High on top of a mountain on the edge of the Black Mountains we all stood around checking map markings, measuring distances and trying to figure out what we would do if someone had an injury at this point.
Then we all waved at my camera of course!
What were we doing? Well this was Day 2 of a British Cycling The Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award course being run by Wye MTB.
A packed two days saw us riding approximately 40km in the Black Mountains and learning how “to safely guide others on off-road terrain”. Ensuring we could navigate by map/compass, fix broken bikes and importantly only take riders where it was safe and legal to do so.
We were blessed with amazing weather for our outdoor leadership training and the Black Mountains provided some stunning views and riding.
Our course tutor from Wye MTB was great – though we were excellent students too – and I came away with a clear idea of what is required of a leader (to carry a heavy bag!) and confident that I should book my assessment ASAP.
The course is designed for aspiring leaders but would be useful for just about anyone who wants to ride regularly out doors in my opinion as above everything this course teaches you about safety. The official contents as layed out by British Cycling are as follows
- planning and delivery of appropriate rides or your group
- leading techniques for effective group management
- map reading and navigation for a flowing journey
- management of accidents and emergency situations
- equipment set-up and trailside repairs
- core mountain bike techniques.
It was fun (all learning should be i think), but it was also very informative and has made me think carefully about aspects of my own riding, group rides I do with friends and as part of my club, MB Swindon.
Good feedback and a high level of confidence in my own suitability and skills for doing this type of thing has spurred me on and I’m eager to get fully qualified.
Next week its time for 2 days of first aid and gallons of fake blood!
For more info on courses and the British Cycling leadership programmes: