Opportunity: Become a League Cycling Instructor in Virginia!

What is something that all bicyclists have in common?

Someone had to teach us how to ride. 

Whether it was a parent teaching you in a driveway, a sibling taking you to the park down the street, or a League Cycling Instructor helping you cross something off of your bucket list, someone took the time and patience to help you learn something new. 

League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) are trained by the League of American Bicyclists to teach bicycle education and safety skills and promote happier, more confident cycling within their communities. They are exemplary bicyclists who are passionate about what they do and eager to share theIr love of bicycling with others. 

Does that sound like you? Check out this FREE training opportunity (a $500 value) and start making a difference in your community. 

2020 Transportation Leadership Safety Training

WABA is partnering with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) and Alexandria BPAC to host the 2020 Transportation Leadership Safety Training. The goal of this program is to increase bicyclist and pedestrian safety, and reduce crashes throughout Northern Virginia by training Instructors who will be leaders in their communities. 

2020 Transportation Leadership Safety Training

Pedestrian Safety Training*March 18th & 25th,
7:00pm – 9:00 pm
Gain pedestrian safety knowledge and skills by completing this four-hour class over two evenings
Smart Cycling*March 7th, 2020
10:00am – 4:00 pm 
Participants will learn the importance of bike safety and traffic knowledge while performing advanced bike handling skills and hazard avoidance maneuvers. The course includes an on-street group ride, where participants will learn the ins and outs of lane positioning, defensive cycling and how to communicate with motorists. 
LCI SeminarApril 3rd, 2020
5:00pm – 9:00pm

April 4th, 2020,
8:00am – 9:00pm

April 5th, 2020
8:00am – 3:00pm 
The LCI Seminar teaches candidates comprehensive bicycle safety curriculum, including bicycle handling skills, traffic law, riding in inclement weather how to safely plan and lead group rides, group facilitation and management, etc. 

* prerequisite for LCI Seminar

Who can apply? 

This training is open to Northern Virginia local government, state, regional staff, police, faculty/teachers and residents active in their communities and committed to improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. Recreational and/or commuter bicyclists are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have experience riding in traffic, on trails and are comfortable riding in various weather conditions. 

Registration deadline – January 22nd, 2020 

Key Requirements

  1. Participants must attend all applicable training dates and complete approximately 50 hours of work, both outside and within the training activities. Training will take place in a classroom setting, outdoors and on city streets and trails. 
  2. Must have a local government or lead organization mentor that will help you identify outreach events that support bicycle and pedestrian safety efforts in the region (i.e. WABA, Alexandria BPAC, FABB, BikeArlington).
  3. The ability to ride a bicycle confidently. 
  4. Participants must commit to doing two community pedestrian and bicycling safety outreach events by September 15th and January 20th and report back to NVRC. 

Only interested in the pedestrian training or Smart Cycling? 

There are limited spaces available. If you are a safety advocate or work in training, education or local state government, please contact Debbie Spiliotopoulos at dspilio@novaregion.org

Are you an LCI willing to help out? Apply to be a mentor! 

Mentors assist new LCIs in completing their outreach requirements and reporting back to NVRC. 

Mentors are: 

  • Affiliated with a program or organization that supports pedestrian/bicycle  safety or outreach to vulnerable road users/bicyclists/pedestrians operating in Virginia
  • Connected with outreach efforts in high crash areas and directly work on events with needs for LCIs
  • Committed to helping LCI reach outreach requirements
  • Committed to communicating outreach efforts and outcomes to NVRC for grant reporting for 2020 and into future grant years
  • Can provide a list of potential events or activities for new candidates to work on 

Project Partners

Thank you to all the key partners in this project, including the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, the League of American Bicyclists, Alexandria Bicyclist Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB), Inova Hospital, the City of Manassas, City of Fairfax, Prince William County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudon County and the City of Alexandria.

Registration

LCI Seminar – LCI Seminar registration

LCI Mentor – LCI Mentor sign up

The deadline for applications is 5:00pm on Wednesday, January 22nd. 

Selected candidates will be notified by Wednesday, January 29th. 

Questions? 

Project Information and Eligibility – Debbie Spiliotopoulos, NVRC – dspilio@novaregion.org 

Registration and Class Information – Sydney Sotelo, WABA – sydney.sotelo@waba.org


More Joy, Less Stress: 2019 Adult Education Season Wrap Up

Just like that, another year is nearly over and the 2019 Adult Education class season has come to an end. The WABA Education team is hard at work reflecting upon the past year and making resolutions for the next. This year, over 600 participants joined a WABA class to try something new, build confidence and experience more joy and less stress! 

They took the first step towards achieving their goals, why shouldn’t you?  Whether you’re looking for a more sustainable commute, exercise that is fun and outside or to finally knock something off your bucket list, learning to ride safely and confidently is the key to biking happy.

Check out some of the highlights from the 2019 season below and mark your calendars! The 2020 Adult Education season will be back with even more classes next spring.

Welcoming new bicyclists 

This year, our team of staff and LCI Instructors led 20 Learn to Ride classes in DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria. 

  • Over 320 participants attended Learn to Ride classes and 80% of them were riding successfully by the end of the three hour class. 
  • WABA hosted three Youth Learn to Ride classes in Alexandria and 23 youth learned to ride their bike without training wheels!
  • In June, WABA hosted a Spanish language Learn to Ride class in partnership with Casa Chirilagua, a Latino community and education organization in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria.
  • In August, WABA partnered with PSI Family Services to offer a week-long Learn to Ride camp for adults with developmental disabilities. 
  • In total, over 235 new bicyclists are enjoying our region’s trails, paths and bike lanes. Great job everyone!

If you or someone you know would like to take the first step to learning to ride a bike, sign up to receive emails about our upcoming classes! We’ll be sure to let you know when the 2020 schedule is out. WABA Learn to Rides classes are fun and intuitive—you, too, could be riding confidently by the end of class!

Building confidence

This year, 120 participants made #betterbicycling their goal by signing up for a Confident City Cycling class! Whether riding in traffic or on a trail, proper etiquette and bike handling skills make for a safe and enjoyable ride.

  • WABA hosted 19 Confident City Cycle classes in DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria. 
  • On August 6th, WABA held a bike rodeo at the National Night Out celebration at Lincoln Park! Kids and adults alike rode the obstacle course, which featured hazards, twisty turns, and even a stop sign!
  • Booz Allen Hamilton hosted a Commuting 101 ride that encouraged their employees to incorporate bicycling into the daily commute. The group explored routes between the three Booz Allen offices in DC. 
  • WABA partnered with JUMP Bikes to host a Confident City Cycle class on e-bikes. Participants learned about the difference in speed and reaction time between regular bicycles and those with electronic assist and tried their hand at a number of different drills.

Bike education doesn’t stop after you learn to ride. Want to make every day Bike to Work Day? Bring an Everyday Bicycling Seminar to your office and give your coworkers the gift of safer, less stressful riding.

Exploring our communities

Looking for a new route? Interested in learning how to get around the city by bike?  Community Education Rides depart from all over the region, exploring city streets, trails and everything in between.

  • In September, WABA hosted a family-friendly Community Ride with Casa Chirilagua entirely in Spanish! We rode up the Mount Vernon Trail for a picnic at Gravelly Point.
  • In October, WABA and Capital Bikeshare celebrated Women’s Bike Month with a tour of DC’s most iconic statues of women.
  • WABA and JUMP hosted a winter community ride where participants learned the importance of layering, seasonal road conditions and visibility.

WABA Adult Education classes are local (currently offered in DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria), inexpensive and most importantly, they’re a fun time! Sign up for a class and take the first step to #betterbicycling.

We can’t wait to see you out there! 

Help us get more folks on bikes – will you make make a donation to WABA today? Your tax-deductible donation means more bike lanes, safer streets, healthier people, and connected communities.

WABA and PSI Family Services team up to host Learn to Ride Camp!

There was no shortage of smiles and excitement, as WABA teamed up with PSI Family Services to offer a week long Adult Learn to Ride camp! The five-day camp brought participants from all over DC and Maryland to try their hand at riding. With highly trained instructors, supportive staff and lots of encouragement, many of the participants learned to ride for the very first time.

This is the second year in a row that WABA has partnered with PSI to offer bicycle education to adults with developmental disabilities. With a modified curriculum and adaptive bicycle equipment, WABA Instructors were able to offer a fun, engaging and accessible class for all participants, regardless of their individual experience levels and needs.

The week-long class allowed participants ample time to practice the skills they learned each day. From tricycles to balance bikes and finally, pedals, participants scooted around the parking lot practicing their skills. Every accomplishment was celebrated by participants, Instructors and PSI staff alike.

All WABA Adult Education classes start with the basics. No matter what your experience level, our Instructors are prepared to offer attention and support to meet your needs. 

WABA is proud to partner with PSI to offer accessible bicycle education for all.

Check out a slideshow of some photos from Learn to Ride Camp below!

Ready to Roll?: Fall 2019 Adult Education Classes

Looking to improve your bike confidence? Eager to try your hand at navigating traffic? What about getting on a bicycle for the first time? Check out our Fall 2019 Adult Education classes!

WABA’s Adult Education classes are suited for all, regardless of experience level and provide intuitive, hands on learning in a supportive and encouraging environment. 

“But which class is right for me?” We’ve got a handy flow chart to help you out!

Adult Learn To Ride – For adults ages 18 and older who do not know how to ride a bike or who have tried to learn and have been unsuccessful. Give us three hours, and we’ll have you riding a bike!

Youth Learn to Ride – For children ages 6-12 who do not know how to ride a bike or who have tried to learn and have been unsuccessful. This season, our Youth Learn to Ride classes are special events hosted by the City of Alexandria.

Basic Skills Clinic – For cyclists who have recently learned to ride or who have not ridden a bike in some time. Our Basic Skills Clinics focus on fundamental skills such as starting, stopping, turning and braking. Great next step for those who have recently taken Learn to Ride! 

Confident City Cycling – Interested in learning to ride in traffic or on a bike path? This class is for you! Our City Cycling class is broken up into two groups, Fundamentals and Confidence, to accommodate riders of different experience levels. Fundamentals focuses on scanning, signaling and shifting, while Confidence teaches hazard avoidance maneuvers necessary for riding alongside motorists.

Community Education Rides – Fun for all! Our community education ride series is an inclusive space for riders of all levels to explore their city.  Each ride tackles different topics that urban riders use to get around the region. Our rides are always a good time, but they’re also a safe space to ask questions and practice riding in the city.

WABA is proud to partner with DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria to offer a bicycle education class near you!

Our first Learn to Ride—¡en español!

Our first Learn to Ride in Spanish. Thank you to Casa Chirilagua and the City of Alexandria for partnering with us!

WABA recently partnered with Casa Chirilagua and the City of Alexandria to offer the first Adult Learn to Ride class in Spanish!

Casa Chirilagua is a community nonprofit in Arlandria, a predominantly Latin/x neighborhood of Alexandria. Their main offerings are for English Language Learners (ELL), with programs including after-school care, leadership development, and other community services. Casa Chirilagua is also near the Four Mile Run Park and Trail, which nearby families use for recreation—including biking!

Usually, WABA’s Adult Education programming is offered during the day on the weekends. WABA and Casa Chirilagua decided to offer this class in the evening to accommodate those who work during the day on weekends.

“We are proud to work with local community organizations to expand our programming and offer classes that meet the needs of different populations,” said Sydney Sotelo, WABA’s Adult Education Coordinator. “Luckily, the weather held out for us on Saturday night and our Instructors were able to run the full class, offering individualized instruction to our participants in Spanish. The class was lively with music and snacks and plenty of folks sitting in the park, enjoying the pre-storm sunshine.”

With determination, properly fitted helmets, and balance bikes, all class attendees  were riding on two pedals by the end of the Learn to Ride!

WABA is committed to practices and programming that ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our work. Hopefully, this first Learn to Ride in Spanish is one of what could be more in the future.

Interested in our Adult Education programs? Visit waba.org/classes to see our full schedule of classes, skills clinics, and community rides.

Meet Sydney Sotelo, our Adult Education Coordinator

Hello! My name is Sydney Sotelo, and I am very excited to be joining WABA as the new Adult Education Coordinator.

A true lover of all things outside, in my free time you can usually find me biking, hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, camping and playing outside with my dog, Waffle. For the past six years, I have worked as an Outdoor Recreation educator, helping people to get outside, learn new skills and invest in the natural world around them. I believe that public lands, parks, trails and paths can teach us so much about ourselves, and I am passionate about using the outdoors as a catalyst for personal growth and change.

I come to WABA with an eagerness to inspire others to try a new skill. I believe that with a supportive, encouraging environment, effective teaching and a whole lot of stoke, anyone can learn to do anything. I value hands on teaching as an opportunity to engage with others and create meaningful, transformative experiences. So, try something new! You might learn a little bit more about yourself along the way.

If you would like to get to know me better, learn more about my teaching philosophy, or just need to get over the fear of taking that first step to getting on a bike, feel free to reach out to me by email. I am happy to sit down for a chat and brainstorm new ways to learn! Check out all of our Adult Education classes online and feel free to reach me at sydney.sotelo@waba.org.

She won a free bike, will you?

You may not know Celeste, but she was a WABA bike education student last year. By attending a bicycle education class in 2017, Celeste was automatically entered to win the sweet bicycle you see above. Celeste signed up for a WABA Learn to Ride class because the time was finally right. She had lived long enough without being able to ride a bike. She was proud of her great life surrounded by friends, working as a professor and staying active within her community. What she didn’t have was the experience of enjoying life on two wheels.

This is where WABA came in.

In the span of three hours, Celeste was introduced to wearing a helmet properly, how to make sure her bike was properly fitted for her, and finally all about how to balance. After meticulous practice pushing with her feet, Flintstones-style, Celeste was ready for pedals. After a few wobbles and shakes (from nerves and still being new at the whole balance thing), Celeste was pedaling a bicycle all by herself for the first time in her life! She walked away from the class with a new found skill and the feeling of success. Little did she know that she was also walking away with a brand new bicycle.

Due to the generous support of a WABA member, the Adult Education team received a bicycle to raffle off during the Fall 2017 season. Anyone that learned to ride for the first time in a learn to ride class, brushed up on their riding skills in a city cycling class; or discovered the greater bicycling community in a community ride was eligible to win the bike.

By participating in a class you’re guaranteed to win (just not guaranteed to win a bike). You will win the feeling of being connected to an awesome community–the incredible local biking community! You will win new skills and tricks to find more joy and comfort while riding a bicycle. And, maybe, just maybe, you could win a bike.

So, what’s stopping you? Come and win in a class this spring. Check this space in the next couple of weeks to view the schedule. Or, enter your email address here and be notified when the schedule goes live.

Happy riding!

Everyday Bicycling Program Year in Review

The Everyday Bicycling program rode with a lot of bicyclists in 2017. Since the weather is supposed to turn colder this time of year the adult education team doesn’t offer many classes. Instead, we take a brief pause to scan behind and discover what worked in 2017, then set our sights on 2018 and beyond. Below are some highlights from the year.

A few hundred new bicyclists

This year our team of instructors led 30 adult Learn to Ride classes across DC, Arlington, and (for the first time!) Prince George’s County, and the City of Falls Church.

  • More than 400 folks attended a class and 80% of them were riding by the end of the morning!
  • That means 320 new riders are enjoying the trails and roads on two-wheels today!

Our season has wrapped up for the year, but if you know someone that still wants to learn how to ride, consider sharing the joy of life on two wheels by setting up a private class—many of WABA’s instructors enjoy teaching one-on-one.

Students learning to ride in Arlington

Riding confidently

More than 200 people (mostly grown ups, but also kids) attended a City Cycling class in 2017. In 3 hours time participants learned some skills and tips to enjoy the great trails and also how to make the commute with traffic less stressful and more fun. In addition to the confidence learned, community building was gained.

  • WABA ran 25 City Cycling classes in Montgomery County, DC, Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia.
  • WABA ran two family biking classes in DC – one discussing the challenges of riding with youth attached to the bike, while the other focused on the joys of riding with youth on their own bike in the city.
  • WABA ran a youth bike rodeo in Montgomery County.
  • WABA trained National Park Service Rangers that work along the Anacostia River Trail.

Want to bring a City Cycling class to your office for your employees? Email us: education@waba.org.

Building community

Navigating the streets in the region on a bicycle can be tricky, which is why WABA offers slow, no-drop community rides.

  • To date, WABA led 220 community members through the neighborhoods discussing ways to avoid the door zone and how to deal with tricky intersections.
  • We shared thousands of fun facts and trivia questions.
  • For the first time, WABA led a Community Ride in Fairfax County.
  • We’ve got one ride left on the calendar for 2017 – come and ride with us!

Bringing biking to work

The Everyday Bicycling team worked off of the bike too.

  • WABA shared the key components to start commuting by bike with more than 300 people in Everyday Biking Seminars at workplaces across the region. The point of this seminar is to encourage people to try a regular trip by bike instead of car.
  • WABA met with and had honest conversations with the supervisors and safety trainers of DC Circulator buses about using the road with pedestrians and bicyclists, through the creation and launch of WABA’s Bicycle Friendly Driver program.

Training the trainers

WABA welcomed 14 new certified bicycling teachers. The League of American Bicyclists certifies cycling instructors across the country, but about once a year, we run a special certification course to help us ensure that we have a varied and exciting team of instructors that are connected to the communities in which we teach. 

Planning for 2018

WABA is excited for all the work the team did in 2017 to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. By taking advantage of the best practices of this year and working from some new ideas to improve the program in 2018 – the Everyday Bicycling Program can’t wait for the weather to turn warmer. Hopefully, we’ll see you (or a friend) in a class or on a ride next year!

City Cycling Class Brings you More Joy When you Ride

Many people are familiar with WABA’s Learn to Ride class–to teach adults to ride a bike for the first time–but that’s just where the learning begins.

Whether you’ve been riding for four months or forty years, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll learn something new at a City Cycling class. Read below to see how Kemi, a Trail Ranger for WABA in 2017, appreciated her ride even more after picking up a few tricks.


“How do I put more pedal to the metal?” this was the question I asked during an orientation ride around the city as a new D.C. Trail Ranger.  I did not realize how embarrassing the question was until I heard the answer, “Shift the gear up”, said Ursula. I replied with a “Oh duh, thank you.” This said a lot about my cycling experience level coming into this Trail Ranger position. I hadn’t biked in years before getting on one of the Trail Ranger bikes for a quick city cycling lesson. To be quite honest, that first ride was a bit of a struggle. Getting used to turning, stopping, and starting, after the first ride I was afraid I was never going to be able to get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect.

My first ever shift was with the amazing Trey Robinson, he taught me everything I needed to know that first time and did a great job explaining a lot to me. Because I was training we took one trailer with things in it and headed to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. “Since it’s your first shift, I’ll take the trailer,” he said. “Sure,” I replied and we took off. We picked up trash, glass, and trimmed vegetation. Then it was time to make our way back, “I’ll take the trailer now,” I said with confidence; “Are you sure?” he questioned me, “Yes!” I replied with determination. My first time riding with the trailer was not as bad as I imagined it was going to be. I zoomed ahead and navigated safely through traffic, I nearly forgot that I had the trailer. We got back and Trey says, “Wow, you know what you’re doing, and they told me to take it easy on you.” I felt great and even more confident that this was going to be one of the best summer positions I’ve ever had.

Working with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) taught me about the cycling culture in a city. It showed me that WABA is 100% necessary, without this organization and the work that they complete day in and day out we would not witness as many cyclists in the area. I have learned about the incredible work WABA does and what it means to all the many communities in the D.C. area, including: biking infrastructure such as bike lanes and trails, advocacy for safety, cycling classes, small bike business support, etc. All of these things have brought so many people from different walks of life together in order to support a wonderful mission.

This internship has really taught me a lot and most importantly it has provided me with skills that I can share to so many others like myself. I am adopting cycling as a great mode of transportation, exercise, and discovery, which is something I didn’t do before. Working with WABA has really shown me how easy cycling is and has given me confidence to continue to bike almost everywhere and express this sentiment to anyone who is as hesitant as I was. I really enjoyed telling everyone at outreach about city cycling classes so they can join me in riding more.”


Kemi became a confident rider on the job with city cycling as we covered urban riding, quick stops and other skills as employee training. We’ll be hiring Trail Rangers for the 2018 season in April but you can get the same skills in the course of a morning and no cover letter required!

City Cycling classes are scheduled to take place in multiple locations this fall. To view the complete schedule of classes click here. To get a discount code to register for free, email me. As with riding in general, the City Cycling class is more fun if you bring a friend. If you don’t, no worries, you’re bound to make a friend or two during the class. Happy riding!

Make a difference in your community – teach bicycle education

Are you looking to make a positive impact in your community? Do you ride your bicycle and think, “I’d like to see more people riding their bicycles safely and happily.” Do you have spare time on Saturdays and Sundays that could be better spent making bicycling better in the region? Then, you should consider applying to become a WABA instructor!

In 2016, WABA taught 483 adults how to ride a bicycle for the very first time and 311 adults how to ride more comfortably and confidently throughout the region. None of this could have been accomplished without the help of our amazing team of League Cycling Instructors (LCIs).

WABA is growing our instructor team and looking for people to teach with WABA to get more cyclists on the road in our region. WABA is hosting a LCI seminar in November. This seminar will be an intensive, fun and engaging course taught by experts and it will be free! Click here to learn more and apply.

Recently, I asked one of WABA’s Lead Instructors, Liz, why she applied to become a LCI four years ago. Not only does Liz teach for WABA, she also provides one-on-one instruction to many members of her community. Liz shared some very compelling reasons to to become an instructor:

I applied for the LCI seminar because I’ve always been enthusiastic about preaching the gospel of bike commuting, but now I could be paid to do so! Seriously, it seemed like a brilliant way to make some extra money doing something I was doing anyway. But once I started going through the process, I discovered that becoming an LCI is so much more.

The LCI seminar is, hands down, the hardest I’ve ever worked to get through a training program but is also the single most valuable professional development course I’ve ever attended. The things I learned there helped me communicate not only to bicyclists but also helped me communicate better and get more done in my day job. Knowing about how people learn and how to cater to more than one learning style makes every communication more powerful.

I keep teaching because it is joyful to see someone master a new handling skill or pedal away for the very first time. The WABA classes are a blast, but I also give private lessons and help friends improve their bicycling. I’ve found that many of my private clients are women who didn’t grow up in the U.S. who now want to learn to ride bikes to keep up with their children or get back into shape now that their kids are more independent. As a new mom, I can relate to this line of thinking now!!

I especially love the students who are nervous or scared or think they are too old to learn. How brave it is to try new things as we age! I admire every single person who reaches out to me or shows up at an Adult Learn to Ride class and takes a big step out of their comfort zone. They remind me to keep trying new things, and they are SO GRATEFUL for the few short hours of time I devote to them. And, somehow, I’m paid very well for this time that I’m lucky to spend with them. It’s a dream job.

If you’re interested in teaching for WABA or know someone who would be a great asset to our instructor pool, join us in bicycling better in the region.