Introducing Andrea Aponte!
Updated: May 17, 2022
I'm a native of Lima, Peru who's been residing in Southern California for 25 years. I've been navigating the streets of Los Angeles by bicycle since 2004. I received my Cycling Instructor Certification (LCI #4511) in 2014 and have been teaching regularly since then. I teach a variety of courses (in English and Spanish)- from beginner classes for adults and children learning how to ride a bike for the first time, to on-road traffic skills classes for intermediate and advanced riders.
I work in conjunction with nonprofits and organizations such as Sustainable Streets, Santa Monica Spoke, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and Metro Los Angeles (BEST classes).
I started my bicycle career at the Santa Monica Bike Center when the facility first opened its doors in 2011. There I worked my way up from the front register to General Manager. During the five years I spent there I worked closely with Santa Monica city officials in the Transportation and Community Development Division in order to help the city achieve its sustainability goals. We organized many community events together.
My educational journey to becoming a confident city cyclist provided a path to foster my passion for the environment. I'm an advocate for active transportation and a feminist, hoping to inspire more women to ride bicycles.
LACBC and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are working in partnership to bring bicycle encouragement programing to middle school students in the form of student led bicycle clubs. By introducing the benefits of bicycling at an earlier age, we hope to cultivate the next generation of bicyclists to see riding as a meaningful alternative mode of transportation that is healthy, affordable, equitable, good for the environment, and fun.
My role as the LAUSD Bike Club Coordinator helps set up new after school Bike Clubs in schools across LA County. I co-create lesson plans and assessment tools to ensure the students are getting lots of critical bike safety education and having fun too! I also coordinate repairs the bike fleets need. Finally, I teach in person and online.
My favorite part about teaching the kids is the joy it brings them to be on a bike, as well as seeing their growth as they learn more and build their confidence in their skills.
There are a lot of elements that have to come together in order to make the program come to life, but one of the challenges is all the coordination and red tape that's associated with working with LAUSD. We have great advocates within the school district though, and we rely on them to get our ideas approved. We focus on our common goal of getting the kids on bikes and have weekly meetings which ensure our communication is solid.
We are offering online Bike Club for students who are continuing to learn remotely. We're also expanding and starting new Bikes Clubs in new schools, engaging parents with weekend sessions, and expanding the program into summer school.
Sign up for our newsletter for updates on this program and be on the lookout for weekend events for parents and kids!