2021 Updates from the Executive Director

November 2021

Dear PMBIA Members,

First of all, we hope you’re doing well! This month we come to you with important updates from our Executive Director, David Gagnon, in regards to our upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM), as well as information for those who would like to apply for a seat as a Director-at-Large on the PMBIA’s Board of Directors.

2021 Updates from the Executive Director, David Gagnon

Due to the pandemic, 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenge for everyone. Rolling into the year 2021, the rapid increase of enthusiasts in the cycling industry forced us to make quick changes to a sudden growth in the demand for instructor courses. As countries looked into strategies to reopen their economies, our industry had to constantly adapt to the implementation of COVID-specific safety protocols. I would like to give credit to the entire PMBIA family who has stepped up to these challenges by contributing to the safeguard of all course participants and course conductors, while navigating the complexity of the fluid state of the regional and national restrictions. Our organization has proven its resilience and dependability with all our members.

Even with these challenges, we continued to make progress towards our established goals. In 2021 we’ve updated the organization’s by-laws, and we have continued to build on our successful partnerships with the PSIA, Whistler Adaptive, and conducted another Adaptive Module. To reflect the importance of sustainability in its corporate governance, this year the PMBIA created a Nomination Committee to oversee the succession plan.

For efficiency and better timing with the organization’s end-of-year financials and operations, the BOD has decided to schedule all future AGMs to the end of January.


2021 Annual General Meeting

Safety is once again the priority for our upcoming Annual General Meeting – so we’ve decided that in-person participation by the members will unfortunately not be possible. Members will be able to exercise their voting rights through the online video platform. Registration for the 2021 AGM will be opened at least 14 days before the AGM. The AGM agenda, meeting links, and packages will be distributed to active members once they register.

For the upcoming AGM, January 24th, 2022, the Nomination Committee is seeking 2 nominees with diverse backgrounds, competencies, and perspectives to contribute to the organization’s governance and growth. The priorities are:

* audit/accounting

* corporate and social responsibility

* corporate finance

* legal/regulatory

* risk management

If you are interested in applying for a seat as a Director-at-Large on the PMBIA’s Board of Directors, please visit the application information link below. Applications will be accepted until December 14th, 2021 at 11:59 pm PDT.

Application Information

On behalf of our executive management and our PMBIA community, I would like to thank you, our members, for your continued trust during these extraordinary times. The PMBIA has navigated the pandemic remarkably well, implementing the long-term strategic direction set by the Board of Directors, while taking care of the many pressing challenges of today.

Stay safe and happy trails, and #neverstoplearning

#PMBIA | #skillsbasedteaching

David Gagnon, Executive Director



Online Recertification Training !

Time to do your Level 1 recertification? We are asking all our members this year to re-certify via the Level 1 Online Recertification Program. 

Regardless of any courses or training you take, your level 1 re-certification has to be completed online every three years. This ensures instructors stay current with the latest teaching methodologies & information that specifically relate to teaching beginner to intermediate riders; which is still the most common student type within the mountain bike coaching industry. You can learn more and register below!

Register Now!

Share the Stoke, Share the Knowledge!

June 2021

Dear PMBIA Members,

First of all, we hope this email finds you well! This month we want to take the time to highlight some key insights of becoming a Level 1 Certified Instructor and some reminders for those who are already Level 1 Certified. The sport of Mountain Biking is growing exponentially, and it’s expected to grow globally by 10% over the next 6 years (source: Market Future Research). That’s huge! With these projections, we can anticipate a massive increase in beginners entering the sport. New riders mean more people looking to enter the sport safely & with proper instruction. Here’s where you come in:

Share the Stoke
Most people generally get into guiding or instructing because they want to turn passion into a career, right? We can say from experience, there’s an additional & incredible byproduct of becoming a certified L1 guide: sharing the stoke for biking with newcomers. Your shared stoke gets the client stoked, and it just snowballs from there! There’s a wonderful satisfaction you’ll experience when helping others achieve their goals. Seeing the “ah-hah” moments when a rider understands their body positioning or does a bunny hop is incredibly rewarding – because most of us have been there. We can remember the feeling when things started to “click” and the confidence that comes with it. It doesn’t just skyrocket your level of fun on the bike, but the sense of accomplishment bleeds into other areas of life. As an instructor, you get to be this conduit for success time and time again.

Share the Knowledge

Level 1 instructors don’t just get clients stoked on life, at the core of it all they’re teachers who have a deep passion for sharing knowledge. To assist riders in advancing and developing safe skills on the bike, you must be able to share examples of “dos and don’ts” and be able to clearly communicate riding techniques. We can’t highlight this enough: any professional instructor must have an equally present passion for teaching as they do riding. The Level 1 Certification will show you how much teaching is a skill in its own right and how to develop effective communication tools to increase your clients’ skills and fun on the bike! Once you’ve developed this skill, you’ll be able to more effectively communicate with your students and help prepare them to be better, safer riders.

Find your Level 1 Cert Here


Share Responsibly

It’s highly important to share responsibly and teach within your certification level. Code 5 of the PMBIA Code of Ethics states:

“At no point can a member ride, guide, or teach outside of their certification level while working as a mountain bike instructor. Each member must respect the limits of their training, knowledge, and experience, as per their certification level.”

What does this mean for Level 1 Certified Instructors?

  • Instructing or guiding beginner to intermediate riders
  • Sticking to green and blue, single-track terrain
  • Guiding in a “front country” environment, no more than 1hr away from emergency medical care
  • Small group lessons, ranging from 2 to 3 hr teaching blocks (a full day could be two, 3hr lessons)
  • Guide with an established mountain bike school, club or coaching service


New Online Recertification Training is Here!

We are proud to announce the Level 1 Online Recertification Course is officially here! For those of you who missed out on your re-cert in 2020 due to Covid related restrictions, we’ve given you an extension to recertify until the end of 2021. The online certification makes this easier than ever! We’re also happy to offer this course for $59.00 CAD.

Register Now!

Stay safe, ride your bike and #neverstoplearning.

Happy trails and see you soon!

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #skillsbasedteaching

PMBIA Membership Benefits & Sneak Peek at Re-Certs!

May 2021
Dear PMBIA members,

First of all, we hope this email finds you well! This month we want to bring you insight into your PMBIA membership benefits, as well as give you a sneak peek into the online recertification course we are developing (read-on for more on that!).

But first, what does being a PMBIA member mean? Simply put, you’re in a community of people who are passionate about the advancement of mountain biking skills, safety, and generally speaking, want to get more people on bikes! Being a member also provides continued support to PMBIA, and as a not-for-profit, this is something we are truly grateful for. Your support ensures the continued growth and development of PMBIA, its programs, and its position within the industry. So, if helping to grow this amazing sport isn’t enough for you, here are a few reasons to become a PMBIA member!


We all know mountain biking isn’t a cheap sport by any stretch of the imagination, so we have partnered with several brands to ensure you have access to pro-deals. This enables you to keep your equipment up-to-date and running well. Safe and well-maintained equipment is essential for any professional Instructor to perform their best during work (and look good!).

PMBIA members who are in good standing and have paid their dues will gain exclusive access to pro-deals from PMBIA’s partners. Pro-deals have both limitations (for personal use only) and certain expectations outlined on the pro-deal page. Some of the brands you can look forward to representing are Chromag, Stan’s No Tubes, Troy Lee Designs, Vorsprung, Transition Bikes and Anvl Components, Suspension, MRP, Raceface – Fox – Easton Cycling & Marzocchi and many more from our partner at IPA Collective.

International Recognition

It’s safe to say that devout mountain bikers follow their passion all over the world. This sport is so much more than, well, a sport. It inspires us, defines our communities, and spurs us to seek out the best riding, even if that means switching hemispheres. Being a PMBIA member means you have an internationally recognized certification, allowing you to guide or instruct from anywhere in the world. One Instructor Certification for one sport… no need to recertify if you travel.

PMBIA Instructor Training

Member Resources

The best instructors or guides know that to be a proficient and profound coach means you never stop learning. Continually advancing your skills, refining teaching techniques, and staying up to date with the latest information is vital to becoming a highly regarded guide or instructor. PMBIA members have exclusive, year-round access to the PMBIA Reference Guide, Course Guides and Worksheets, through our online member’s area. If you need to remind yourself of skills, drills, or safety procedures, or even continue your training and learning to the next level of certification, you can.


Job Opportunities

As the most respected and recognized mountain bike certification provider, PMBIA members are highly employable. Your future employer will know you’ve been held to the highest of standards to obtain your certification, as well as possess the latest teaching techniques and skills. This is an automatic win for your resume! Instructors can also seek employment from any of our industry-leading partners, through our Official PMBIA Supporter List. These companies are all over the world and represent the most senior, experienced providers of mountain bike lessons, camps, and tours in the industry.


New Online Recertification Training!

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, an adverse impact on the global economy, the cycling industry, and our ability to provide our programs. With the disruption to international and inter-state/province travel and business operations, many members in need of renewing their certifications may have been unable to find a recertification opportunity to keep their existing membership up-to-date as per our PMBIA Code of Ethics.

To answer this challenge and to better support our members globally, we will roll out a New Level 1 Online Recertification Training. This will adequately prepare Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 instructors to stay current with the fundamentals of teaching, coaching and guiding methodologies, and be accessible from the comfort of your own home. This new service will be available in a couple of months and we will inform everyone when it will be available. Until then, all members who are due to re-cert will be granted a grace period until the Online Recertification is live.

In addition to completing the Level 1 Online Recertification, Level 2 will have a grace period and will have to recertify using the Level 2 modules, same as in previous years. Level 3 instructors will be required to attend a two-day Level 3 module which can be used as a preparation for the Level 3 certification course and current Level 3’s will use it as a recertification.

More details will be revealed in the next few months so bear with us as we are working hard to upgrade our 3-year recertification programs.

Until next time, stay safe, have fun on the bikes and we’ll hopefully see you guys online or on a course, very soon!

Happy Trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #skillsbasedteaching

PMBIA Certified instructors

March Course Updates for 2021 and COVID Booking Policies

March 12, 2021
Dear PMBIA members,

This is an update to the previously announced 60-day booking window for 2021 course registrations.
Due to the ongoing updates with Covid restrictions and vaccines becoming more widely available and in conjunction with with feedback from members and future course participants. We are excited to announce:

!! The 60-day booking window remains active until the registration system becomes updated on the dates below: 



*Registrations will remain open until the courses are sold out or will close 7 days prior to the course start dates.
Please note that as the safety of our members and staff is the utmost priority of the PMBIA, the PMBIA reserves the right to cancel or reschedule courses in specific areas/regions based on ongoing updates to COVID restrictions. In these cases registrations will either be transferred to the new course dates or refunded in full at the request of the participant. For all other Booking and Cancellation Policies please click here.

Happy trails and see you in 2021,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #skillsbasedteaching #neverstoplearning

PMBIA Certified instructors

Course Updates for 2021 and COVID Booking Policies

December 12, 2020
Dear PMBIA members,

Normally at this time of year, we are preparing to release our full course schedule for the upcoming year. However, we can all appreciate that 2020 was not a usual year. As such, we would like to update everyone on what they can expect in regards to course schedule releases and new registration procedures for 2021.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused many scheduled courses to be canceled or have dates amended due to the many health and travel restrictions in place. Therefore as we prepare for the 2021 season, we would like to take this opportunity to share with everyone the updates that have been implemented with regards to the PMBIA course schedule and registration process. These new procedures are intended to help both our members and new course participants with their planning for and attending courses. In turn, this will also allow the PMBIA to manage registrations, credits and rescheduling of courses (if required) with the least amount of impact on registrants.

Please read and review the information below for all of the current updates. Please note any changes to these policies and procedures will be announced as required or as the situation changes.

PMBIA Instructor Training

Course Date Release:

New Zealand – The 2021 preliminary course calendar for New Zealand has been released and is available on our website. Please note that Level 2 courses and modules for the second half of the year will be added to the calendar in early 2021. In addition, Kids Modules and recertification course dates will be announced in the new year.

Australia – The 2021 preliminary course calendar will be released by December 18, 2020. This schedule will include Level 1 and 2 courses as well as Kids modules and Re-certification courses. Please note additional courses for the second half of the year will be added to the calendar in early 2021.

North America (Canada & USA) – Course dates for North America will be announced in mid-January, 2021. At that stage, approximately 80% of scheduled course dates in North America will be announced. Additional course dates will be added to the calendar in the first quarter of 2021.

All other international locations – Course dates for international locations will be announced by mid-January 2021. At that time, approximately 70% of scheduled course dates at other international locations will be announced. Additional course dates will be added to the schedule in the first quarter of 2021.


In order to best manage health advisories and travel restrictions, registrations for courses in 2021 will adopt the following procedures. Please note that if the “booking window” outlined below is no longer required we will issue an update.

ALL course registrations will now open 60 days prior to the course start dates and close 7 days prior to the course start date.

Courses will be listed on the PMBIA website “Dates & Registration” page based on the Course Date Release schedule outlines above, however, the registration link will only appear 60 days prior to the course start date.

Cancellation and Booking Policies:

Please review the PMBIA booking and cancellation policy here:

We ask that you only register for a course if you are able to travel to the course location at the time of registration. Please do not register if you are hopeful that travel restrictions will ease before the course start date. All course registrations are subject to the listed cancellation and booking policies with the following exceptions:

  1. COVID-19 travel restrictions or health advisories change within the 60-day window of the course start date (after you have already registered for the course).
  2. If you are showing any signs of illness at the start of the course, have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in required isolation due to exposure to COVID-19.

If these situations arise, we ask that you email us at as soon as possible. We will be issuing all registrants with a self-screening form, if you have any concerns about symptoms or your health please seek medical advice.

I have a credit from 2020 – What do I do?

If you hold a credit from a 2020 course that was canceled or rescheduled you will be receiving an email in January 2021 with a voucher code (if you haven’t already received one). This code will allow you to use your credit when you register for a 2021 course.

You will be provided with early access to the 2021 course registration for the course scheduled in the same location as you registered for in 2020. For example, you had signed up for a course in Bend, OR in 2020 you will automatically have early access to register for the courses scheduled in Bend, OR in 2021.

This early registration will commence seven (7) days prior to the general registration. You will receive an email when your registration opens with the early access code and details.

If you are unable to attend a course in the same location that you registered for in 2020 and would like to attend a course in a different location, please email us at at least 7 days prior to the registration window opening for the course you would like to attend. We will be able to provide you access to the new locations pre-registration.

The PMBIA would like to thank all of our members and new course participants for your patience and understanding in 2020 as we navigated through the pandemic. We look forward to your continued support and to returning to as many locations as possible in 2021.

Holiday Office Hours: The PMBI office will be closed from Thursday, December 24 to Monday, December 28 and again from Thursday, December 31 to Sunday, January 3, 2021.

Finally, we would like to wish all our PMBIA members and participants safe and happy holidays! Stay healthy and all the best for the New Year.

Happy trails and see you in 2021,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #skillsbasedteaching #neverstoplearning

Annual General Meeting – 2020

A message from your Board of Directors

Dear PMBIA members,

The year of 2020 was a challenging one due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it forced us to adapt to a changing environment almost every day. Yet despite those challenges, our organization continues to thrive and achieve its goals of delivering value for our members and increasing global awareness of the PMBIA.

In this milestone year (with COVID-19 safety top of mind) we’re choosing practicality over tradition. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held virtually, allowing access to so many more members. Your presence at the AGM is important to us. It’s an opportunity to float new ideas and tackle new challenges. As a member organization, our strength comes from the diverse perspectives of our member base and the ability to engage in meaningful dialogue. By participating in these discussions, our belief is that we all have each agreed to a social contract of sorts to uphold this gathering as a safe space for diverse (and perhaps differing) opinions.

We are happy to announce the PMBIA 2020 AGM will take place virtually from 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (PST, GMT-8) on Monday, November 30th. The meeting will be hosted online over Zoom. The AGM agenda is included below.

Meeting links and packages will be distributed to active members once they register. You can register to participate for free using the form on this page (see link below).

Please note that to participate in the AGM, all members need to be active (having taken a PMBIA course within the last three years) and be up to date on their membership dues. If you need to renew, click HERE to log in to your PMBIA member account.

If you have questions about the meeting or your participation, please contact

Annual General Meeting

Monday, November 30, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (PST, GMT-8)
(The Zoom call will be available from 6:30 PM)

Online over Zoom
Registrants will receive participation information and instructions.

Active Members have until November 25 at 7:00 PM  PST to register

Registration Form
Registration form:


Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon


We’d like to thank all of you for your patience in the last few months! We’ve had quite a few inquiries as to when courses will be back up and running in Australia and New Zealand and it’s been a challenge to provide a solid answer to that for a few reasons.

Borders closures (both state and federal), restrictions on gatherings and park closures have held us up from operating courses.

Each year, PMBIA course conductors travel from overseas to Australia in order to run additional courses, but obviously, that hasn’t been the case in 2020. Our Australian-based course conductors have been in lockdown and cannot travel outside of Victoria.

With the COVID and restrictions easing, we are hopeful that the borders will open up soon to allow our Australian course conductors to get back to doing what they do best. All 2021 course dates will be announced once there is a certainty that borders will open up.

Again, we appreciate everyone’s patience as we enter the summer riding season in the southern hemisphere.

New Partnership between PMBIA and PSIA-AASI, Bringing Cross Training Opportunities and Professional Development to Instructors

PMBIA PSIA AASI Partnership Announced


We are very excited to announce a new partnership with the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) who are the world’s largest organization dedicated to teaching people how to ski and snowboard. We will be working together collectively to assist their members to obtain continuing educational clinic credits (CEUs) in order to keep their certifications in good standing.

“The PMBIA has a deep knowledge and expertise in teaching, educational training, and pedagogy resources, which should prove to be extremely valuable for the PSIA-AASI continuing educational clinic credits (CEUs).” Said Paul Howard, PMBIA President, Chair.

“This partnership aligns with our core strategy on many fronts and can help provide both organizations mutual members the ability to expand their teaching expertise in the winter as well as in the summer months.” Said David Gagnon, PMBIA Executive Director.

“This partnership is a natural fit because our two organizations focus our education and training for our instructors on a student-centered approach,” said Nick Herrin, PSIA-AASI’s CEO. “This means we focus instruction on the student’s goals. The training and courses our associations provide help our instructors learn how to make the process of learning how to ski, snowboard, or mountain bike easy to understand and fun.”

Additionally, this will provide an opportunity for the PMBIA to grow its presence throughout the eight divisions representing different parts of the US nation and above all to learn from a well experienced and established winter sports organization.

As we start this new relationship we encourage all PSIA-AASI members to consult with their division to learn more about the Continuing Educational Clinic Credits and PMBIA certification courses and training that will become more available as the country starts its re-opening strategies.


COVID-19: July Newsletter

After many months of lockdown, the last few weeks have moved quickly as the world is attempting to re-start safely. As we move forward, we are observing a considerable amount of resurgence in COVID19 cases and outbreaks around the world which reminds us we are not out of the woods yet and we shouldn’t let our guards down. Let us use this as an important reminder to follow carefully the social distancing rules and to wash your hands, avoid unnecessary travel, wear a face mask when possible or recommended, and ride with people you know. 

Covid-19 is changing our world. It has brought people, communities, and nations together. It’s changing the way we live. In our industry, there are more people on bikes than ever. Mountain biking makes communities more resilient during these unprecedented times. It provides many health benefits, helps reduce stress, and allows us to take advantage of the outdoors. 

It’s no surprise the bike industry is reporting a steady rise in bike sales. Bike lessons and guided tours appear to be on the rise as well. We are also observing a surge in new mountain bike operators businesses and it’s our hope to see continuous growth in this industry. But we also hope the mountain bike operators are following the industry standards before conducting their business. 

It is an understandable desire right now for instructors to start teaching independently, but doing so without things like the proper permits, insurance, or tenure, will expose their clients and themselves at great risk. This is simply common sense and should be taken seriously by everyone. 

Mountain bike operators and independent instructors have a responsibility to use due diligence towards their clients and must ensure they have all the required certifications, paperwork, and processes, to do so. Clients seeking mountain biking instruction or guided tours should, in return, choose an instructor/guide with adequate training, insurance, permits, and experience before using their services. The health and long term sustainability of our industry depends on this. 

In British-Columbia a new organization was formed with the intention to facilitate the communication between mountain bike operators, the government, bike tourism associations, and insurance companies. The Mountain Bike Operators of BC (MTBO) is an initiative that will help address this gap and provide guidance for bike operators. Although regulations can vary in each country, we observe similar requirements operators must possess in order to start a legitimate business, all over the world. For more information on best practices in BC please contact MTBO

As it is challenging to follow the guidelines of each country around the world, we are committed to providing you, our members, with updates on a regular basis, that pertains to the global mountain biking industry. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us via email at

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

COVID-19: July 6 Member Update

Dear PMBIA members,

As COVID-19 situation evolves around the world, we are hard at work trying to balance our course operations while keeping safety at top of mind. The health and wellbeing of our members, course conductors, and participants is our top priority, and we will only operate if courses can be done with minimal risk to everyone involved. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we adjust to the different situations across the world. Here is a rundown of where we are at with courses in different regions.

British Columbia
With Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan being introduced last week, we have re-worked our summer schedule to update and reschedule courses within BC. Summer course dates are now up on the website and are open for registrations. If you currently hold a credit from a postponed course (in any location) and you would like to join a currently scheduled course please email us at in order to transfer your registration.
If there are course locations in BC that are yet to be rescheduled, we are working on course dates for these locations. These are likely now to be in the fall. However, due to COVID-19, we are cautious to reschedule course dates more than 2 months in advance. We will make another announcement as soon as we have our fall schedule posted.

Other Canadian Provinces
Courses are running in different locations throughout Canada at a reduced capacity due to some travel and operating restrictions in place in different areas. We have been able to reschedule some Alberta dates which you will now see on the website. In Quebec, we have also been able to operate some courses and we are hoping to get started shortly in Ontario. Please note that our numbers are limited this season and we do apologize if we are unable to run courses in your area. What we can promise, is that as soon as we are able to travel and operate again we will have courses available in all previously advertised locations.

Unfortunately with the COVID-19 situation in the USA, the majority of our courses are on hold. This is both for the health and safety of the participants on the course and the course conductors. As many staff and participants travel throughout the US to attend the courses we are limited with restrictions (both operations and travel). Fortunately, we are currently still able to run courses in Virginia and these scheduled courses are open on the website for registrations. If you were previously booked onto another US course (any location) and would like to attend one of these courses instead please email us on and we can transfer your registration.

Fortunately in Australia and NZ some, if not most restrictions are being lifted in many locations. Due to this easement, we will be releasing a course schedule in the coming weeks for courses that will be held in the next three months. As things continue to progress we will continue to release additional dates for the Australia and NZ Summer season. We’re expecting to release this schedule in mid-September.

All other courses around the world will be assessed on a case by case basis. However, at this time most will likely be rescheduled until early 2021 when we will all hopefully be able to travel more freely and without restrictions. Course participants on international courses should expect an email update on their specific venue location in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about an upcoming course, please feel free to reach out via email:, and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Click here for more information on the PMBIA Guidelines and Best Practices for Operating during COVID-19.

Again we would like to thank all of you, our members, for your kindness, support
and patience while we work through this together.

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

A Simple Guideline to Best Practices for Mountain Bike Instructors, Guides and Operators during COVID-19

* These guidelines are subject to change as legislation and situations continue to evolve *


The PMBIA has developed a set of guidelines and practical advice, to help provide guidance to mountain bike coaching, guiding & tour operators, during or after this COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this document is to assist mountain bike instructors, guides, and operators in adapting their business to operate safely, within the requirements of their local government regulations.

Furthermore, these guidelines are proposed under the context that in the coming weeks, many areas and operators may be allowed to operate mountain bike programs, such as lessons, tours, clinics, or camps. While some countries, states, or regions are looking into easing some restrictions, instructional riding (clinics, lessons, tours, etc.) should only resume in accordance with national, provincial, or local government orders.

By keeping a distance from other people, we not only decrease the risk of infecting ourselves but also decrease the risk of unintentionally infecting others. It is therefore imperative these guidelines be strongly considered if or when operating any mountain bike programs, during COVID-19.

This document is not intended to dictate requirements and should not be interpreted as a standard. It contains “informational” resources and examples that may be updated, revised, or withdrawn at any time. While thought to be accurate and functional, it is provided without warranty of any kind.

Operations and legislation will vary from area to area. Deviation from the information presented may be dictated by the circumstances of each unique situation and by the policies, procedures, and protocols of each individual area. Laws, regulations, and policies may also vary in different jurisdictions.

This document has been prepared by the PMBIA Board of Directors, Executive Director, and Technical Committee.


  • Before leaving your home, practice a daily self-assessment check, like the one below. If you answer “yes” to any question, contact your employer and seek medical attention immediately and avoid going on a ride.

COVID 19 Self Assessment Check
(Government of Canada)

1. Are you experiencing any of the following:

  • Severe difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling to breathe or speaking in single words)
  • Severe chest pain
  • Having a very hard time waking up
  • Feeling confused
  • Losing consciousness

2. Are you experiencing any of the following:

  • Mild to moderate shortness of breath
  • Inability to lie down because of difficulty breathing
  • Chronic health conditions that you are having difficulty managing because of difficulty breathing

3. Have you travelled to any countries outside Canada (including the United States) within the last 14 days?

  • Do not go on a ride or teach an MTB program, if you:
    • feel ill or have COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how minor.
    • have been in contact with a sick person within the last 14 days.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 25 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay informed and follow the advice from your local government and healthcare authorities.


  • Only ride within your local community. Do not travel to another community to ride, especially small ones, since they will have fewer health resources to manage patients.
  • Try to offer programs to local participants only, to avoid people traveling between communities.
  • Only travel with people within your own household, when traveling to and from trails.
  • Do not congregate in large groups at the trailhead at the beginning or end of each ride or clinic. Manage participants as needed.
  • Avoid riding in large groups. This will reduce the chance of transmitting or catching the virus while helping to maintain social distancing measures.
  • If driving and when possible, find a way to park your vehicle somewhere else than the trailhead parking lot. Ride your bike and meet your friends at a meeting point on the trail (trail intersection or special trail feature), where you expect no traffic and where no one else is gathering.


  • Take it easy and ride within your limits! This is not the time to have an accident and expose anyone riding with you to contracting COVID19 while providing you with first aid and bring further stress to the capacity of the medical system. Maintain this message during your MTB program!
  • If a participant/guest shows up with signs of sickness, turn them back home and ask them to seek medical advice. Report this immediately to your employer.
  • Take extra precautions if teaching children under 6 years of age in groups of 2 or more, as they will likely be challenged with distancing protocols and hygiene measures. Some protocols that can help ensure physical distancing measures are maintained when working with young children, include:
  • Only consider running children’s programs if you and/or your staff are confident both you and the children can maintain physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols, at all times.
    • If it becomes too difficult to manage physical distancing measures with any children, immediately stop the activity and focus on keeping the children safe and at least 6ft (2m) apart.
    • Stay outside when possible; give them room to keep their distance from each other. Be sure children are prepared and dressed for any weather, to avoid the need to go inside.
    • Small group sizes, ideally with children who already know or play with each other; can help reduce the likelihood of virus transmission if children are placed into groups within their own social networks.
    • Take regular breaks; tired children tend to forget rules and stop listening!
    • Practice physical distancing measures through games and drills; make it part of the fun to learn about how and why they need to respect each other’s space, during COVID-19.
    • Ask parents to clean and sanitize the bikes and equipment, before
  • Locate and inform your participants of the nearest bathrooms and sanitization stations.
  • Remind your participants, especially children, to wash or sanitize their hands after using the restroom, sneezing, and coughing, and before eating.
  • Do not shake hands, high five or hug! It’s tempting but keep that minimum distance and encourage course participants to do the same.
  • Be prepared! Beyond the usual tool and first aid kit instructors and guides are required to carry, we would strongly recommend including a face mask, hand sanitizer, and rubber gloves in your First Aid kit.
  • Do not touch another person’s bike, equipment, food, or water! Keep your hands to yourself and maintain social distancing measures at all times.
  • Guide each participant to perform their own bike and equipment check, before each ride. As always, this will reduce the chance of mechanicals and incidents during the ride, which may require you to touch their equipment or may require help from other people. If it’s children, communicate with parents to check their bikes are in good order and clean, before the lesson.
  • In the event that you have to touch a student’s bike to help set-up or repair, latex gloves should be used and disposed of, correctly. Sanitize the equipment as soon as possible.
  • Encourage everyone to wash their bike and equipment thoroughly after each ride. Remind the parents, if it’s a children’s program!



In the wake of COVID-19 and the new risks it now represents to both staff and students, consider how you may need to add to, check in with or revise your Company Operational Procedures. As an employee, ask your employer what changes they have made to keep you and your clients safe. As an employer, we’ve included a few simple examples below to help you begin this audit process, within your business;

  • Operational Procedures: Things like staff/student ratios, how you meet ’n’ greet clients, perform equipment checks, discuss safety rules, assess student skills or teach them drills, will all need to be reviewed with the relevant health and physical distancing measures in place.
  • First Aid Protocols and Emergency Action Plans: Things like first aid kits, tool kits, first aid protocols, and emergency action plans may now all need to revise. Will your Terrain Progression plan need to be modified to encourage staff to use a more gentle terrain, to teach or guide clients? Will your operation area/trail network change to further minimize risk?
  • Waivers: How you present waivers and what they include, may need to be updated based on your location and insurance provider. Can you do them online to avoid paper waivers, if your insurance company approves this? A discussion on students managing their own safety with regards to physical distancing, could be added to your waiver presentation and/or safety talk.
  • Insurance: Does your Commercial Liability Insurance Policy cover you to operate during COVID-19? Depending on your location and insurance policy, you may not be covered to offer mountain bike lessons and tours, during COVID-19.
  • Staff Training: What protocols or policies will you have to review with your staff and ensure they understand the importance both personally and from a liability perspective, should they fail to adhere to them.
  • Ethos & Community Support: Listen to and support your local community in these challenging times. Does the community need or want MTB programs if people are concerned about transmitting the virus? If there are very low or zero cases of the virus in your area, are people keen for MTB programs to be offered? Does the local MTB club need your support if they have had reduced funding for trail maintenance and development?

REGARDLESS OF COVID-19, if an instructor, guide or business does not have any of these items in place and chooses to still offer MTB lessons or tours, they are operating without due diligence and will, therefore, be significantly vulnerable to any and all legal action, should an incident occur; not to mention significantly lowering the standards of the mountain bike instruction and guiding industry.


  • Discuss any risk management and safety rules, under the next context of COVID-19, throughout your MTB program. Here are some key examples, to get started.
  • RIDE AT YOUR OWN PACE! Stay in Control! Fun, no pressure environments are key for safe, effective learning, while reducing the probability of a hospital visit! Both instructors and students must respect their limits and ride smart.
  • LEAVE EACH OTHER SPACE! Distance between each rider on the trails is crucial for safety and learning and is measured in seconds. While we typically recommend a distance of 3-6 seconds between riders, a distance of 6-10 seconds would be wise during COVID-19 to help reduce the transmission of the virus through heavy breathing from a preceding or adjacent rider.If keeping a line of sight becomes challenging, use adequate terrain communication and guiding protocols, to ensure students can maintain spacing but also know what terrain is coming up and where they will be going or stopping.
  • STOP IN A SAFE PLACE! When stopping, all riders must stop to the side, so the trail is free for other users to continue through. When stopped, maintain at least 6ft (2m) space between yourself and others, at all times.Finding an area or “pull out” to stop, so riders can maintain physical distancing, must be considered. Try to avoid narrow trails that do not have regular stopping points where riders can easily spread out and stand away from the trail.
  • IT’S NOT A RACE! Only pass a rider when there is at least 6ft (2m) space between riders when passing. Signal your intention, slow down, and wait for the other rider to provide sufficient space, before passing. Be kind and take it easy. If in doubt, do not pass.


  • Choose easy trails and make conservative decisions. Remember, easy terrain is ideal for skill-based learning. Plan your lessons accordingly.
  • Avoid high-risk situations (technical trails, jumps, drops, etc.) and focus on the simple act of being outside and getting some exercise, rather than pushing skills. Use drills and techniques to develop their riding, rather than difficult terrain.
  • Warm-up gradually… take it easy both physically and technically. Choose routes in areas that support emergency access.
  • Risk management is about knowing and understanding the risks involved with any activity you choose to do. Following these four steps will help your decision-making process:
    • Identification: know what potential and actual risks exist.
    • Assessment: how much of a risk each factor represents.
    • Prioritization: prioritize your risks based on the probability they might occur and the consequence should they do. If it’s unlikely and the consequence is low, you’re probably good to go!
    • Plan of action: manage the identified risks with informed decision-making. Be sensible. Plan ahead for a safe ride but be prepared to back down and change the plan if things change. Now isn’t the time to be exploring new trails in new places or attempting trail features for the first time!

While most mountain biker programs and training clinics are not considered “mass gatherings”, in our professional line of work, instructors, guides and coaches are required to work with others. This predisposition can expose individuals to infectious diseases like COVID-19.

Therefore, the PMBIA Board of Directors and Technical Committee strongly recommend the above guidelines be taken seriously, and as a minimum, if considering operating any mountain bike lesson or tour product, during COVID-19.

We further recommend these guidelines be tailored to suit the specific needs of the instructor, guide, or operator, according to the legislation and requirements within your area.

These procedures are designed to help reduce the probability of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, ensuring further safety for your staff and course participants, alike.

The PMBIA is committed to providing you, our members, and the industry, with regular updates that pertain to the ongoing success and safety of the global mountain biking industry.

Alternatively, if you have any other questions or concerns as a mountain bike instructor, guide, mountain bike school or bike park, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via email at

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon


COVID-19: May 1 Member Update

Dear PMBIA members,

We know a lot of our members are patiently waiting for updates and we appreciate your patience and understanding while we work hard to get you the most current and up to date information.

We’ve been closely monitoring official guidance from governments and health authorities around the world. As some provinces, states, countries have announced that they will be looking at ways to ease restrictions in the coming weeks, public health authorities are still advising everyone to practice social and physical distancing for now.

As the situation is constantly evolving in each country, province, state or region based on government requirements and health recommendations, we are reviewing the possibility to hold certain courses in locations where local authorities would allow PMBIA to run activities with precautionary measures. Unfortunately, many courses from May 12th – 31st will still need to be rescheduled. Participants registered on courses between these dates will be contacted directly with updates for their specific courses via email over the next 2 – 3 days.

In the event that a course you are registered in would run, our office will communicate the necessary prevention measures to practice before and during the course, to ensure the safety of both course participants and course conductors.

Rest assured that the decisions to run a course will be evaluated on a case by case basis; considering travel restrictions, travel required to get to a course location, local gathering restrictions, level of risks of contagion for that area, and other important factors.

For participants on courses that we have already had to postpone, we understand that you are waiting to hear for updates on these rescheduled dates. Hopefully, in the coming weeks we will be able to start reaching out to each of you with new course dates. The process for determining new dates is also dependent on each location and we will be communicating with all of you as soon as we can.

We are aiming to operate as soon as possible and we are prepared to take action to enable the participants to take part in our courses while contributing to the social distancing guidelines put in place by public authorities and governments. Our first priority is the health of our employees, members and customers. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions on your location please feel free to reach out via email: and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Again we would like to thank all of you, our members, for your kindness, support and patience while we work through this together.

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

COVID-19: April 4 Member Update

Dear PMBIA Members,

As the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress, we hope that all of our members, families and friends are staying healthy and safe in their communities. The PMBIA has been monitoring the situation and working hard behind the scenes in order to make the best decisions for our members and the community at large.

We recognize that the situation is extremely fluid and based on the current recommendations by local and national governments to stay home and stop the spread of this virus, the PMBIA has made the following decisions:

  • All courses scheduled until May 10th have been postponed or rescheduled. The participants on these courses will be contacted directly with updates on their specific course location and dates.
  • Members who are due to re-certify this year, will have until the end of 2021 to do so. Recertification is required for members who have not taken any PMBIA course within the last three years.

The PMBIA will continue to share updates via our website, newsletters and social media channels. We continue to work diligently behind the scenes to ensure the PMBIA remains strong, with increased programming and benefits for our members, as well as new policies and procedures in the wake if this changing landscape. Further details will be released in the coming days and weeks.

If there are any other questions or concerns please reach out to us directly at

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

COVID-19: March 23 Member Update

Dear PMBIA members,

It is our hope that everyone is both safe and healthy. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, we’re working hard to protect our staff and participants during these challenging times. We have postponed most of our upcoming courses around the world and encourage social distancing protocols as well as practising basic protective measures. We’ve also suspended all work travel except for essential personnel.

As we are forced to stay home and practice social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, cabin fever may begin to set in! While medical experts say fresh air and exercise are important for our physical and mental health, they advise us to do so with caution.

As the spring season rolls in, many of us are looking for opportunities to get out and go for a ride. If you do choose to go mountain biking and connect with mother nature, please do so with care. This is not the time to have an accident and bring further stress to the capacity of our medical system. With this in mind, we recommend the following practices to manage risk and ensure a safe ride for everyone.

  • Perform a thorough bike check – make sure it is safe to ride!
  • Choose easy trails and make conservative decisions. Avoid high-risk situations (technical trails, jumps, drops, etc.) and focus on the simple act of being outside and getting some exercise rather than pushing your skills. We’ll all have plenty of time for that later!
  • Warm-up gradually… take it easy both physically and technically.
  • Choose routes in areas that support emergency access.

Risk Management

Risk management is about knowing and understanding the risks involved with any activity you choose to do. Following these four steps will help your decision-making process:

  1. Identification: know what potential and actual risks exist.
  2. Assessment: how much of a risk each factor represents.
  3. Prioritization: prioritize your risks based on the probability they might occur and the consequence should they do. If it’s unlikely and the consequence is low, you’re probably good to go!
  4. Plan of action: manage the identified risks with informed decision-making. Be sensible. Plan ahead for a safe ride but be prepared to back down and change the plan if things change. Now isn’t the time to be exploring new trails in new places or attempting trail features for the first time!

We are following (and will continue to follow) all official guidelines and will provide you, our members, with updates on a regular basis. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us via email at

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

COVID-19 Precautions and Advice

Dear PMBIA members,

We are writing to you because we value the health and well-being of our members. As you are aware, there are outbreaks of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in many countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. It’s important that we all pay close attention to the information below and remain calm. We will be sure to communicate any changes in our operations to each of you, immediately, should this highly fluid situation change.

As a precautionary measure, we would like to share with you the current World Health Organization (WHO) advice on the coronavirus or COVID-19 illness. Note that this advice is being updated frequently can be found using the following link to ensure you access the most up to date advice and guidance.

Advice for the Public:

Travel advice:

Our courses and training clinics are not considered “mass gatherings”, but in our professional line of work, instructors and coaches are required to work with others. This predisposition can expose individuals to infectious diseases like coronavirus. Therefore, some precautions should be considered when working as an instructor or a coach:

  • Keep space between yourself and others
  • Limit close contact
  • Don’t shake hands
  • Avoid touching water bottles, bikes, bike gear or bike tools that are not yours
  • If a participant/guest shows up with signs of sickness, turn them back home and ask them to call their doctor

Here are basic protective measures from the WHO:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay at home away from others if you are sick
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care immediately
  • Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider

If you are travelling to a PMBIA training or certification, pay attention to travel advisories for your destination and practice the basic protective measures listed above.

We are sharing this information for the sake of transparency so you are aware and can help reduce the spread of infection. If you have any questions regarding scheduled courses please get in touch with us via email at

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon