MIAS, SMBLA or OTC Whats the difference? Any ideas?

smashford Posts: 74
edited March 2009 in MTB general
Whats the difference between the three courses and which is the best to do MIAS looks the cheapest but is that a reflection on what you get from it?


  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    i did mias and it was the worst course i have ever done, i didnt learn anything that i hadnt picked up from reading bike mags and the qualification i got is regarded as worthless in the real world.

    i did the course so i could take guys out for rides at work and its good enough for that but i wouldnt pay money for a mias "trained"instructor
  • smashford
    smashford Posts: 74
    so its a no to mias then, anyone got anything on the other 2?
  • the guys at our LBS recomend the SMBLA course as the one to do as it covers all bases, and i beleive is useable in europe too?
    i only know this as the subject came up yesterday when we were down there!
    After all, I am Cornish!
    Cotic Soul, The bike of Legends!:wink: Yes, I Am a bike tart!
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... 1#16297481
  • smashford
    smashford Posts: 74
    ok cool, i'm pretty sure that you can use them in europe i just dont wanna pay out for something and find its shite specially while i'm in between employment
  • trailpuppet
    trailpuppet Posts: 381
    Why do you want/need to do it? Who do you intend leading?

    My mate/s work in outdoor Ed(Scotland)and SMBLA is the only one recognised by authorities they tell me. One is a tutor and one is training to take over from him when he retires.

    An SC tutor/coach I know has done a course with another provider down south and reckoned it was very poor??

    You need to find out if whatever you intend using it for it is a recognised quali.

    If it is for yourself then depends where you stay and how much you want to pay.

    For map reading find a walkers course then just do a biking skills course and add first aid and you have evrything bar the teaching/management side of the course.

    Have both Smbla and Cycling Scotland certs myself btw.
  • smashford
    smashford Posts: 74
    i'm lookin at a change of career, am/was until recent redundancy a plumber, and thought having a go at the mtb instruction/ leader thing would be good to do at least for a while and basically just want a course that'll allow me to work where ever i can really.
    Whats the smbla like to do and cost wise?
  • trailpuppet
    trailpuppet Posts: 381
    SMBLA...it`s not about biking, more about management of people. That is you don`t have to a super-duper rider.

    Costs..not sure, got subsidised for mine through various agencies, we started a kids club and I help out with our LEA Active schools co-ordinators all on a voluntary basis.

    Unfortunately for you it`s not an overnight quali. 2day course followed by an assesment day and you need to log a number of rides for the basic first level TLC. Then more time to get to mtb leader level.

    You are right to be doing some research and find a good "provider". I believe there are a lot of people set up doing these courses not up to scratch as above.

    Try posting on singletrackworld..lots there seem to know various providers in different parts of the country. Just decide for youself whos being upfront or canvassing!!

    eg.. I would recommend without hesitation
    http://www.cycleactive.co.uk/courses/leadandcoach/smbla.html Also get favourable recommendations

    Google smbla courses and find one near you, then ask on stw


    Bikeability in England http://www.ctc.org.uk/desktopdefault.aspx?tabid=3529

    BC Go-Ride http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/site/BC/clu/what_is_go_ride.asp

    If you fancy going abroad it would appear France can be difficult regards what they need. Your best bet would be to e-mail as many firms for info regards work and what they want/need etc. Find adverts in all mags/bikemagic/stw etc

    This country? Go self employed and work out of an lbs or trail centre is best bet. Schools are difficult, near impossible to crack. I only managed it due to being known and a volunteer. No-one will pay!!
  • smashford
    smashford Posts: 74
    cheers dude thanks for the advice and info, i'm gonna spend more time looking into it, i mean its not like im busy atm. thanks for the recommendations that will make it loads easier.
  • trailpuppet
    trailpuppet Posts: 381
    If you don`t already have a first aid cert try and get funding for it. Not unemployed(YET) so not up to speed with what you can claim for.. but it is training. May come in usefull for any future employment opps.

    Can you read OS maps? Plenty of books and;

    Then log all your rides from now inc, distance, time, how many people were on the ride.
    Once you can read a map then you can/should be able to work out how long that ride will take(I usually work on an average of 8mph for adults + an hr for pit stops)
    Create a route guide inc map refs, time/distance to each junction and prominent features.
    Delegate someone from the group to be tail gunner.
    Learn to ride at the slowest riders pace(for encouragement/motivation)
    Learn to ride in "the pack` and through the pack. Talk to and involve everyone.
    Learn all the trailside repair tricks.
    Have a look at all the training vids on this site and there are some on Youtube.

    btw I`m only an ex motor mech turned factory fitter......

    As I said earlier it`s not all about how good YOU are on a bike more your biking knowledge. Does your lbs need a spare pair of hands on a volunteer basis?
  • trailpuppet
    trailpuppet Posts: 381
    forgot to say

    get out and practice :D
  • smashford
    smashford Posts: 74
    awesome dude you are not short of advice or info, would go as far as to say got more help from you than i have from the job centre in two weeks. been getting plenty of practice thats for sure theres only so much time you can spend going through the internet looking for a job.
    cheers for all that though.
  • trailpuppet
    trailpuppet Posts: 381
    Just :) you find it usefull

    Guid luck
  • I would definitely recommend Jules at Cycle Wild Scotland - one of the links above. He's a great tutor and SMBLA is definitely the course to go for. I learnt loads from him.
  • smashford
    smashford Posts: 74
    awesome cheers Sara, i gotta start using these forums more often you get loads more help through this over anything else i've tried
  • trailpuppet
    trailpuppet Posts: 381
    thats cause we have the "passion"....may not have much else :lol:
    Not something of the "norm" for jobcentres.