Mountain Bike Trail Leader

Mountain biker splashing through a stream
Learn the skills to guide group rides on off-road routes and trails

Course outcomes

This course will equip you to:

  • Lead groups of adults, young people and children on rides
  • Manage groups with a range of riding experience
  • Prepare for rides, anticipate and minimise safety risks
  • Develop and apply risk assessments, operating procedures and dynamic risk management
  • Provide fun, engaging and developmental sessions for your participants
  • Understand access rights across the UK and beyond
  • Complete and review rides, using self-reflective principles

Key content

Mountain biking is one of the most accessible and enjoyable introductions to group cycling. Cycling UK’s Mountain Bike Leader course enables you to lead groups on gentle terrain less than 600m above sea level and without the need for riders to steer a path around obstacles.

The course includes tuition for your own off-road skills, and assessment of your new-found skills.

Please note, during the course you may ride at a level above that of trail-level terrain.

See our grading guide for information on what routes this qualification will allow you to lead on.


Click on the arrows icon below to open the full-size guide and to download your own copy.


After achieving the Mountain Bike Trail Leader, your next step may be to consider becoming a Technical Mountain Bike Leader – enabling you to lead rides in more challenging terrain of the Mountain Bike Leader: Expedition Module or Mountain Bike Leader – Night Ride Module, which are designed to extend the remit of your current awards.

A new award has been developed with the European organisation of Mountain Bike Instructors – Guides (E0-MTBInG) and in association with the Association of British Mountainbike Guides.

Cycling UK has worked with MIAS, MBCUK to develop a European Licence for MTB Guides.

Expedition Module covers all aspects of multi-day riding.

First aid

  • Bike First Aid – 1-day course
  • First Aid in the Outdoors – 2-day course. This course meets the requirements of a number of National Governing bodies including MLTE

Both courses have been developed with cyclists in mind.

Please see Cycle courses and training for more information.

Course details

3 days
Non-technical riding – relatively smooth tracks and trails
Fitness level
Group size
Minimum number of attendees: 5 / Maximum number of attendees: 6
Full course: £2,631