Mountain Bike Leadership Workshop

Be it a guide, an instructor or a leader, I want to be one, and want to be one of the best out there – I have a lot of learning and work to do first! And thus, I attended the MTB Leadership Workshop 2017. This was the first progressive development workshop for MTB Leaders, held last weekend over two days at Plas y Brenin. 70 MTB Leaders from all levels of the British MTB Leadership award pathway as well as MBLA Leaders attended. 

Plas y Brenin, delivered exactly what I hoped it would – a first class service in the Outdoors. All inclusive food and accommodation for the weekend, plus a pick up taxi from the train station, was near perfect. Always up for an adventure, I decided to take the train, and adventurous it was, my train journey was disrupted (as was the whole weekend) by Storm Doris. Thankfully, no harm was had and plans were seamlessly modified!

The vibe was healthy, egos (except for my own perhaps) were kept safely under control and a culture of shared learning was clear to see. The British Cycling Leadership team had clearly put the work in and teaming up with Plas y Brenin added an authentic outdoor culture to it. By that I mean, it wasn’t just a bunch of mountain bikers with shiny kit. It was more, it was about education, progression, collaboration, entrepreneurship and improving access to the activity of mountain biking.

Craig from Cyclewise’s back pack contents.
Chris Gibbs from H&I Adventures with his back pack – it was heavy!

Present were some big names in MTB such as Lee Craigie, James Richards and Cyclewise, as well as newly qualified guides, seeking some confidence to deliver quality sessions. What did I get out of it?

  • Meeting interesting people
  • A growth in confidence in my ability
  • Highlighted gaps in my skills and knowledge
  • Some great ideas to take forward for my own future planning.
Lee Craigie signing her Highland Trail 550 book.

I followed this weekend up with a couple of days mountain biking in Snowdonia, it snowed, rained, hailed and remained windy throughout! Needless to say – freezing, making it difficult to get the miles in and training time reduced as such. Its frustrating but I guess I’m experiencing life, not all about miles and miles… Though, when I’m stood on that start grid, I’m not sure I will not be saying that.

Snowdon – Feeling very small in the vastness of mountains & Lakes
Gwydir Mawr trail, aborted shortly after this!

Next step, start delivering some mountain bike rides, in the wilds! Any ideas of where are welcome. Really looking forward to this stuff!

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