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Leta Teaches the Teachers

New Haven Coalition for Active Transportation (NCAT) Board Member Leta Highsmith is the first Black woman coach for League Cycling Instructors. She teaches the teachers, training and certifying new bicycle safety instructors.


During Black History Month (and beyond) NCAT celebrates Black leaders and trail blazers that improve the New Haven region and wider world. Leta puts a special emphasis on training and certifying diverse League Cycling Instructors to better reflect those who ride or want to ride bicycles.


Leta is proud to be a NCAT Board Member because of the inclusive free learn-to-ride and bike safety courses that NCAT provides to youth and adults in New Haven and the metro region. Bicycle education, safe streets, and connected bike routes are something that all deserve, not just those with wealth or political power.


Support Leta Highsmith's pioneering vision for the New Haven Coalition for Active Transportation with a Rock to Rock Donation.


Photo from the October 2023 League Cycling Instructor Seminar in New Haven, CT. Leta Highsmith, NCAT Board Member is standing in the center of the group. Leta teaches the teachers. She trains and certifies new League Cycling Instructors.
Oct 2023 LCI Seminar Class, from left to right - Colin Alina, Giovanny Santos (NCAT), Gail Ruscetta, Leta Highsmith (League Certified Coach / NCAT Board Member), Brian Monteverd, Phoebe Mrozinski, Laura Brown (Executive Director of City Plan - New Haven, CT)

The League of American Bicyclists (formerly the Wheelmen) didn't always celebrate diversity and welcome Black riders. In 1894, the League of American Wheelmen passed a "Color Bar" rule that prohibited non-white riders from joining the organization. Kittie Knox, from Boston, had joined the League in 1893 before the Color Bar was in place. She challenged that racist restriction by attending the League's annual meet in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1895. Learn more about Kittie Knox here.


Historical image of Kittie Knox with a bicycle

Free NCAT learn to ride, bicycle skill courses, and beginner social group rides start in March. You can find the class information and registration form here. The classes are taught by League Cycling Instructors, several of whom were trained by Leta Highsmith.



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