PMBI Level 1 Course


3-day beginner-intermediate instructor course


The Level 1 course trains both new and experienced instructors to skillfully teach and guide beginner to intermediate mountain bikers, in both cross country and downhill environments. New instructors learn the tools they need to safely and effectively teach, while experienced instructors will increase their level of skill and understanding in teaching and riding theory, that the PMBI Certifications uniquely provide.

A strong focus is given to learning teaching skills in their own right, to develop a sense of this all important part of a mountain bike lesson. As you learn and practice proven, modern teaching skills through the course, you’ll see how being a good rider is only one part of being a professional instructor.

Each day of the three day course, instructor candidates will learn riding skills and theory, have plenty of time to practice, and receive personal feedback for your own improvement. Additional PMBI Workshops covering topics such as bike-fit, mechanics and first aid, take place at the start or end of each day, to further build your knowledge and skill set during the course.

Why take this course?

  • Develop your passion for teaching: Any professional instructor must have a passion for teaching as much as they do for riding. This course will give you the essential tools you need to become a professional instructor. You’ll learn how much teaching is a skill in it’s own right, and how important this is in becoming a fun, safe, effective instructor and guide.
  • Improve your riding skills: learn the all-important, fundamental skills you need to rail corners, gain confidence on technical climbs & descents, and master maneuvers such as front and rear wheel lifts, or rolling drops. Learn how to gain control in any situation to build confidence, safety and fun on your bike.
  • Some key things you’ll learn: How to ride better and why the skills you learn work, how to plan and execute professional, skills and maneuver-based, mountain bike lessons in both cross country and downhill settings, and how to guide MTB groups safely on technical terrain during your lessons.
  • Become more skilled, versatile and adaptable as a rider and instructor
  • Have fun: it’s 3 days of riding bikes, learning and getting stoked!
  • Become your own coach: Through a greater knowledge of riding skills and learning theory, your increased understanding of the sport will help you analyze your own riding and enable you to teach yourself!
  • Recognized Certification from the best: Gain the industries most widely available and globally adopted mountain bike instructor certification, the PMBI Certification.


Below are some of the main examples of the riding and teaching skills required on the PMBI Level 1 course. Candidates should be able to guide students safely, while effectively teaching using the PMBI Skill System, teaching models and terminology.

  • 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.
  • Consistent trail scanning for smooth, efficient riding.
  • Can begin to show bike-body separation through some angulation and rotation skills.
  • Climbing and descending on technical, single track (strong 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 ladder bridges/raised trails
  • Prioritizes safety and guiding over teaching, at all times.
  • Consistent use of Lesson Format & Training Wheel for well structured, safe and effective lessons.
  • Clearly Explain & Demonstrate techniques
  • Choose safe, appropriate terrain for student Practice
  • Assess students and provide positive, simple feedback to continue learning
  • Can begin to use the “I.D.E.A Progression” to improve organization and delivery to lessons.
  • 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.


  • Confident riding at trail speed on technical, intermediate terrain, including green, blue and “light” black trails.
  • A minimum of 36 months mountain biking experience.
  • 40hr Wilderness First Aid Certification, or equivalent, strongly recommended
  • A minimum age of 17 is required for insurance responsibility reasons. Guiding and teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous and being legally responsible for other adults and children, warrants a minimum age for certified instructors.


In order for candidates to successfully gain a PMBI Level 1 certification, they must pass both a riding and teaching evaluation during the course. Candidates must be comfortable riding all day long on intermediate single track, terrain, while providing safe, effective lessons on green and blue trails.

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