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Updated: May 1, 2023

“Herstory” – Changing the face of local cycling.

Photo of Leta Highsmith, NCAT bicycle safety educator, League Cycling Instructor, and trainer for others getting certified to teach bicycle safety

NCAT is honored to highlight our Board Director, Mrs. Leta Highsmith, achievement of becoming the first African American Coach with the League of American Bicyclists. Through rigorous training and hard work, Leta spent countless road hours preparing to attain her goal. Coach Leta can now certify prospective students to become League Cycling Instructors through the east coast and beyond. Read her thoughts on her journey below.

"A few years ago, I took my bicycle out of storage and had it refurbished. Riding as a fearless kid was very different than riding as an adult, fully aware of what could go very wrong very fast. I took a Smart Cycling course to learn safe riding skills. This led to my becoming a League Cycling Instructor (LCI). Now I could teach safe riding practices to other people interested in cycling. The more I rode, I noticed that I did not see a lot of riders that looked like me. It is important to me that cycling has a presence in BIPOC communities. I can be part of that change. NCAT’s mission is to provide no and low-cost bicycle education to anyone, including people from our underserved and diverse communities. Teaching youth to seniors necessary riding skills so they can ride confidently and safely is also important to me. So becoming a League Cycling Coach (LCC) was my next logical step. I am proud to say that I am also the first Black female LCC. Hopefully, in time there will be more. Teaching beginner cyclists, regardless of zip code, is as essential as training experienced cyclists and active participants in local cycling advocacy groups to become LCIs. The work of advocacy organizations like NCAT creates a strong network of safe riders that will grow the cycling population."

We are grateful and proud to have Coach Leta available to our community for training, mentoring, and cycling instruction.

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