British cycling mountain bike leadership Archives - Wye MTB

Autumn delivery of British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership courses

Here at WyeMTB we have an action packed Autumn delivering all the levels of BC Mountain Bike Leadership – with some new dates!

****NEW COURSE FOR 2021***** Fundamentals in MTB Leadership – perfect for people starting out in the MTB Leadership world.  This award is ideal for anyone who either works in the outdoor sector, volunteers at a club or has a personal interest in gaining additional mountain bike skills  Training and assessment is over the one weekend.
25-26 November – spaces
15-16 December – spaces

Level 2 MTB – Training 
9-10 October –  Book the last space now!
18-19 October – NEW DATE
29-30 November – Limited spaces available
6-67 December – NEW DATE

Level 2 MTB Assessment
8 November – Spaces available
21 November – Book the last space now!
13 December – NEW DATE

L3 MTB Training
FULLY BOOKED
We are currently planning our 2022 calendar, if you wish to attend the L3 training that we will be delivering in January, then please contact us at hello@wyemtb.co.uk to secure a place.

L3 MTB Assessment
21-22 Sept – Book the last space now!
1-2 December – NEW DATE

If you are unsure you are ready for the assessment, then drop us an email with your number and David will give you a call to discuss this with you.

Mountain bike guided ride.
High in the Black Mountains, South Wales


Add a different dimension to your leadership and train as a British Cycling Night MTB Leader. 
Useful CPD and lots of fun!


Night Leader Training

8 October – Book the last space now!
12 November – Spaces
3 December – Spaces

Night Leader Assessment
19 November – Limited spaces available
17 December – Spaces
Book a course here


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Night riding – why I love it!

Whenever you see images of mountain biking it seems to be of people riding on one of those endless summer days. You know the ones, those long leisure hours on the saddle with the panoramic views.  I love those rare days, but guess what?  I love riding in winter just as much!  ‘Come again?’ you say.  ‘I have two words for you….night riding’.

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership award

With the nights drawing in by late afternoon,to keep up your evening mid-week ride, then you have to ride in the dark.  Some regular mountain bikers have never tried it, and in my opinion, they are missing out.

Some of my best riding memories is heading to my local trail centre in the Forest of Dean to meet some mates in the pitch black. There is a chill in the air, so faff is kept to a minimum. We switch on our bike and helmet lights and head off into the blackness of the forest.

The ground is rock hard, and even the Blue graded trail which I would only normally ride with my youngest child in tow, has a magic-ness to it. The riding is quick, the rest stops are brief and chatter is kept to a minimum as we are all lulled into the silence of the woods.  

Your whole world is just within that beam of light.  As I said before, Magic.

Want to give night riding a go? A few pointers;

  • Bike lights (decent ones) are NOT cheap, but some bike shops/trail centres rent them out. Failing that, we all have that one friend who upgrades everything every year, show them an article on the new, must-have light and offer to take their old one off them for a good price!
  • Don’t ride alone.  There are a lot of group rides out there that you can tag on to.  I offer monthly night guided rides (last Thursday of the month) throughout the winter starting from Pedalabikeaway, Forest of Dean.  We ride and then have a curry and pint afterwards.  It’s like the perfect night out
  • Chuck a survival blanket in your rucksack. If you or your friend have an off, then you all can get very cold, very quickly.
  • Ride trails that you know and are well within your capability. They feel so different from daytime anyway, but you have the comfort of knowing where the exit points are in case you need to bail.
  • Don’t be scared of those reflective eyes you see staring at you through the trees. They are far more startled to see you.

 Are you a British Cycling MTB Leader?:-  fancy a bit of CPD to upskill you to lead night riding?  Then click here for information on our British Cycling Leadership courses including a specific Night Riding module for qualified leaders

British cycling Night Rider Leaders award

Covid-19 – The unlock

Covid 19  – THE UNLOCK

If official, we have now had the green light from Forestry England that we can offer Mountain bike coaching and guided rides in the Forest of Dean.

In our last Blog we explained we would use a 5 step process to unlock the business. Today we can announce we have jumped to Step 2.5, but what does that mean?

Step 1:

Forestry England have given us the go ahead for these sessions to return 


Step 2:

Forestry England have given us the go ahead for these sessions to return 


Step 3:

  • Mountain bike educational courses and the British Cycling Leadership scheme will be introduced, these courses will run from Pedalabikeaway from the 6th July, Once Visit Wales have given more guidance on accomodation and lifting of their restrictions, we will review and start running courses in Wales again.

British Cycling have now given us the go ahead to run Leadership courses, but as the majority of Wales accomodation is still shut we will be running MTB leadership courses from Pedalabikeaway


Step 4:

  • Vehicle assisted Mountain bike Guided Rides, we still feel we are not able to offer these trips. This is based on the current government guidance. We plan to review this monthly, but for now they are postponed.
  • Mountain Bike Holidays: as with Step 4 we do not feel we can offer this yet due to Covid-19. We do have some very exciting news which is based around the Sun, Sea and amazing off grid riding BUT you will have to wait and see what that is. 

Step 5:

  • Mountain Bike Holidays: as with Step 4 we do not feel we can offer this yet due to Covid-19. We do have some very exciting news which is based around the Sun, Sea and amazing off grid riding BUT you will have to wait and see what that is. 
Remote Guiding before the Lock down…. Who wants some of this?
Coaching and Leadership

You guys have been amazing and the majority of you decided to postpone your sessions with us. We are now in the process on contacting each and everyone of you to rearrange your sessions.

All mountain bike coaching sessions are open and can be booked All traditional guided rides are now bookable
All Mountain bike leadership courses can also now be booked
We will be running all these courses with lower numbers, so please book quickly.

As you can imagine this is a huge task and we will inevitably miss a couple of emails, to ensure we reach out to everyone, could we ask a favour?

‘Could you please email us the course we postponed including the date and we will try our upmost to get you onto a date which suits you.’

We are so grateful for all the support you have given us through this tough time and we are 100% focused to returning the good will and getting courses up and running as fast as we can. The office team are busy moving the rest of the 2020 calendar around to bring back your favourite coaching sessions, some new ones E-Flow, add in some new guided rides and hopefully very soon announce some new developments.
 
Loving the new Madison Kit

Fodders Academy

We will be running our Fodders Academy this summer!!! The 1st session will be the 14th July and a further 5 sessions are currently planned to run every Tuesday 10am – 15:00

Fodders Academy is the next step of your young rippers development to becoming a self reliant mountain biker and also the perfect step once they have completed Little Fodders pathway. Starting age for Fodders Academy is 10 years olds and the young person should have a good understanding of the core skills of mountain biking – THIS IS NOT A BEGINNERS GROUP, sorry

There is a maximum of five participants for the session.

This coaching session is 5 hours in duration, starting at 10 am, but please be ready to ride at 9.45 am.

Kids coaching sessions

Covid – 19 and unlocking our business

Covid 19 

As we approach week 11 of Covid – 19 restrictions we are starting to wonder, just how long will this last? Emails have starting to land asking the same question. Hopefully this blog will answer some of the queries.

One thing is definite, just as soon as we are allowed to open we will, our coaching, guiding and educational workforce are super keen to get going.

England, Wales and Scotland have taken the decision to adopt different strategies on how their countries will ease restrictions. Currently England are allowing people to travel for exercise, attend gatherings of no more than 5 people and take part in a wider range of sports. Wales and Scotland however are more courteous and have decided to keep tighter restrictions in place for a further 3 weeks. Visit Wales current policy is #VisitWalesLater, so please respect that.

This makes our lives really hard as as small business. We operate in both England and Wales, but we believe we now have a plan of how we will start to unlock the business which is considerate to all parties involved.

Firstly we wanted to thank all the clients who had bookings with us during this period and who have volunteered to transferred their bookings to dates later in the year and for the people we refunded, we hope to see you sometime in 2020. All your kind words on the phone and over emails have been amazing and truly humbling, Thanks so much.

Mountain bike coaching Finding your feet: - The Core Skills
Group Mountain bike coaching session, based from Pedalabikeaway

The Plan

The majority of our coaching courses happen from Pedalabikeaway in the Forest of Dean. The woods are owned and managed by Forestry England, and currently no outdoor operator is authorised to use their land for outdoors sports, however we are very hopefully this will reviewed in the next couple of weeks.

This will mean we will start the process of bring the business back on line. Sadly we do not have any fixed dates, but as soon as we do we will be shouting about it. We have a 5 step approach:

Step 1:

  • 1 to 1 coaching sessions and coaching sessions with 2 people from the same house hold e.g. Father and Son
  • 1:1 Guided rides based from Pedalabikeaway and around Forest of Dean and same house hold family guided rides

Step 2:

  • Open group sessions. We will follow current government guidance and restrict these sessions to 1: 5 ratio
  • Open group guided rides. These WILL NOT be vehicle assisted guided rides but a more traditional style, so you will have to pedal up some hills. More information will follow with regards to these trips

Step 3:

  • Mountain bike educational courses will be introduced, these courses will run from Pedalabikeaway at first, but once Visit Wales have given more guidance in 3 weeks we will advertise more courses in Wales if we feel we can meet all the demands of the Covid-19 guidelines

Step 4:

  • Vehicle assisted guided rides. This will be the return to our classic 1 day adventures across Wales:  Wye Valley off Piste, The Black Bomb and the Brecon Epic

Step 5:

  • Multi day mini adventures. Some exciting news about these products will be released in due course
Guide ride Wales, MTB adventures across wales, MTB guides, South wales trips, MTb adventures,
Mountain bike guided ride, Wales

YouTube Channel

Our new How To Videos are now live on our You Tube channel.

We have decided over this period to produce a series of videos to help with all things mountain biking.

The 1st episode is all about: How to Check, Fit and Store a mountain bike helmet.

Tyre inserts, what are they all about? Check out Joe giving a full down load of what they are

Mobile phones and Mountain Biking

The use of the Mobile phones in Mountain Biking

I remember sitting in a GCSE English lesson many years ago. Our teacher had asked us to debate the increase of technology in the outdoors, at this point in time I was keen mountain biker and kayaker and saw no reason why technology should be in the natural environment. We had been given a paper to read and use it as evidence to base our discussions around. The paper was written by a new company called Vodaphone, yes it was that long ago! Vodaphone at that time believed that you would at some point in the future make a phone call from the top of Snowdon……. As if that would ever happen I thought!

Jump forward 24 years and things have changed a lot with the mobile phone industry, voice calls have been surpassed with video calling, apps keep the world informed of your every move and we are now able to take and record high resolution photos and video and share it from Snowdon and most mountain tops across the UK.

So what has this meant for WyeMTB as a mountain bike coaching, guiding and British Cycling Mountain bike leadership delivery centre?

Mountain Bike Coaching.

Mountain Bike Coaching
Mountain bike coaching session in the Forest of Dean

The increase in the apps which our phones can use is incredible. We run weekly mountain bike group coaching sessions in the Forest of Dean and bespoke mountain bike coaching 1:1 sessions throughout the week all based from Pedalabikeaway trail centre. Years ago we would rely on watching a client complete a set skill, a drop off as a example and give them verbal feedback on how to improve, we would call this ‘hot feedback’ but the coaching industry has proven lots of key information can be missed with this type of simple observation.

On our MTB coaching sessions, we now try to utilise the phone to capture a small video clips observing the client completing the skill. There are a host of apps which allow us to record and then play back the skill being performed. This is great and really allows the client to see themselves competing the skill in real time and allows our MTB coaching staff to slow the video down giving accrete coaching points. Once the mountain bike session is over these videos can be shared with the client who can review them at a later date and time.

Mountain Bike Guiding.

The increase of social media in society has meant that people like to document what mountain bike adventures they have been on. Our mountain bike guided rides across Wales have led us to increase our skills of documenting the days adventure and sharing with the clients and also sharing content on our social media channels. Remember if it’s not on Instagram it never happened 😉

Its really funning to see the change, years ago our phones could only provide use with basic features and definitely didn’t have the capabilities to take a photo, but now the phone is capable of taking pictures close to the quality of a basic DSLR camera. Even an armature can point and shoot and get a reasonable picture, I fall into this category. At the end of the guided ride clients are keen to grab the photos and videos off our mountain bike guides so they can share and reflect on their mountain bike adventure with us in Wales.

Madison, Whyte Bikes, Guided ride, South Wales, Guiding cross Wales
Sam descending as part of our Black Mountains Guided Ride

Being able to perform our jobs as a high-end mountain bike guides, lead groups down technical and remote terrain, ensure they are all safe and enjoying themselves, meeting deadlines throughout the day e.g. lunch and pick ups and capturing all of this on the phone is a true juggling act. During our British Cycling Mountain bike leadership training courses we do not talk or discuss this juggling act, so where do you learn it? Well, on the job!

British Cycling Mountain Bike leadership courses

Lets be far, our phones have evolved somewhat from the Nokia 1610, the phones which we carry around in our mountain bike guide packs are more like minicomputers. Each phone is set up to the desires and needs of their owners. My phone has lots of apps based around the environment, weather, social media and navigational app’s. Over the years as the technology within the phone has increased so too has my understanding of what they are capable off.

The biggest development I have seen with the app’s is through navigation, our 1st encounter with phone navigation was ‘View ranger’ a company which allowed you to purchase tiles of OS maps from areas which you were working in. For the first time ever, we could have the whole of the UK in scale 1:25k and 1:50k in our back pocket. With a click of a button the app would indicate exactly where you were, no need to relocate, no need to worry you might be in the wrong place, no need to spend time looking over a map to decide where you were and no need to unfold a huge piece of paper. What did this mean to us, FLOW if we were in areas we didn’t know we could utilise the app and increase the overall flow of our journeys. For the people who have attended one of our British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership courses you will remember that Flow is critical.

24 years since the first debate about mobile phone use in the outdoors my stance has changed somewhat, in fact I would say my opinion is that this microcomputer has become a critical tool. Our clients expect use to stay social on our social channels through videos and pictures, when people book onto one of our mountain bike guided rides they expect the trip to be documented and share with them. When people pay their money for mountain bike coaching, they expect to develop during the sessions and coaching pedagogy suggests that video feedback aids, develops and accretes coaching sessions.

View Ranger App on the mobile
OS maps on the Mobile phone

So what’s going to change in the next 24years……

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership

Mountain Bike Leadership

Mountain bike leadership, National Governing bodies and insurance. What’s is all about?

WyeMTB is an accredited centre through British Cycling which allows us to deliver their Mountain Bike Leadership Awards. David Windebank better known as ‘Windy’ was one of the original BC leadership tutors moving from the Scottish Cycling Mountain Bike program when it was updated in 2011, since then he has gone to become a Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 tutor.

Last month saw Gareth Sheppard complete the tutor pathway under the watchful eyes of Rachael Crewsmith and Windy to become a Level 2 Mountain bike leadership tutor. Gareth brings a vast amount of experience to the WyeMTB team, leading the British Cycling Paralympic team to London 2012 and taking the Welsh team to the Commonwealth Games. One of the first level 3 guides back in 2013 the pathway for Gareth to becoming a tutor has been long but fulfilling journey!

What is the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership award Scheme?

British Cycling (BC) is the national governing body of cycling in the UK. Over the years, BC have been focused on road cycling, track cycling and cyclocross. In recent years their focus has moved to more recreational cycling like Mountain Biking and this is where the leadership scheme fits.

Membership and Registration, why so much?

To become a mountain bike leader, you will need to become a member of BC and register with the MTB leadership scheme. If this is the first time joining a national governing body this will feel like a lot of money, it is, but you get a lot for your money!

The majority of the payment goes to the leadership department to affiliate with their Leadership scheme, and you will be sent a great 200+ page handbook based on the level 2 Mountain Bike Leader Award.  The cost also includes the compulsory Level 2 Safeguard training course and finally, this is the best part; once you are qualified, BC will provide you with public liability insurance which can be used when leading guided rides…. Amazing!!!!

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership

The British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership scheme is split into 3 levels

  • Level 1: Currently a site-specific training course, used in conjunction with a British Cycling centre accreditation. There are some developments coming with this award, so watch this space!

 

  • Level 2: The MOST popular level and the one that most people enrol as their first step to becoming a mountain bike leader. The award is split into 3 parts
    • Training: 2-day event where the BC tutor runs through a range of topics, for example, trail side repairs, navigation, leadership styles and a number of practical sessions
    • Consolidation: at the end of the training event your tutor will sit down and create a development plan specific to each candidate. This development plan will look at exactly what needs to be done before assessment.
    • Assessment: 1-day event, a BC tutor will run through the criteria provided by British Cycling. The development plans are designed to ensure the candidates are ready for their assessment. The key to this is that candidates can present themselves then they believe they are ready.

 

  • Level 3: The top-level award and can only be reached if you have either completed the Level 2 award or hold an older MTB leadership award still recognised by BC e.g. MBLA. The award is split into the same three sections as the level 2 award, however the course is more intense and equips you with the tools to  lead sessions in wild and remote areas.

WyeMTB run all the above courses and dates for 2020 are live in our website. We run the course across South Wales and Cannock Chase. If you would like more information please drop us an email: Hello@WyeMTB.co.uk or call Windy on 07887998795 for more details.

Does your Guide’s bag really need to be that heavy?

 

Mountain bike leaders guide bag

CamelBak KUDO 20l

Guide bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one thing is clear, if you are leading clients you need to ensure you have the correct equipment. Here at WyeMTB we like to split this bag into two main sections

1  Emergency group kit e.g. if a rider is hurt and needs medical assistance, do you have the provision to keep the group and the casualty comfortable and protected from the elements?

2 Bike repair kit

Avoidance is better than cure, so if the Guide checks their clients are carrying the following items;

  • a spare layer
  • a rear mech hanger for their bike
  • inner tube
  • their own medication

Additionally, by having the clients complete a full M check of their bikes at home, they should identify any issues with the bike before they head out on the guided ride.

Guided rides happen in a vast array of locations; the local park, the local trail centre in the Forest of Dean and the deepest darkest parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The further you move away from civilisation the higher the consequences are if there is a accident or a mechanical. Having a fully equipped bag  that is checked before every ride will help with these incidents.

The essential equipment for a British Cycling Mountain Bike Leader will carry in their guide bag.

  • Well stocked first aid kit – including trauma bandage, we keep this close to hand!
  • A comprehensive bike repair kit
  • Group Shelter, check our Blog on group shelters, and a survival blanket or Blizzard blanket
  • Extra layer for the casualty to wear if they have an off, ideally a synthetic layer works well as it hasgreat thermal qualities even when wet
  • Spare hat and gloves – This could be weather dependent however e.g. if its 30′ outside do you need these extras?
  • Nokia phone where the battery lasts for ever. Make sure you register it with 999 which allows you to text in an emergency if you don’t have mobile signal
  • Physical map of the area you are working in, a compass and the skills to use them both!
  • Procedures in place – late back, accident/injury, mechanical beyond repair
  • Energy gel – for those clients at risk of bonking!

 

Mountain bike leadership kit

Mountain bike leaders bag

WyeMTB run a number of short courses from Pedalabikeaway trail centre in the Forest of Dean, one of our most popular courses is Trail side repairs. If you want to bush up on those skills check the half day course out.

 

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