additionally, I love the 5 benefits of bike which are Mind, Money, Muscles, Mother Earth, and Mobility. I can detail those out but you get the point, well I hope.

What is one fun fact about you?

I love bike touring, I know I’ve already said this once above BUT I love it. I have biked almost the whole coast from Vancouver Canada to La Paz in Baja California – this across multiple bike trips. I’ve also biked across of all of Wyoming; what a beautiful state. I also did a bike tour from Los Angeles to Guatemala with other mobility options -bus, hitchhiking, ferries, etc. These are just to name a few and I still want to bike tour more!

Our League Cycling Coaches are truly creating a more Bicycle-Friendly America!

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