Course Details

Trail Mountain Bike Leader

Group being led through the trees by a CTC Trail Leader
Get your groups out riding with the CTC Trail Leader
Covering all of the fundamental and essential skills of leading groups, the Trail Leader Award includes all the skills and practice you need to get out and lead.


24 hours over two and a half days or over three days
Non-technical riding which means relatively smooth tracks and trails
Combined training and assessment

Key content

The CTC Trail Leader is the first main qualification as a mtb leader

Lead and manage your group.  Enable them to learn skills, enjoy mountain biking and become more independent.

Whether leading, guiding, instructing or training others, CTC's Trail Leader course is the first vital stage to get you going.

The Trail Leader course combines training and assessment into a single package, so your qualification is completed within one course - and there is no membership requirement or other fees either.  We will even provide your food and accommodation at our residential venues.  Now that is what we call value for money!

What next?

You may find that the Trail Leader provides all you need. Where you wish to lead in further environments, once the Trail Leader Award has been achieved, followed by completion of  a minimum of 6 led rides you may progress to the Technical Leader Award.

Trail leaders may take the Go MTB Skill Awards and Go MTB Leader and Instructor Orientation course.

Trail Leaders can also go on to deliver Young Leader and Ride Supporter courses by taking the CTC Trainer course.


Please contact the Courses & Training Helpline to find out if this course is available for booking: 01483 238 337

Available courses

Course outcomes

CTC Trail Leaders have gained all the fundamental and rounded skills and competencies required of those leading groups of mountain bikers.  By achieving this qualification, you will be able to:

  • Lead groups of adults, young people and children on rides and riding sessions
  • Manage groups with a range of riding experience from first timers and novice to experienced and expert riders
  • Prepare for rides, anticipate and minimise safety factors
  • Develop and apply risk assessments, operating procedures and dynamic risk management
  • Trail leader cycling courses from CTCProvide fun, engaging and developmental sessions for your participants

  • Learned and proved applied skills that mountain bike leaders require including equipment checks, trailside maintenance, navigation and managing emergencies
  • Use, develop and adapt games and skill sessions to engage and enable discrete riding skills development in your participants
  • Understand and apply access rights across the UK and beyond
  • Complete and review rides, using self-reflective principles
  • Access CTC's extensive Trail Leader Resources covering in detail all the aspects of the course and more.

Of course, you won't necessarily be able to learn everything about mountain bike leading in one course, so Trail Leaders are restricted to Trail Terrain.  If you want or need to go beyond this, then using the core principles gained during your Trail Leader Award, you can progress on to CTC's other Leader, Instructor or Trainer strands.

What you need

It is essential for most people to start at the Trail Leader Award. Before attending, you should:

  • Have at least one years experience of regular riding experience in trail terrain. This should be a minimum of 30 rides.
  • Have an interest in cycle instruction and/or mountain bike leading.
  • We recommend that you hold a valid and appropriate first aid certificate (or obtain one shortly after your course).
  • Be able to understand the basic principles of maps (what they represent and how).
  • Have attempted to fix punctures.
  • Be at least 18 years of age. (It is a legal requirement to be 18 or over before you can be in charge of others.)

You may (but are not required to) also have:

  • Completed Go-mtb skill awards or the Young Leader Award.
  • Previous experience  in mountain biking leading and / or leading groups in the outdoors.
  • Other teaching / youth work / outdoor activity experience and qualifications.
  • Additional navigation and/or maintenance experience or skills.


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