Ride Guide Course

PMBIA RIDE GUIDE

1-DAY GROUP RIDE LEADER COURSE

COURSE CONTEXT & LIMITATIONS

The Ride Guide course is designed to train experienced riders how to safely lead, small group rides;

  • to beginner to low intermediate riders
  • on green and blue, single track terrain
  • in a “front country” environment, no more than 1hr away from emergency medical care
  • for volunteer club riders, community events or basic mountain bike programs.

Course Duration: One day + pre-course reading and worksheet (1-2hrs), totalling 9 hrs, including assessment.

DESCRIPTION

The PMBI Ride Guide is a one-day training course designed for club volunteers or local riders who wish to take other people on organized, group rides. The course provides the necessary training to learn how to organize a ride, beginning with a meet ’n’ greet, bike check and safety talk. Guides will learn how to assess riders skills, perform bike checks and warm-ups safely, allowing them to plan and execute a safe, fun ride.

The course will include an online pre-course worksheet, complete with reading materials to begin your training before we even see you. Topics such as risk management, class size and terrain choice will also be discussed, as well as a chance to practice guiding the group, to gain some feedback on your own personal guiding, risk management and communication skills.

Additional workshops throughout the day will also discuss the recommended mechanic and first aid skills required by guides, and how to find this training, if necessary.

The day will mostly be spent on the trails, riding bikes and learning outside. It’s a fun day with great people and also a good chance to get some tips and feedback on your own riding skills.

WHY TAKE THIS COURSE?

  • Learn how to safely lead group or club rides: There’s a ton of fantastic volunteers out there in the biking community who want to help out with local group or club rides. This course is perfect for providing the necessary training so you can safely manage and lead a group of beginner to intermediate mountain bikers, out on the trails.
  • Improve your riding skills: The course will mostly focus on Guiding Skills but will also review the key riding skills and provide you with personal feedback, to help progress your confidence and technique, while leading others.
  • Build essential leadership and confidence skills: Talking in front of other people can be challenging, but it’s a great life-skill that mountain bike guiding and teaching can help develop. Similarly, leadership skills, problem solving, team work and confidence skills can all be developed during this course, with a friendly PMBI Mentor.
  • Some key things you’ll learn: Guiding skills such as safety rules, class management and terrain communication. Risk management and organizational skills to run safe, fun group rides. Bike set-up and assessment, plus first aid and mechanics workshops.
  • Become more skilled, versatile and adaptable as a rider and as a person.
  • Have fun! It’s a day of riding bikes, learning and getting stoked!

PRE-REQUISITES & OUTCOMES

  • Completed Ride Guide Worksheet (available upon registration)
  • Confident riding at trail speed on intermediate terrain, including green, blue and “light” black trails.
  • A minimum of 36 months of mountain biking experience.
  • 40hr Wilderness First Aid Certification, or equivalent, recommended
  • PLEASE NOTE: Successful candidates will be eligible to work as a guide only, and will NOT be certified to teach mountain biking. Guiding students and leading them on safe, organized rides involves a very different set of skills and risks, then teaching people how to ride better. If your goal is to learn how to teach other riders, the PMBI Level 1 course is the best option.

READING MATERIALS & COURSE PREP: 1 – 2 HRS

Pre-course preparation is the best way to get the most out of the course, prepare and learn as much as you can during the course. Please allow plenty of time to read the materials and complete the worksheet.

RIDE GUIDE WORKSHEET: Candidates must complete the worksheet (at the back of the course booklet), prior to the course commencing.

This worksheet acts as your “written assessment” portion of the course. Please print or copy (handwritten is fine) this worksheet, along with your answers and submit to the course conductor on the morning of the course. Alternatively, you can email your worksheet to the course conductor, when you meet them on the morning of day 1.

RIDE GUIDE BOOKLET: This provides an outline of the one day course, including the agenda and summary of the key information and workshops presented during the course. Please read this booklet before attending the course.

To view these items, log into the Members Area (after you have registered for the course), go to ‘My Courses’ and click on the relevant course.

COURSE LOGISTICS

WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION, IF I’M TRAVELLING?
PMBI courses require minimum numbers to run and while most courses do run, some do not. It is therefore very important you do not make any travel arrangements, until the course is confirmed to be happening. Simply registering for a course is not a confirmation that the course will ultimately run.
WEATHER
Be ready to ride, regardless of weather; be sure to dress appropriately for conditions and bring spare clothes as required. The course will not be cancelled due to rain or hot/cold weather. Only severe weather conditions such as heavy rain (which damages the trails), heavy snow, lightning storms or extreme heat waves, may result in a course being rescheduled.

To view our Booking & Cancellation Policy, please click here: pmbia.org/policies/

TIMING
Please be punctual and arrive ready to listen, learn and ride! Plan your journey to the course location and if in doubt, take extra time to avoid being late. We will take up to an hour for lunch each day, between approximately 12pm – 1pm. Please bring food or money for food, depending on course location. Days typically finish between 4-5pm.
EQUIPMENT
For courses in lift-accessed, downhill bike parks (lift up, ride down):
Ideally, the PMBIA recommends a good working, modern “Trail” or “Enduro” bike with 5-6 inches of suspension front and rear, quality disc brakes (180 or 200mm rotors) with downhill or enduro casing tires (to avoid pinch flats associated with harder terrain and higher speeds in bike parks). Although not ideal, due to cadence and climbing exercises when practice teaching, downhill bikes can also be used on a course in a lift-accessed, downhill bike park.
For courses in cross country trail networks (no lifts, ride up and down):
Modern helmet and good working cross country, trail or modern enduro bike. Downhill bikes will NOT be suitable for courses held in cross country trail networks.
OTHER EQUIPMENT?
Instructors and guides must be self-reliant and therefore capable or carrying and using the following equipment. Please be sure to bring the following items as a minimum…

  • working phone
  • pen and paper
  • small backpack to carry these things…
    • spare tubes and patches/tubeless puncture kit
    • tire levers and pump
    •  multi tool and chain tool
    •  first aid kit
    •  rain jacket
    •  water & snacks
    •  lunch or money for lunch

GUIDING & RIDING SKILLS

Below are some examples of the guiding & riding skills that are developed on the course. Participants are expected to show a minimum standard of competency, in order to complete the training. Specific skill requirements include:

  • Prioritizes safety and guiding at all times.
  • Ride Introduction, with meet ’n’ greet, equipment check and safety talk.
  • Assesses skill level accurately and warms the group up safely.
  • Clear communication skills.
  • Chooses safe and appropriate terrain for student ability level.
  • Describes upcoming terrain and maintains a safe riding pace.
  • Manages class in both open areas and on the trail.
  • Maintains safety rules at all times and enforces them when necessary.
  • Consistent Position & Balance skills through the ‘Climbing”, “Neutral” and “Ready” Positions, combined with a good range of movement.
  • Consistently maintains an efficient cadence and straight chain line.
  • Can brake without skidding on loose terrain, using both brakes.
  • Climbing and descending on technical, single track (intermediate) terrain.
  • Banked and flat corners on various terrain surfaces.
  • Maintain chosen line in technical (rooty/rocky/uneven) terrain.
  • Front & rear wheel lifts – standing
  • Seated front wheel lift, using a pedal stroke (very basic wheelie)
  • Switchbacks – slow, tight turns
  • Basic mechanics: adjusting a bike to fit, suspension sag and rebound set-up, flat tires, broken chains, replacing brake pads, adjusting headsets, correct cleaning and maintenance.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

In order for candidates to successfully gain the PMBI Ride Guide certification, they must pass a basic riding and guiding evaluation during the course. Candidates must be comfortable riding all day long on intermediate single track, terrain, while guiding beginner clients safely on green and blue trails.

GUIDING ASSESSMENT: Candidates must plan and execute safe student introductions, equipment checks, warm ups, skills assessment and guiding a ride, on green and blue trails. A clear understanding of the Guiding Protocols (safety rules, class management and terrain communication), must be shown during the practice guiding sessions. The specific guiding skills are outlined in more detail in the Ride Guide Course Manual.

RIDING COMPETENCIES: Candidates must show consistent, comfortable and correct riding technique on green and blue technical trails, to effectively demonstrate the Six Skills of Mountain Biking. The specific riding competencies are outlined in more detail in the Ride Guide Course Manual.

WRITTEN ASSESSMENT: Candidates must read the Ride Guide Course Manual and complete the Ride Guide Worksheet, prior to the course commencing. The reading and worksheet takes approximately 1 – 2hrs and acts as the written portion of the candidates assessment.

Please read through the details below for information on common questions, before emailing us:

  • GENERAL QUESTIONS – age, first aid requirements, rain, never taught before, etc.
  • COURSE LOGISTICS – booking travel, times, weather, lunch, first aid requirements and equipment.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AGE FOR THE COURSE?
The minimum age for the Ride Guide is 15 years old. However, the PMBIA does recommend Level 1 instructors younger than 17, work with an assistant guide to help deal with any personal, first aid or emergency situations, should they arise.
DO I NEED MY FIRST AID CERTIFICATE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COURSE?
No. While the PMBIA strongly recommends all instructors be a minimum 40hr Wilderness/Outdoor First Aid certified before working as an instructor or guide, you do not need a first aid certificate, prior to participating in the course.
WILL THE COURSE RUN IF IT’S RAINING?
Yes, the course runs rain or shine. Mountain bike instructors and guides work in the outdoors. If clients want to ride in the rain or heat, within reason, the instructor or guide has to. With the exceptions of extreme weather and/or lightning, the course runs so make sure you are dressed appropriately and have spare clothes, if required. Spare socks and gloves go a long way on rainy, cold days.
WHAT RIDING SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
For the Level 1 course, you should be comfortable on technical green, blue and single black diamond trails. Be aware that these trail ratings are based off technical, B.C. trails that are often more challenging when compared to other riding destinations. For example, a Whistler – grade blue trail, may be more similar to a black trail, somewhere else.

Riders should be comfortable climbing and descending intermediate, rough terrain, with roots and rocks, cornering with speed and performing basic maneuvers such as front and rear wheel lifts, pedalling wheel lifts and small roll-down style drop-offs. For more details, check out the Riding & Teaching Standards, here.

COURSE LOGISTICS

WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION, IF I’M TRAVELLING?
PMBI courses require minimum numbers to run and while most courses do run, some do not. It is therefore very important you do not make any travel arrangements, until the course is confirmed to be happening. Simply registering for a course is not a confirmation that the course will ultimately run.
WEATHER
Be ready to ride, regardless of weather; be sure to dress appropriately for conditions and bring spare clothes as required. The course will not be cancelled due to rain or hot/cold weather. Only severe weather conditions such as heavy rain (which damages the trails), heavy snow, lightning storms or extreme heat waves, may result in a course being rescheduled.

To view our Booking & Cancellation Policy, please click here: pmbia.org/policies/

TIMING
Please be punctual and arrive ready to listen, learn and ride! Plan your journey to the course location and if in doubt, take extra time to avoid being late. We will take up to an hour for lunch each day, between approximately 12pm – 1pm. Please bring food or money for food, depending on course location. Days typically finish between 4-5pm.
EQUIPMENT
For courses in lift-accessed, downhill bike parks (lift up, ride down):
Ideally, the PMBIA recommends a good working, modern “Trail” or “Enduro” bike with 5-6 inches of suspension front and rear, quality disc brakes (180 or 200mm rotors) with downhill or enduro casing tires (to avoid pinch flats associated with harder terrain and higher speeds in bike parks). Although not ideal, due to cadence and climbing exercises when practice teaching, downhill bikes can also be used on a course in a lift-accessed, downhill bike park.
For courses in cross country trail networks (no lifts, ride up and down):
Modern helmet and good working cross country, trail or modern enduro bike. Downhill bikes will NOT be suitable for courses held in cross country trail networks.
OTHER EQUIPMENT?
Instructors and guides must be self-reliant and therefore capable or carrying and using the following equipment. Please be sure to bring the following items as a minimum…

  • working phone
  • pen and paper
  • small backpack to carry these things…
    • spare tubes and patches/tubeless puncture kit
    • tire levers and pump
    •  multi tool and chain tool
    •  first aid kit
    •  rain jacket
    •  water & snacks
    •  lunch or money for lunch

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