Tag Archives: mountain bike instructor

Scenes from my first mtb skills clinic for adults

I put my new mountain biking instructor skills to work this summer, having gotten both IMBA Level 2 and PMBI Level 1 certifications in June (link to my blog post that describes my experiences with the two courses).

I teamed up with Northfield Community Services to offer two technical MTB clinics for adults this summer at Northfield’s Sechler Park where CROCT has its MTB trail and skills park.

The course description that appeared in their online catalog:

Title: Technical mountain biking for adults

Description: If you want to gain more confidence on riding lower-speed technical challenges along the trails, this clinic is for you. Terrain included: switchbacks, logovers, skinnies, tight turns, and short steep ascents and descents. Skills included: track stands, holding a line, front and rear wheel lifts. Participants will also have one-month of access to a private Facebook group for Q&A.

Instructor: Griff Wigley is a certified IMBA and PMBI instructor and an experienced technical mountain biker.

Location: Sechler Pk MTB trail, Northfield. Meet at the skills park by the ball fields

Ability level: Intermediate or above

Prerequisites: none. Flat pedals recommended

Maximum group size: 6

Introduction series: $39
Tuesdays, 6-8 pm, July 19, 26, Aug 2

Intermediate series: $39
Tuesdays, 6-8 pm, Aug 16, 23, 30

I offered the classes to CROCT members first and the first one filled quickly. I had to cancel the second one due to weather-related problems: a severe infestation of mosquitoes and deer flies and flooding of the Cannon River.

Here some stills taken from videos. Apologies for the poor quality:

A short video clip from a balance skill game:

Mountain biking instructor certifications: IMBA ICP Level 2 vs PMBI Level 1

This spring I’ve gotten certified as both an IMBA ICP Level 2 and PMBI Level 1 mountain bike instructor (blog posts with photos here and here).  The competing certifications are similar in that they’re designed to equip one with the ability to instruct beginner and intermediate-level riders in basic skills. (IMBA’s ICP Level 1 is a Ride Guide course; PMBI’s Ride Guide course doesn’t use a Level number.)

PMBI Level 1 IMBA ICP Level 2

I wasn’t planning to take either one this spring as IMBA wasn’t offering a Level 2 course locally and PMBI’s Level 1 course at Spirit Mountain in Duluth sold out quickly.   But I got lucky.

Jeff Milbauer, owner of nearby Valley Bike & Ski,  had contracted privately with IMBA to offer the course to some of his staff/instructors. When one had to drop out, he contacted me and I took the spot.  And then PMBI added a second course/instructor to their Spirit Mountain Level 1 weekend and I snapped up one of those openings.

My rationale for taking PMBI Level 1 having just completed IMBA ICP Level 2 two weeks prior?

  • Proximity: Duluth is only 3 hours away and I wasn’t confident that PMBI would offer the course nearby again anytime soon
  • Terrain: the IMBA Level 2 course was held at nearby Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN and neither its new mountain biking runs nor its new skills park was open yet. Spirit Mountain is a mountain bike mecca with lift access
  • Weather: it poured nearly the entire weekend for the IMBA course. I was hoping I’d get lucky for the PMBI course in Duluth
  • Collegiality: I wanted to be able to team up with fellow instructors. With everyone passing, there were 8 IMBA Level 2 instructors in the state of Minnesota.  The two courses at Spirit Mountain would mean there could be up to 14 additional PMBI instructors in the region
  • Curiosity: I’m a blogger and I was naturally curious to know first-hand what the differences were between the two competing certifications
  • Future professional development: I figured that having a foundation with both certifications would give me better options for pursuing their more advanced certification levels
  • Marketing advantage: I’d likely be the only mtb instructor in the Upper Midwest region with both certifications.

Continue reading Mountain biking instructor certifications: IMBA ICP Level 2 vs PMBI Level 1

I’m now a PMBI Level 1 MTB instructor

I took another MTB instructor certification course over the weekend, the Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association (PMBI) Level 1 course. It was held at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, MN.

PMBI

Photos of our two groups (10 women, 4 men – we all passed) and the excellent instructors, Luc and Ross: