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Bicycle Educator Award | Bicycle Education, Bike Camps | Debra Stefan Fitness |Smart Cycling


So you're into bicycling What can you do to make an impact in your community, in your state, even on a national level? Hold that thought while you watch my video, because you may be surprised at what others, less likely than you have achieved

I'm Debra Stefan, with over 40 years in the fitness profession I've recently achieved a national award of excellence in bicycle education To learn more about the magic of outdoor biking for health and well-being subscribe and let me know if I can help you It honors a person who has worked to elevate bicycling education in the community or state Awardees are League cycling instructors that exemplify the Smart Cycling program's dedication to teaching bicycle safety to people of all ages and abilities, improving their bike skills and building confidence

This Gail and Jim Spann Educator the Year award goes to Debra Stefan She describes herself as a bell-bottom commuter of the 60s who relocated from Southern California to Las Vegas in 1973 to dance in the production shows of that era including the Folie Bergere and MGM's Hallelujah Hollywood Her main mode of transportation remained her Raleigh ten-speed as she developed her career in Fitness In recent years, she's seen how much bicycling can transform the lifestyle of her guests at the live-in weight loss retreat with single speed cruisers, industrial trikes and hardtail mountain bikes proving to be the most valuable training equipment for guests of all ages sizes and abilities A fun fact about Debra is that in 1981 she broke the Guinness World Record for her 10-hour jump rope fundraiser for muscular dystrophy

Everyone, please join me in showing your appreciation for Debra Stefan We look forward to hearing your remarks I'm flabbergasted that I received this! I don't know who nominated me, but I will definitely open more doors with my Smart Cycling crusade with this award It gives me the credibility and the authority that I need to be more effective than I've been and I just don't feel like I could be effective enough with the passion that I feel for getting Smart Cycling out there to the community My whole story, as you said, I came from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and brought my bicycle with me because it was my main mode of transportation and I've stayed here for 47 years

I host for the last 12 years a live-in fitness and weight loss retreat This is my backyard You see where I am? This is my backyard; the trail is right behind me and this is where I train people for Smart Cycling and I've been using the bicycle and the tricycle for over 12 years for my fitness and weight loss guests Some of them are up to 80 years old and up to 500 pounds and I realized early on I needed the bicycling piece not only because of the environment and all the wonderful Henderson trail systems here with the bike paths and also, Lake Mead National Park is right over here It's a wonderful place with blue skies 300 days of the year to get people outside early in the morning, get them away from the depression of feeling that they just don't want to do anything

You put them on a bicycle and give them just the basics and they forget they ever were depressed So there's something so magical about bicycling But it doesn't stop there and so I wanted to refine a curriculum that will help my teaching skills to be able to be more effective with the best practices that I I've tried to impart to the people that I want them to take home The average stay is four to six weeks with me, sometimes up to three and four months if they have 100 pounds to lose They go home to their bicycle because it's everything for them at that point

It's turned around their health and their emotional well-being and they go home to bike So, I wanted to have a dialed in science The research that I did led me to the League There hasn't been a League cycling seminar or a Smart Cycling class in five years in the entire state We had at the time 15 LCIs in the whole state and I hammered them all trying to get a response

Thank you, Lori Marker, the one LCI that was active in the state of Nevada that reached out and helped me prepare for the LCI seminar So the first LCI seminar I was all ready to go was gonna be in Bakersfield I could rack my bike on the truck and drive there Well, it canceled The next one was Seattle June of 2018 so I flew there, did the whole thing

It wasn't enough because I hadn't had a TS 101 or Smart Cycling I had Lori Marker trying to take me through a few things to give me the flavor of it and get the written tests and all that, but it wasn't enough for me So I went to LA February of nineteen and came back with my certification, my LCI and went straight into the Henderson Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting announcing myself, I'm the latest and greatest LCI in the state of Nevada and I'm here to get things going! And they're like, okay um, we tried that five years ago There's not an interest What are you gonna teach us? We've been cycling high miles for decades

What are you to teach us? Well, I did manage through the City of Henderson to get them to embrace the Smart Cycling program There was no cycling program There are a few races and events, but no education So they totally embraced it because I'd already been on the city of Henderson trail watch, the trail ambassador for my trails out here and it gave me an opportunity to appeal to REI-Recreational Equipment Incorporated and they partnered with me for my events The golf course right over here (Chimera) became my facility host for my bike swap, bike rodeos, the night rides, all of the above and they even hosted the first LCI seminar in the state of Nevada in five years

We were able to get two Smart Cycling courses through to get people qualified to take it So I think because of Ron Durgin and the encouragement that he gave me that I could come back to Nevada and get the ball rolling and resurrect this whole bicycle education movement again where people just thought they already knew what they needed to know I've been accused of being a little overly passionate about it and I do a lot of videos that mostly become rants because I've had to shame a few people in the cycling community into taking Smart Cycling and have them realize, oh yeah I'm learning some things here Okay, so not everybody that bikes wants to be subordinate and take a class because they pride themselves in well, it's like Michael said, you know the the 40-year-old guys with the spandex and expensive bikes It's like, what are you gonna teach me? Well, we've had a few of them come in and they've learned a thing or two

And so I think we we're getting somewhere here And now that I have this (award) I'm going to be able to promote it even more I think my three minutes are up but I have a call to action I have a call to action Never again should a person have to go out of state to be able to take Smart Cycling or take an LCI seminar

So all LCIs, this is your call to action seriously, please share your knowledge Know that the the greatest challenge for an instructor is marketing bicycle education and it is becoming more important than ever now because people are entering the road and trail in droves In fact, I was at two bike shops just last week and they're swamped with beater bikes that have come out of storage Everybody wants to ride now So it's even more important now as motorists are choosing SUVs and high profile, high-grill trucks

Bicycle Magazine showed the fatality rate is escalating now In the next ten years only one-third of the vehicles on the the road will be passenger vehicles, they'll all be killer vehicles So we have to know what we're doing on the road and trail Smart Cycling is for everyone! Please get out in your communities LCIs Find a place to teach, find a way to teach

Nobody's gonna come knocking on your door for it Go to your city parks and rec Partner, get out there When you have the LCI certification it's not just supposed to go on the wall It's not just to appease your employer because you're in the bicycling arena

It's your responsibility to use it and share it Truly it is I feel like I'm on a high horse in a way, because I'm an independent A lot of people are being paid by their employers to come and take the LCI and they don't feel passionate about using it They put it on the wall

Yeah, 'll cut it off right there Great message and this is my way of sidling up to you at the podium as if we're at the actual award ceremony and saying We have a lot of questions and I love all of your messages and I want to commend you on your award I agree with all that you said regarding the call to action for LCIs, having a a seminar where people who are interested in becoming an LCI do not have to travel out of state That is great and I know I just want to personally congratulate you because I know that you fought hard to become an LCI

It wasn't the easiest path, but I am so very pleased to see you receive this award because I think you're very deserving You've only been an LCI for a couple years and you right off the bat just it was like you were shot out of a cannon and probably more so to me because that was my first introduction to you but I'm sure you've been like that maybe a lot of your adult life, I don't know, but you have certainly taken the horse by the reins and just really spread such joy and knowledge with the Smart Cycling program So a huge thank you and congratulations on this award We do have some questions for you if you want I would love to, thank you

Okay great Okay, so the first question has to do with your YouTube videos that you've created to share bike skills to a broad audience online Given the current pandemic and isolation everyone is in, do you have tips for other LCIs or bike educators, to share your knowledge at a distance? Absolutely The YouTube platform is the number two search engine on the Internet, second only to Google You want to use keywords with Smart Cycling

For example, how to stop quickly and safely Any of the keyword phrases that people are likely to search then just get on your bike and demonstrate it yourself Start a free YouTube channel and put the video up It doesn't have to be anything professional or fancy to be useful I am a YouTube influencer

I take seminars and conferences and they say make it a rant Make it passionate, be compelling, be authentic It doesn't have to be professional All it has to be is you sharing something useful Start the video with a compelling question that makes the viewer want to find out the answer

For example, if you're riding your bicycle and need to suddenly stop while going fast, do you know the quickest way to stop to avoid injury? Watch this video and learn the quick stop For example Anyone that has a message could do it You don't have to be a pro Here's one more question for you, Debra

What would be your advice to people that may be considering becoming an LCI, maybe who are on the fence? What would you say to those people? Becoming an LCI, League Cycling instructor gives you the credential, the confidence, and authority to make a difference in the lives of others of all ages Now, just as I got my LCI I was almost mowed down on the sidewalk by a seven-year-old on a bicycle I knew then that I would do a bike rodeo So in every community, in every demographic, there is an opportunity for change and to make a difference in the lives of other people So the parents are telling the children to stay on the sidewalk

Well she didn't even have a bike bell, she about mowed me down on the sidewalk There's a little bit more information to be had here before you send someone out on a bicycle like that And then there's the e-bikers that are flocking to the trail for the last couple of years They're going pretty fast They need education

Especially if you're part of that group and you can see that your peers are winging it, become an LCI Get the confidence, the authority, and the curriculum to educate people They'll ride more and they'll have a lot more fun because they will know the best practices and they won't be just winging it

Source: Youtube

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