A new Mountain Bike Leadership Award has been launched to enable the most experienced leaders to take groups and individuals on demanding wilderness rides in the most remote corners of the country.
The Level 3 Mountain Bike Leadership Award is aimed at experienced leaders who are ready to take the next step and increase their scope for creating inspiring and long-lasting experiences for clients or friends.
Building upon the skills and knowledge gained at Level 2, the three day course develops the skills necessary for guiding rides in remote environments and on physically demanding trails of high technical difficulty.
The UK-wide award will be delivered jointly by British Cycling, Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling and has been designed in consultation with experts from the world of mountain biking and outdoor leadership.
John Mills, British Cycling’s Director of Coaching, Education and Development, said: “We wanted to give mountain bike leaders the opportunity to take their led rides to the next level. The Level 3 course is designed to develop very skilled leaders, who can guide riders through stunning landscapes and very challenging environments, whether they are doing it as a profession or a hobby.”
Reflecting the training format at Level 2, the majority of the course takes place out on the trail. Activities range from looking at appropriate leader positioning on exposed sections of trail, technical features, advanced trailside repairs and methods for developing attentional focus, to navigational strategies and how to deal with water hazards and other potential challenges in remote environments.
Alex Talks, a candidate who took part in the pilot for the Level 3 award, said: “The two day assessment process seemed designed to push the candidates to develop answers and leadership skills throughout, and focused on all areas – such as our personal riding skills, leadership and mechanical knowledge. Overall, the assessment has inspired me to learn more, lead more and ride more.”