Javascript is vital for the advanced features in this website. Please enable or upgrade your browser

About

Cycling Ireland Mountain Bike Leadership Award (MBLA)


The Mountain Bike Leader Awards (MBLA) was developed to provide a framework and qualification for leaders to deliver mountain biking as a safe and enjoyable activity. The MBLA scheme provides training and assessment in mountain biking, leading and instruction skills.


Our Qualifications

We administer 3 qualifications to support people who want to lead and/or instruct.
The Process 


If you are interested in undertaking one of our qualifications, here is what to do:

Prior to booking onto a training course, you need to register with the MBLA Scheme at a one-off cost of €60 or £50. Cycling Ireland will then provide you with your registration documents, MBLA training manual, logbook & candidate documents for your course.  Please note that MBLA Registration does not cover the cost of Cycling Ireland Membership.


Register Here 

Candidates must be over 18 years old and have logbook evidence of at least 20 mountain bike rides of 1.5hr duration in appropriate terrain, and in a variety of weather and riding conditions.  Longer runs of 2-3 hrs duration, with at least one being 6 hours and 2-3 detailed route cards should also be included. The terrain covered should be appropriate to the level of award sought.  Logbook sheets are provided within the MBLA Training Manual, included in candidates' Registration pack.  


Evidence of having acted as an assistant leader with a group is recommended, to help acquaint the candidate with the skills and issues covered by the course.  Ideally candidates must have their own bike or at least have easy access to one, e.g. through their Centre or School.  Bikes are not provided on the course.


Book and attend a training course with an approved provider.


After registering for the MBLA Scheme you will need to find a course. Please note course fees for training and assessment are set by the course provider.


Our providers


All of our providers are approved by Cycling Ireland so you can find one that offers a course.

Provider: Ian Bailey

Contact No. 0044 7803132381

Email: ian@rockandrideoutdoors.com

Website: https://www.rockandrideoutdoors.com/mountain-biking/ 

Location: Co. Down


Provider: Tarja Owens 

Contact No. 086 0804417

Email: tarja@biking.ie

Website: www.biking.ie

Location: Dublin

Consolidate your learning and practise in a variety of contexts.  You will be required to log additional mountain bike rides between training and assessment.



Book and attend an assessment course with an approved MBLA provider:  After successfully completing training you will need to find an assessment course.


Our providers


All of our providers are approved by Cycling Ireland so you can find one that offers a course.

Provider: Ian Bailey

Contact No. 0044 7803132381

Email: ian@rockandrideoutdoors.com

Website: https://www.rockandrideoutdoors.com/mountain-biking/ 

Location: Co. Down


Provider: Tarja Owens 

Contact No. 086 0804417

Email: tarja@biking.ie

Website: www.biking.ie

Location: Dublin

Trail Cycle Leader

The Trail Cycle Leader Award (TCL) consists of a two-day training course, followed by a one-day assessment. On successful completion of TCL assessment the participant will be sufficiently skilled to lead groups of up to eight riders on any legal terrain that is suitable for the abilities of their group and also below 600m elevation and within a 30-minute walk of rescue. 


Duration and Format: The Trail Cycle Leader consists of a two-day training course, followed by a one-day assessment

To attend the TCL Training candidates must:


you must first register by completing this form and emailing it to coaching@cyclingireland.ie 

be over 18 years of age.

Logged 20 recent mountain bike rides.  20 mountain bike rides, on separate days, of at least 1.5 hours duration, 8 rides of at least 2-3 hours and 1 ride of 6 hours.


To attend TCL Assessment candidates must:


Attendance at an approved TCL Training Course.

Recommended for assessment by a registered TCL Tutor.

Logged 10 additional rides over minimum of 30 days.

Applied for TCL Assessment on an approved TCL Assessment Day.


TCL’s are qualified to lead under the following conditions:


Any roads, trails or waymarked routes on which mountain biking is legal. 

Any bike parks and trail centres on trails suitable to the abilities and experience of the riders.

Routes which are 90-95% rideable over their total length. 

Terrain no more than 30 minutes’ walk from either.

        - The nearest accessible (by ambulance) road. 

- A shelter from where it is possible to summon help.

Elevation of no more than 600m. 

Normal summer conditions, during daylight. 

Multi day trips where the group does not have to be self-sufficient. 

A Trail Cycle Leader could also act as an assistant to a Mountain Bike Leader (MBL).


Candidates should be effective in mountain bike leading on applying for assessment.  They should be familiar with the course requirements and syllabus, as detailed in the course materials.  An outline of the assessment procedures and criteria will be provided on the training courses.


Candidates will be assessed in the following areas: 

Logbook Experience and Evidence

Clothing and Equipment

Planning and Preparation

Personal Riding Skills

Navigation

Leadership

Trailside Repairs and Bike set-up

Hazards and Risk Management


On successful completion of TCL assessment the participant will be sufficiently skilled in mountain bike leading to groups of up to eight riders on any legal terrain that is suitable for the abilities of their group and also below 600m elevation and within a 30-minute walk of rescue. 


The award is equivalent to the Basic Instructor stage on the Sport Ireland Coaching Adventure Sport Framework in accordance with the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland. 


A TCL certificate will only be issued if the candidate possesses an appropriate and current First Aid certificate (Wilderness First Aid Level 3 or Remote Emergency Care Level 2) and is a current member of Cycling Ireland (minimum requirements, non-competition Licence).  Both First Aid and Cycling Ireland membership must be kept current for a TCL or MBL qualification to remain valid.


Please contact coaching@cyclingireland.ie for details on membership options and insurance entitlements.  Entitlement to Professional Indemnity Insurance is outside of the scope of Cycling Ireland membership.


Leaders who are working for a Local Authority, Outdoor Centre, or some organisations may be covered by their employer's insurance policy.  It is important to check this and to check the details of the policy so that all conditions are met.


It is the responsibility of every Leader to check the details of the insurance policy (or that of employer) under which they are operating, and abide by the conditions.


Mountain Bike Leader

The Mountain Bike Leader (MBL) Award is the highest level of the Cycling Ireland awards and is suitable for those who aspire to guide and lead in highly technical, remote and mountainous terrain.  It is designed for TCL’s who have gathered a large degree of experience and who are personally extremely proficient on a mountain bike.  On successful completion of the MBL assessment the participant will be sufficiently skilled in mountain bike leading to manage groups of up to eight riders on any legal terrain without limitation on elevation or remoteness.  


Duration and Format: The Mountain Bike Leader consists of a three-day training course, followed by a two-day assessment.


To attend the MBL Training candidates must:


be over 18 years of age.

Logged 20 recent mountain bike trips, to be sent to CI at least one week before training.  20 mountain bike trips, on separate days, in a variety of weather conditions, of which: 

- at least 10 rides cover routes of extended length (6hrs riding).

- 10 rides are on routes with high degree of technical difficultly.

- at least 3 rides are in remote terrain.

- at least 12 rides acting a leader or assistant group leader.


To attend MBL Assessment candidates must:


Attendance at an approved MBL Training Course.

Recommended for assessment by a registered MBL Tutor.

Logged 10 additional rides over minimum of 30 days.

Applied for MBL Assessment on an approved MBL Assessment Day.


MBL’s should be able to make appropriate leadership decisions and use good judgement in the testing conditions and highly difficult and dangerous terrain often found in the mountains.  MBL’s should be able to comprehensively risk assess the level of challenge a route provides and match experience, abilities, motivation and equipment of the group to the terrain and routes being considered.


A large part of the syllabus is also focused on coaching ability and MBL’s will be able to provide a professional standard of technical skills coaching for their clients in all mountain biking techniques.


MBL’s are qualified to lead under the following conditions:

Any roads, trails or waymarked routes on which mountain biking is legal.  Any bike parks and trail centres on every grade of trail.

Routes which are 90-95% rideable over their total length.

Remote terrain without easy emergency extraction, at any elevation.

Terrain matched to the skills and riding competencies of all standards of rider.

Normal summer conditions, during daylight.

Multi-day trips where the group does not need to be self-sufficient.   


Standards in the MBL assessment are extremely stringent as the remit of the qualification is so wide.  Candidates should be highly proficient in all areas of the syllabus, as detailed in the course materials. An outline of the assessment procedures and criteria will be provided on the training courses.


Candidates will be assessed in the following areas:

Log Book Experience and Evidence

Clothing and Equipment

Planning and Preparation

Coaching Skills

Personal Riding Skills

Risk Assessment

Navigation

Countryside and Terrain Knowledge

Leadership

Fitness, Fuel and Hydration

Mechanics


On successful completion of the MBL assessment the participant will be sufficiently skilled in mountain bike leading to manage groups of up to eight riders on any legal terrain without limitation on elevation or remoteness.  


The award is equivalent to the Intermediate Instructor stage on the Sport Ireland Coaching Adventure Sport Framework in accordance with the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland. 


A MBL certificate will only be issued if the candidate possesses an appropriate and current First Aid certificate (Wilderness First Aid Level 3 or Remote Emergency Care Level 2) and is a current member of Cycling Ireland (minimum requirements, non-competition Licence).  Both First Aid and Cycling Ireland membership must be kept current for a TCL or MBL qualification to remain valid.


Please contact coaching@cyclingireland.ie for details on membership options and insurance entitlements.  Entitlement to Professional Indemnity Insurance is outside of the scope of Cycling Ireland membership.


Leaders who are working for a Local Authority, Outdoor Centre, or some organisations may be covered by their employer's insurance policy.  It is important to check this and to check the details of the policy so that all conditions are met.


It is the responsibility of every Leader to check the details of the insurance policy (or that of employer) under which they are operating, and abide by the conditions.


Night Riding Module

The Night Riding Module is open to anyone with a TCL or MBL qualification who wants to learn about night riding or be able to lead groups in darkness. Night Riding Leaders operate in the conditions which are applicable to their level of award (TCL/MBL). A Night Riding Leader can work in conditions outside the 'daytime only' remit of the TCL/MBL awards. The duration of any route chosen must also be within the battery life of lights used.


Duration and Format: The course consists of a seven-hour training course, with at least 50% of the practical element to be undertaken in darkness.  


To attend the Night Riding Module candidates must:


be over 18 years of age.

TCL or MBL Certified


The Night Riding Module is open to anyone with a TCL qualification who wants to learn about night riding or be able to lead groups in darkness. Night Riding Leaders operate in the conditions which are applicable to their level of award (TCL/MBL).


Night Riding Leaders are qualified to lead under the following conditions:

Conditions outside the 'daytime only' remit of the TCL/MBL awards. 

The duration of any route  chosen must also be within the battery life of lights used



On successful completion of Night Riding Module the instructor will be sufficiently skilled in mountain bike leading, to lead groups of up to 8 riders in conditions of darkness. 


The Night Riding Award is equivalent to the Specialist Instructor stage on the Sport Ireland Coaching Adventure Sport Framework in accordance with the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland.