News

PMBIA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

June 2022

Dear PMBIA Members,

First of all, we hope you’re doing well! This month, we’re excited to announce our commitment to and committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

As part of our mission to assist mountain bike instructors, guides, and coaches to deliver consistent, professional training standards worldwide, the Board of the PMBIA acknowledges that individuals from different communities and backgrounds have different needs and goals, and we are committed to working with and amplifying those communities to best meet those needs and goals.

To do so means to grow the mountain biking community equitably. We are looking for PMBIA members with an interest in DEI, and/or experience working with communities who face barriers due to race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, or any other aspect, to help us provide better training in the field of mountain bike instruction.

If you would like to be involved with the committee, or have thoughts that you would like to share but are unable to commit the time needed for a committee, please contact Virginia Solomon, PMBIA Board Vice President (Virginia@pmbia.org), or Omer Dagan, PMBIA Board Member At Large (omer@pmbia.org). Those asked to participate in the committee will receive compensation in the form of reimbursement for their 2022 PMBIA membership dues as recognition for their time and effort with this project.

Stay safe and happy trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #bikeskills #skillbasedteaching #pmbiaassociation #globalmtbstandard #mountainbikeinstructor #mountainbiking #theonlyglobalstandard

Photo courtesy of Hailey Elise, Squamish, BC

 

Online Recertification Training!

Time to do your Level 1 recertification? We are asking all our members 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!

PMBIA’s New 4-Tier Course Structure

May 2022

Dear PMBIA Members,

First of all, we hope you’re well! We have some exciting changes coming to the structure of our certification system, and we wanted to give you, our members, a preview before they’re live on the website. This is really important information for all of you to know, so we highly encourage you to read on, but also head to the website next week for more detailed information. The new 4-tier certification structure and information will be added to the website on May 15th, so this may cause some issues when visiting the website. Make sure you refresh your browser to get the latest updates and don’t fret, the website should be fully operational by May 16th. Okay, let’s get started!

Moving from a 3-Tier to a 4-Tier System

Rider – Javier Munoz Santos

As you know, we previously conducted a 3-Tier certification, and for 2022, we are officially moving to a new, 4-Tier certification system! This model gives instructors a deeper understanding of mountain bike skills and techniques while providing them with an organized framework of knowledge from which to teach. Together with the PMBIA Teaching Models, this enables mountain bike instructors to offer safer, more effective lessons to a great variety of students, than ever before.

LEVEL 1 BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE INSTRUCTOR
The 3-day Level 1 Certification Course is designed to train instructors how to teach skills and maneuvers to beginner to low intermediate mountain bikers, on green and blue trails.

LEVEL 2 INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR
The Level 2 Certification requires instructors to complete either the 4-day Air Instructor Course or the 4-day Tech Instructor Course. These courses train experienced instructors how to teach intermediate to advanced riders, on green, blue and single black trails. The Air course focuses on teaching in lift-accessed bike park environments, while the Tech course focuses on teaching in cross country trail networks. However, instructors from either course will learn the relevant skills to teach and guide any student, in any trail environment.

LEVEL 3 REFINED, ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR
The Level 3 Certification requires instructors to complete both the 4-day Air Instructor Course and the 4-day Tech Instructor Course, and the Kids Module. The purpose of this modular approach to the Level 3 Certification is to provide a training pathway that builds a diverse, adaptable and refined, advanced instructor that can truly benefit the mountain bike industry. A PMBI Level 3 Instructor will be able to work to a high degree of competency in a huge variety of mountain bike programs and industry positions.

Photo Courtesy of Hailey Elise

LEVEL 4 EXPERT SKILLS COACH
The 5-day Level 4 course is for very experienced Level 3 instructors wanting to learn the necessary skills and tools to transition into coaching advanced to expert riders, during long term skill development coaching programs. The Level 4 Certification Course trains instructors how to assess and develop the technical skills of riders on any terrain, up to and including black diamond and double black diamond ability levels. Instructors will also learn more about instructing vs. coaching skills, providing them with the tools necessary to either teach an expert rider on a half-day lesson, or coach someone over a weekly, monthly or even seasonal period.

The PMBI Level 4 (previously known as the PMBI Level 3, prior to 2022) is the top-tier certification in the mountain bike industry, akin to Level 4 Instructor Certifications in the Ski and Snowboard Industries. This course requires a mastery in riding and teaching skills expected from full-time, professional, career instructors or coaches.

Why are We Doing This?

The Level 3 course prior to 2022 was always designed to be a top-tier, instructor-training, industry-leading certification, similar in standards and degree of difficulty to current top tier certifications, such as the Level 4 ski and snowboard certifications. The new four-tier system within PMBIA adds a level of training and certification between the 2021 Level 2 and 3 certifications. This will provide a more progressive and attainable training system for instructors, while encouraging a more diverse training pathway to build more adaptable, skilled and relevant mountain bike instructors.

Important Information to Know

  1. Anyone who is already registered in one of our programs will be required to download the reference guide and course booklet once more, starting May 16th, in order to get the latest updates.
  2. We have added only minor updates that relate mostly to some of the colours used on some documents and the name changes of certain programs. For example, the Level 2 Trail Course has changed its name to Tech Instructor Course.
  3. Other than that, there are no major changes to the content of the courses, and anyone registered prior to May 15th will have the same course content and delivery. For any technical issues, reach out to info@pmbia.org.

 

Stay safe and happy trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #bikeskills #skillbasedteaching #pmbiaassociation #globalmtbstandard #mountainbikeinstructor #mountainbiking #theonlyglobalstandard

 

Photo courtesy of the Crux Initiative Society, Golden, BC

 

Photo courtesy of Hailey Elise, Squamish, BC

 

Online Recertification Training !

Time to do your Level 1 recertification? We are asking all our members 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!

The Story of PMBIA’s Founders: Part 2

April 2022

Dear PMBIA Members,

First of all, we hope you’re doing well! Last month, we gave you a bit of insight into one of our founders, Darren Butler. This month, we want to share PMBIA Founder Paul Howard’s story, as he transitions from the Board of Directors to the Founders Committee. We asked him to share a bit of his origin story of mountain biking and his involvement in the formation of PMBIA as we know it today. If you’re in need of an inspirational story about turning a passion for mountain biking into a career, read on!

Q: First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what’s your biking origin story?

I’m from the UK originally, the land where people have tea and cake after a muddy bike ride… oh, how I miss it (the cake, not the mud!). My mates and I started mountain biking at weekends, after school, whenever we could, and everything I do today was born from those good times! The freedom and fun of riding bikes and the constant progression of always having something to learn or get better at, still exists for me just as much today as it always has. We raced for a laugh, both XC and DH, and generally were just mad about bikes. If we didn’t ride we were watching Dirt, Chainspotting or Earthed movies… and usually with some tea and cake.

At university, (late 90’s) I started working in the summers in North Carolina, running a mountain bike school. I developed multi-week skills coaching programs and instructor training camps for new staff each season. I was at university studying Genetics, and then suddenly found this job where I got paid to ride and teach… two things that I’ve always loved. After graduating from uni, I gave myself three years to see if I could make a living from teaching mountain biking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. That was 21 years ago and I’ve never looked back!

Q: What’s your story with PMBIA? Some of the newer members might not know your involvement with the formation/growth of PMBIA.

Well, in a nutshell, PMBI has pretty much been my life’s work. I remember one summer in North Carolina when I was training new mountain bike instructors and thinking, why doesn’t mountain biking have a decent instructor certification program? It hit me hard there and then, that there was a huge gap in the market and I knew what I had created in North Carolina could be the launchpad for something much better and bigger. I worked hard for a few more seasons writing and developing the first PMBI instructor courses, which we ran through ZEP in Whistler in 2007. From there we worked our butts off to continue shaping and building PMBI into a professional, industry-wide certification program. By 2010, PMBI had its own website, its own social media following and we were running over 50 courses per year, all over Canada, the USA and Australia, and were training some of the top bike parks and coaching programs in the world. It was time for the next phase.

We started reaching out to other players in the industry to begin conversations about bringing everyone together to work on one certification program. That was always the dream in PMBI: to have one instructor certification for one sport. More consistency and more experts working together to make the system stronger. Working with Darren and Kelli from Endless Biking, with their MBIT course, was great from the start. They got it. They could see the big picture and agreed to come into the fold. Through this valued partnership, we turned PMBI into the PMBI Association that we have today. The courses improved, the team got bigger and it was a huge step forward for PMBI and for the industry as a whole.

As the President and Technical Director of the PMBIA, my roles have been both complex and varied, to say the least. It’s a laundry list of things that are too long to include in detail, but it’s ranged from writing the website, branding and uniform design, developing course content, managing the Technical Committee, training Course Conductors, organizing Board of Director meetings, policy and contract writing, establishing industry partnerships and MOU’s, and of course, teaching courses!

But like all these things, they’re always the result of way more work behind the scenes by way more people than most realize. The amount of time, effort and passion that’s gone into building the PMBIA into what it is today is pretty awesome. In addition to Darren and Kelli’s fantastic work, my wife Shannon has been integral from the start with her work behind the scenes with the finances, course scheduling and office/admin management for the last 12 years! David Gagnon, who’s now our Executive Director, but started as a Course Conductor and then sat on the Board of Directors, has been integral in helping to shape the new BOD manual and progress PMBIA into the next level of professionalism and effective governance. Then there are people like Ross Dunlop, who’s been running PMBIA courses since the early days… always loyal and plugging away in the background teaching quality courses all over the world. And of course, Sharon Watson, our amazing Office Administrator who’s helped the association operate at another level, as course demand continues to grow. And then there’s Kevin Eaton, our wonderful new President… and the list goes on!

Q: What would you say you’re most proud of in regards to your contribution to PMBIA?

That’s a tricky one. It’s been such a huge privilege to even be in a position to be able to do something like this for a living. I think ultimately what I’m proud of is not giving up and working as hard as I needed to, to make sure PMBI became the Association it needed to be. A big part of making this happen has been through cultivating relationships with the right people along the way. In this sense, I’m most proud of the people in the organization, all the work they’ve put in, the commitment, passion and sacrifices they’ve made to push PMBIA forward. It’s the people that make a business and we have good people, and this is why PMBIA is so awesome.

Q: What excites you the most about where PMBIA is heading as an association?

The potential! Every year we grow, we develop, we get better… but we still have not reached our full potential. That’s what has made me excited to work hard from day one, and this feeling still drives me today. Seeing where we are and comparing this to where we could be, is so exciting. And now, with a new Board of Directors and new organizational structure within PMBIA as Darren and I move to the Founders Committee, we have just improved our potential again! The new BOD’s bring an even deeper pool of more diverse skills and experience which increases our capacity to operate and develop like never before, plus all the new Course Conductors we’re training this year are going to be excellent. The quality and number of applications this winter were greater than ever, so it’s because of all these amazing new people that I’m so excited to see where PMBIA will be in another ten years!

Q: What’s next for you as you step down off the Board of Directors?

Pina Coladas and beach time!! Haha, no seriously, not much is changing really! I’m excited to just have one job instead of two. Being President and Technical Director was amazing and an honour, but seriously, it was too much! Moving into 2022, I’m excited to leave the governance and strategic decision-making to the fab new Board of Directors and pour my energy into one focused role as Director of Programs and Development. This is basically just a new name that better fits my previous work as the Technical Director. This role has three main components: Technical Content Development, Staff Training, and Business Development.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

Just a MASSIVE and sincere thank you to all riders, bike parks, bike clubs and coaching businesses who have taken our courses over the years. This is still the best way to support the PMBIA. We are here for you, we are here because of you and we can’t wait to see you again on the trails soon!

Stay safe and happy trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #bikeskills #skillbasedteaching #pmbiaassociation #globalmtbstandard #mountainbikeinstructor #mountainbiking #theonlyglobalstandard

 

Photo courtesy of the Crux Initiative Society, Golden, BC

 

Photo courtesy of Hailey Elise, Squamish, BC

 

Online Recertification Training !

Time to do your Level 1 recertification? We are asking all our members 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!

The Story of PMBIA’s Founders: Part 1

March 2022

Dear PMBIA Members,

First of all, we hope you’re doing well! This month and next, we want to give you a bit of insight into two of our founders, Darren Butler & Paul Howard, as they have transitioned from the Board of Directors to the Founders Committee. First up, this month, is Darren Butler, sharing a bit of his origin story of mountain biking and his involvement in the formation of PMBIA as we know it today.

Q: First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what’s your biking origin story?

I was born in Métis/Cree Traditional Territories (Saskatchewan), and a chance encounter led me to mountain biking, where another chance encounter led me to racing MTB, which led me to racing nationally. I then went to BC once and never left! I quickly realized I wanted to give back to the sport that had such a positive impact on my life. While living a professional riding career (freeriding & racing), I started working in advocacy, helped establish trails, clubs, volunteering, coaching and loved the coaching side. I could really help people out and have a positive impact on their life, which was having a positive impact in our community. A career-altering accident caused me to reflect on what I wanted to do, and I chose to teach mountain biking and attempt to help grow the sport into something acceptable, ‘normal’ and professionally run.

Photo Courtesy of Robin Munshaw

Q: What’s your story with PMBIA? Some of the newer members might not know your involvement with the formation/growth of PMBIA.

When Kelli Sherbinin and I started Endless Biking in 2004, we quickly ran into limitations and ultimately a lack of training available in the Instructor & Guides training area. So we started to train our own staff out of necessity. While doing this, we tried to revive and support an existing program that had gone out of business (CMIC) but after a year of effort, we just realized it wasn’t possible to do so. As we had to respectfully navigate the existing (past) programs, we started to build out training that was our own and this became known in the industry as the MBIT (Mountain Bike Instructor and Guides Training).

We then started getting approached by other operators, athletes in the industry, aspiring Instructors & Guides, asking us to offer training outside of Endless Biking. Eventually, we had an opportunity to apply to teach our curriculum at Capilano University. This was the catalyst that allowed for the real maturation of the MBIT. At the Interbike trade show in 2006, we learned that some of the major coaching operations were interested in coming together to form a unified body for Instructors & Guides. From meetings and collaborations that followed, we eventually brought the MBIT into the collaborative fold and merged with ZEP Techniques (PMBI) & Whistler Bike Park (DPI), as well as others, to help form the PMBIA – a new unified body that would bring together the best of these programs for aspiring Instructors & Guides. We just wanted there to be a standard, some consistency.

For myself, I was never interested in having credit for creating or writing ‘the book’, I’m more of a big picture & rising tide kind of a guy. I just wanted there to be ‘a book’, a standard to truly help the sport of mountain biking grow into something more sustainable, more acceptable, safer and more professional as a whole. I just wanted to contribute to the cause, to help bring it all together into one, what we now know as the PMBIA.

Q: What would you say you’re most proud of in regards to your contribution to PMBIA?

The growth and organization as a whole, the fact that it is now run by a really diverse group of talented people, rather than just a core few people. The fact that I’m no longer serving on the Board of Directors is amazing. It means that we have gotten to a place where the founders don’t have to be the operators, so to speak. To now have a BOD that focuses on decision making and guiding the direction of the association, without the distraction of also trying to run the organization on a day-to-day basis is awesome.

I’m proud of the MBIT’s contributions to the PMBIA too. I believe we’ve made things simpler, easier to understand, a bit less technical and keep things fun, memorable, safe and that’s a recipe for success as a coach.

Ultimately, for the PMBIA to now have a full time Executive Director, full-time administrators, a diverse Board of Directors of 7 smart and wonderful people, the establishment of a Founders Committee, a Nomination Committee and supporting all of this is a Technical Team of 7, a Course Conductor team of over 50 world-wide, plus a collaborative team of industry advisors and to know that the PMBIA training is now available in approximately 20 countries…the training keeps getting better every year too! That’s awesome and something I am very proud of helping establish.

Photo Courtesy of Gordie Rogers

Q: What excites you the most about where PMBIA is heading as an association?

The structure we’ve been building towards and overall sustainability of the association, on top of the training courses and materials that keep getting better and better. We have an incredibly talented and diverse group of people, who have great experiences and ideas that they are bringing forward. We are having some great discussions, as a whole, about where we’d like to get to as an association and why.

The team of people we now have in these roles are truly working towards making the PMBIA a better organization. More inclusive, more diverse, more accessible, more sustainable, more transparent & continually improving the PMBIA’s products and services to truly help the sport grow, in the right way. I’m proud that we now have these conversations about what this means as an organization and what steps we have to take to achieve these goals.

Q: What’s next for you as you step down off the Board of Directors?

I’ll be sliding on over to the Founders Committee and still contributing as part of the Technical Team. This will allow me to still be a part of the organization and contribute in different ways but not have the responsibility of trying to help run the association on a day-to-day or seasonal basis.

I will still be running PMBIA courses and staying sharp on the teaching and training side of things. This will enable me to stay in touch with industry trends and provide great feedback to the organization on the technical side of things. I’ll help ensure our content is modern, that it’s being updated as bikes and riders continue to evolve, as well as for Instructors and Guides and the pedagogy behind the training. I’ll be doing more mentoring as we foster the growth of future participants, existing Course Conductors, and new Course Conductors we add each year.

My goal is to continue to help establish the PMBIA as the global teaching standard for Instructors & Guides all over the world – to ensure it’s a well-run organization that continues to offer high-quality programming and is rewarding to be a part of, for our members, volunteers and employees. I really believe that the PMBIA is good for our sport, it’s good for the industry and it’s fun as heck!

PMBIA’s Newest Directors & Appointed Directors

The BOD has appointed 2 new officers, with Kevin Eaton as our new President, and Eric Tingey as Vice-President.

  1. Kevin Eaton: President (new)
  2. Erica Tingey: Vice President (new)
  3. Kelli Sherbinin: Secretary
  4. Shanon Howard: Treasurer
  5. Virginia Solomon: At-Large (new)
  6. Duncan Milne: At-large (new)
  7. Omer Dagan: At-Large (new)

Stay safe and happy trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #bikeskills #skillbasedteaching #pmbiaassociation #globalmtbstandard #mountainbikeinstructor #mountainbiking #theonlyglobalstandard

 

Photo courtesy of the Crux Initiative Society, Golden, BC

 

Photo courtesy of Hailey Elise, Squamish, BC

 

Online Recertification Training !

Time to do your Level 1 recertification? We are asking all our members 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!

Cycling BC and PMBIA Collaborate to Support Youth Clubs in BC

January 2022

Dear PMBIA Members,

The Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association (PMBIA) and Cycling BC are excited to announce their collaboration and partnership to support the youth clubs in the British Columbia area.

PMBIA, the industry standard for mountain bike instructor certification, and Cycling BC, the provincial governing body for the sport of cycling in British Columbia, are officially partnering to advance the development of NCCP coaches and PMBIA instructors.

Cycling BC’s SafeSport and Coach Excellence Policy helps create safe and high-quality learning experiences for cycling participants of all ages. Leaders attending and leading youth club practices and adult learn-to-ride clinics must carry National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) theory and practical training. This new partnership allows Cycling BC to acknowledge the skills and expertise of PMBIA Level 1 and Level 2 instructors and provide credit for NCCP outdoor practical modules.

Cycling BC invites PMBIA members to participate in NCCP practical modules (Club Mtn. Bike Skills) free of charge. The goal of this is to create mentorship opportunities for existing PMBIA instructors and connect our mountain bike leaders across the province.

Photo courtesy Ben Chaddock

“I’m thrilled to enter into this partnership agreement with the PMBIA. Our goal is to get more people on bikes at the youth club level, celebrate the expertise of our community members and deliver high-quality programs. Through this partnership, we are helping develop better-rounded NCCP coaches and PMBIA instructors by harmonizing each other’s strengths for the benefit of our community members.”  – Ben Chaddock, Cycling BC’s Head of Coach Development

“The PMBIA is excited to forge a new partnership with yet another industry leader. Working with Ben and the team at Cycling BC will enable mountain bike instructors and coaches to more easily benefit from the training of both organizations. Ultimately this will help create better instructors and coaches for the mountain bike world and that’s what we’re all about; raising the standard of mountain bike coaching so that the sport is easier and safer to learn and progress, for all ability levels. It’s a win-win for both the members of Cycling BC and PMBIA, and we’re pumped for 2022 and beyond!” – Paul Howard, PMBIA President & Technical Director 

“I’ve been in this coaching and teaching industry for over 25 years, and as a former XC racer, I learned so much from the racing world. As an athlete, the Cycling Federation helped me develop strategies necessary to perform on the bike, like long-term perspective, development, and dedication. PMBIA training programs have built upon and expanded that foundation, enabling me to transition from racing to coaching and teaching effectively. These two organizations complete each other. The industry will significantly benefit from this partnership by providing more tools for mountain bike professionals, developing a higher level of professionalism, and training well-rounded coaches and instructors. I’m so excited to see the results of this partnership!” – David Gagnon, PMBIA Executive Director

Photo Courtesy of the PMBIA

In recent years, Cycling BC and PMBIA members have pursued certification of both NCCP and PMBI credentials and are consistently satisfied by the quality of both programs.

Stephen Pilcher, a PMBIA Level 1 instructor and an NCCP Club Head Coach & Learning Facilitator, had this to say, “In July 2020, I attended the PMBIA Level 1 module in Whistler, BC. The three-day module provided the perfect amount of time to settle in, build confidence with the skills and lesson plans, and gel as a group. Practicing teaching in small groups up to 4 times a day, each participant could master specific movements and lessons, and then with the support of the group, play with variations.

Ashley Jones, PMBI Level 2 and Course Conductor and NCCP Club Head Coach adds, “Both certifications bring value to the instructor and coach role. The NCCP system focuses on a broader spectrum of training for sport and is especially useful for learning about long-term athlete development. The PMBIA focuses solely on developing MTB skills and teaching skills, benefiting those who lead in intermediate and advanced terrain. For our Cycling BC youth trade team, Instinct Development, our leadership team must carry a solid understanding of both areas.”

Steve Shore, PMBI Level 2, NCCP Club Head Coach says, “I found the PMBIA courses to be very relevant to developing skills for each session whereas I learnt more about long-term athlete programming in the NCCP module. Our club relies on coaches understanding both ends of the spectrum so being able to run an individual session to teach certain skills but also understand how each session fits into the longer-term picture. I found that the courses complement each other well to produce a better picture for improving a rider’s mountain bike skills.”

To learn more about the partnership, please visit the PMBIA section on the Cycling BC website. For additional inquiries, please email coaching@cyclingbc.net.

 

Stay safe and happy trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #bikeskills #skillbasedteaching #pmbiaassociation #globalmtbstandard #mountainbikeinstructor #mountainbiking #theonlyglobalstandard

 

Photo courtesy of the Crux Initiative Society, Golden, BC

 

Photo courtesy of Hailey Elise, Squamish, BC

 

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!

2021 Updates from the Executive Director

January 2022

Dear PMBIA Members,

We are pleased to write to you with the arrangements for this year’s AGM which will take place virtually from 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (PST, GMT-8) on Monday, January 24th. The meeting will take place online over Zoom as a Webinar. The AGM agenda is included below.

Zoom Webinar Registration links and packages will be distributed to ACTIVE MEMBERS once they register. You can register to participate using the following form: https://forms.gle/AeEyzaXvqUBoVcDo6

You must be an active member to attend the AGM. If you are not “current” with your membership, please consider updating your membership by accessing your membership profile to be eligible to vote and to support our organization.

If you have questions about the meeting or your participation, please contact info@pmbia.org.

 

Annual General Meeting Information

When: 

  • Monday, January 24th, 2022
  • 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (PST, GMT-8) – Online: Zoom – Webinar
  • (The Zoom call will be available from 6:45 PM)

Where:

  • Online over Zoom (Webinar)
  • Registrants will receive participation information and instructions.

Deadline to Register: 

  • Active Members have until January 23rd at 7 pm PST to register
2021 PMBIA AGM Agenda

January 24th, 2022 7pm PST    

7:00 pm: Welcome, Acknowledgement and Call to Order
7:05 pm: Approval of the Agenda
7:10 pm: Approval of the last 2020 AGM Minutes
7:15 pm: Reports

  • 7:15 pm President report
  • 7:25 pm Executive Director report
  • 7:35 pm Treasurer report
  • 7:45 pm Tech committee report

8:00 pm New Business

  • Resolution to approve: “Membership fees Increase”
  • Announcing and welcoming newly elected directors

8:15 pm Adjournment
8:15 pm Members Q&A
8:30 pm Closing

Read AGM Notice In Full

 

Stay safe and happy trails,

The PMBIA Team

#PMBIA | #bikeskills #skillbasedteaching #pmbiaassociation #globalmtbstandard #mountainbikeinstructor #mountainbiking #theonlyglobalstandard

 

 

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!

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!

Pro-Deals

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,

REGISTRATION UPDATE: 
 
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: 

ALL CANADIAN COURSE REGISTRATION WILL OPEN MARCH 19th 2021
 
ALL U.S.A. COURSE REGISTRATION WILL OPEN MARCH 22nd 2021

 

*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.


Registrations:

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: https://pmbia.org/policies/

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 info@pmbia.org 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 info@pmbia.org 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 info@pmbia.org.

Annual General Meeting

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

Where
Online over Zoom
Registrants will receive participation information and instructions.

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

Registration Form
Registration form: https://forms.gle/qwnKco98N6t93yPS8

 

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

UPDATE ON COURSES IN AUSTRALIA

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

PMBIA AASI AASSI Logos

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 admin@mtboperatorsofbc.com

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 info@pmbia.org.

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 info@pmbia.org 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.

USA
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 info@pmbia.org and we can transfer your registration.

AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
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.

OTHER INTERNATIONAL LOCATIONS
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: info@pmbia.org, 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 *

PURPOSE & BACKGROUND

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.

 

  1. PRACTICING DAILY HYGIENE & HEALTH ASSESSMENTS
  • 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.

 

  1. TRAVELING TO/FROM THE TRAILS
  • 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.

 

  1. GENERAL GUIDELINES DURING COVID-19
  • 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!

 

  1. BUSINESS/OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES AUDIT DURING COVID-19

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.

 

  1. SAFETY RULES DURING COVID-19
  • 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.

 

  1. RISK MANAGEMENT DURING COVID-19
  • 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 info@pmbia.org.

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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: info@pmbia.org 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 info@pmbia.org.

Sincerely yours,

Signatures of Paul Howard and David Gagnon