THUNDER BAY, ON ---- December 20, 2013 –-- Lucas Johnson is celebrating his promotion to CAN-BIKE Master Instructor. Johnson is the first CAN-BIKE cycling instructor in Northwestern Ontario to receive this status.
Johnson is a cycling instructor with Safe Cycling Thunder Bay; a program run through EcoSuperior and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Over a 6-week period, Johnson completed 42 hours of training to become a certified cycling instructor. To be considered for a Master Instructor, Johnson taught thirteen additional courses and underwent rigorous skill and knowledge training over a two-year period.
“Even though I have been riding for years, CAN-BIKE made me a much better cyclist. I worked to become a master instructor because I want to share this knowledge with other cyclists in this community,” explains Lucas Johnson, Master Cycling Instructor. “More balanced transportation and mutual respect for all road users is very important to me, because they are characteristics of the kind of city I want to live in. CAN-BIKE is a small but significant part of achieving these ideals, and I am excited to be a part of it.”
As Northwestern Ontario’s first and only Master Instructor, Johnson can now train and certify cycling instructors under the CAN-BIKE curriculum. Previously, training cycling instructors was prohibitively expensive, as programs had to find funds to fly Instructors into the region and pay for accommodations.
“This is a big step forward for our Safe Cycling Program,” explains Adam Krupper, City of Thunder Bay Active Transportation Coordinator. “We need a lot more cycling education opportunities in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Having a local Master Instructor will save us thousands of dollars in training costs – and we can now offer professional instructor training to our neighbouring communities.”
National CAN-BIKE program coordinator Andy Wilson explains, “We are excited to have Lucas joining the ranks and to take on this role of Master Instructor, especially in Northern Ontario where we strive to educate those outside of the major cycling hubs. It provides a much needed opportunity for those in Thunder Bay and neighbouring communities, to become cycling instructors themselves, and continue the ongoing education between all road users.”
“Three years ago, there were no opportunities in Thunder Bay to learn how to ride a bike safely. Now, we have a program that offers courses for everybody, regardless of age or skill level.” says Stasia Starr, Public Health Nurse, Thunder Bay District Health Unit. “Now, we can even train our own instructors. When we talk about sharing the road safely, its programs like this that are making it happen.”
Safe Cycling Thunder Bay is a cycling education program run by EcoSuperior, in partnership with the City of Thunder Bay. The goal of the program is to reduce cycling-related injuries by offering cycling courses that help individuals develop the cycling skills and knowledge to commute and ride recreational in a safe way.
The Canadian Cycling Association's CAN-BIKE program is a series of courses on cycling safely and enjoyably on the road; it is oriented toward recreational and utilitarian cycling. The CAN-BIKE cycling safety program provides a nationally standardized set of courses that can be taught through a variety of organizations who are interested in education, safety and health.