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MBLA Trail Cycle Leader - TCL

The Lake District / Eden Valley- England
Trail Cycle Leader Courses  MBLA - TCL


Course Facts

If you want to lead young people on mountain bike journeys you need to be qualified. Even leading adults, for which no qualification is required, it’s good to know that you’re operating under the umbrella of the National Governing Body (NGB) of cycling. It’s reassuring for those cycling with you too, knowing that they are in the hands of a qualified leader.

At CycleActive we run Mountain Bike Leader Association (MBLA) leadership courses (formerly the SMBLA). The leadership awards are recognised by AALS, British Cycling (BC) and as a leader and BC member you can benefit from free professional insurance in recognition of your affiliation to the NGB. We believe that this, as the only governing body award in mountain bike leadership, is the right choice for all leaders.

Our courses are generally run from the CycleActive centre at Brougham Hall in Penrith. This gives you access to great local trails, carefully organised teaching areas and a good range of accommodation choices nearby too.

If you want to arrange a group course, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can arrange to travel to any location in the UK if needed.

1 MBLA (4 of 6)  6 MBLA (6 of 6) 

Trail Cycle Leader (TCL)

This two-day course, followed by a one-day assessment, is the core qualification for anyone wishing to lead groups of mountain bikers, especially youth groups. It covers a whole range of skills from bike navigation to trailside repairs and basic skills coaching – a full syllabus is available on request.

There are restrictions to where you can lead with this course (altitude / distance from help / level of terrain) but for most outdoor centres and private leaders it is the benchmark qualification that makes biking safer and more enjoyable for all future clients.

Further details of the TCL syllabus, pre-entry requirements and other useful facts are contained in our pre-course information booklet. If you want to talk through your suitability for this course before applying, contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your questions or concerns.

Our Training Approach
Our head of leadership training, Chris Ford, is one of the leading MBLA Tutors in the UK. He is a member of the MBLA committee, rewrote the entire mtb skills and coaching section of the 2010 Official Handbook, and is one of the six national Mentor Tutors, responsible for the training and development of the next generation of MBLA Tutors.

The courses we offer have been developed by Chris and Rich over 12 years, and are delivered to the highest educational standards. There is a focus on learning through action, shared group feedback, and positive development of ideas, interests and skills throughout the process.

For 2013 we will be introducing video coaching to a number of the sessions. The idea is to give candidates an alternative insight into not only their personal bike riding skills, but also their delivery to groups. Our training room at Brougham Hall is equipped for instant video review, but we can also load all content to our Youtube and Facebook pages



Additional dates can be added on request.

Please Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Trail Cycle Leader (TCL)

£140 for trainingAddToCartOrange

£80 for assessmentAddToCartOrange

2 days training
1 day assessment

The biking:
every day, plus classroom sessions
Fully guided
Fitness grade 2
Skill grade B
Group size 4-8 training
Group size 3-4 assessment

(Trip grades explained)

What's included:
Professional instruction from an experienced MBLA Tutor
Training room facilities
Guidance in registrations and insurance
Pre-course information pack
Post-course online video review

Training Course Dates:
11 - 12 August
15 - 16 September
20 - 21 October
Additional dates can be added on request.
Assessment Dates:
25 June
13 August
17 September
22 October



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MBLA (2 of 6)

CycleActive's Chris Ford, rewrote the entire mtb skills and coaching section of the Official Handbook.