Last weekend, Plas Y Brenin - the National Mountain Centre in Wales - hosted the first women-only British Cycling Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership training course.
"It was a fantastic weekend, spent with a bunch of very committed, knowledgeable and capable riders."
Mountain Bike Leadership Tutor Paul Warnock
The women on the course were all dedicated riders from a range of backgrounds, with outdoor instructors and some club riders, as well as a cyclist establishing a bike guiding business.
The first day began with introductions to the scheme, before moving onto repairing chains, fixing punctures and other trailside maintenance. The afternoon was spent mastering track stands and testing core skills on the mountain bike skills course and pump track.
The second day started wet and finished even wetter, however the weather didn’t diminish the group’s spirits as they went out on a ride to develop navigational skills, leading groups of riders, whilst practicing emergency scenarios along the way.
Paul Warnock, the Mountain Bike Leadership Tutor for the course, said: “It was a fantastic weekend, spent with a bunch of very committed, knowledgeable and capable riders, who displayed an amazing level of motivation and good cheer in the worst possible weather conditions. They will all go on to make truly inspiring mountain bike leaders and amazing role models.”
As an entry point, the British Cycling Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award is ideal for anyone with experience in mountain biking, who is either working or looking to work in the outdoor sector, or simply has a personal interest in gaining all the information needed to safely guide riders in mountainous terrain and provide them with a great day out.
The Level 2 Award provides expert advice to enable riders to be confident as leaders in a variety of terrain, while allowing the freedom to tailor rides to suit the leader and the group’s needs.
The award covers all the necessary skills to ensure leaders have the assurance and ability to lead others in unfamiliar surroundings including the following main areas.
- Planning and delivery of rides that are appropriate for the leader’s group
- Leading techniques for effective group management
- Map reading and navigation for a flowing journey
- Management of accidents and emergency situations
- Equipment set-up and trailside repairs
- Core mountain bike techniques
The majority of the training is practical and takes place out on the trail in one of the best mountain bike areas in the UK.
Leading rides is about sharing your passion for mountain biking with others, so if you are an active mountain biker, keen to lead others over exciting and unpredictable terrain, then the Level 2 Award is the perfect starting point of your mountain bike leadership journey.
To find out more about the courses at Plas Y Brenin, please visit http://www.pyb.co.uk/courses-mountain-biking-qualifications.php.
To find out more about British Cycling’s Mountain Bike Leadership Awards, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/mtbleadership.