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LCI Spotlight: Jianhan Wang
We love to learn about those encouraging people of all ages to join the bicycle movement! Meet Jianhan Wang, our LCI in the spotlight this month. Find our earlier LCI Spotlights in our blog archives.
As a certified bicycle instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jianhan has taught both youth and adults how to ride smart with Bike East Bay, Wheel Kids, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and Santa Clara Department of Public Health along with private lessons for Bicycle Solutions. Jianhan’s work to better bicycling extends into helping organizations find better bike parking solutions through his company, CycleSCP, and he is a supporting member of several bike advocacy organizations including the California Bicycle Coalition and the League. In fact, you can see Jianhan demonstrating safe riding techniques in our new series of Smart Cycling videos!
Read on to learn Jianhan’s favorite thing about Smart Cycling and teaching others how to embrace the bicycle.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY YOU ENJOY TEACHING OTHERS TO BIKE.
I have been teaching bike education for over five years now, teaching people of various ages from as young as 6 years old to some over 60 years of age, and it brings me fulfillment from quickly being able to see how my actions can positively impact others and help me be physically active. It is wonderful to get to help others grow their bike skills, to be able to ride more and enjoy the similar and same joys I've experienced. Also, to help others be less dependent on cars for transportation, leading to them being happier and healthier and spending more of their time and money on family, friends, wellness, personal or professional growth, and less on gas, car payments, and service, and accumulating frustration on the road.
WHAT FIRST MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME AN LCI?
During my second official bicycle class ever, the equivalent of the Traffic Skills or Smart Cycling Part 2 organized by Bike East Bay, Anthony DiSalvo (another LCI) suggested that I become a League Cycling Instructor. Originally, I just wanted to ride more safely for transportation as I enjoy riding and hate driving for most trips, but he got me to consider it.
I was hesitant as I did not feel very confident speaking in front of groups for long periods of time, but I also noticed how friendly the other bike instructors were; how the on-bike classes had fewer lectures, and how big the impact of improving bike skills was for me and would accumulate for the rest of my life. After volunteering at a couple of bike classes and other bike events and seeing the smiles on people’s faces, I wanted to help pass on what I’ve learned as well and get to participate in an LCI Seminar hosted by Bike East Bay.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST REWARD IN TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
My greatest reward has been seeing my students be persistent, overcome fear and frustration, smile, and be proud of what they accomplished, especially with learn-to-rides. Each time I get to teach, I also learn something new, however small, and am reminded of principles and lessons that I can better apply myself. For example, taking the time to relax in areas that cause tension and recognizing what I’m doing well in addition to things I can improve on or do differently in the future.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR AN LCI WHO WANTS TO TEACH A CLASS BUT ISN'T SURE HOW TO GET STARTED?
I would highly recommend reaching out to any local organizations that organize classes with experienced LCIs first or reaching out to experienced, active LCIs to assist with one of their classes or private lessons. I’ve been fortunate to be able to sign up to train to teach and co-teach classes after my LCI seminar with Bike East Bay and their awesome team of instructors which exposed me to various class types, including learn-to-rides and bike rodeos.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK THAT ALL LCIS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TEACHING BIKE EDUCATION?
Everyone has their own objectives for learning, so it’s important to ask students about that at the beginning of each class. While we have a curriculum, personal objectives and needs should come before that, so being curious and observant about how students respond and act and adapting to that goes better than trying to stick to the pre-planned schedule. It may end up with them not learning the most advanced skills that were pre-planned, but the ones they do learn make a big difference. Safety comes first and we should challenge them bit by bit without overwhelming them (the same for introducing new information).
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM BEING ON A BIKE?
One of my favorite memories is the joy of being able to pedal for at least 10 seconds on my own for the first time at around 6 years old after repeatedly falling and scraping my leg over a few weeks. Even though I couldn’t ride even somewhat straight at all, it was one of my earliest moments of pride and joy.
Know an LCI who should be featured next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!