SEATTLE – This spring, specialty outdoor retailer REI is expanding the range of classes it offers to people with a passion for cycling. REI Outdoor School designed a new set of mountain biking classes for aspiring and seasoned cyclists that includes group outings, intensive skills training sessions, in-depth workshops and an instructor certification program. Available in select REI store communities, the classes are structured to help mountain bikers push their abilities and attempt more challenging trails. Classes begin in March and will become more widely available on a rolling basis.
“For over a decade, REI has offered high-quality, introductory mountain biking classes and outings to riders across the country,” said Rebecca Bear, REI Outdoor Programs Manager. “As the popularity of the sport continues to grow, we’re thrilled to deepen our education programs so even more riders can connect with the outdoors and gain the necessary skills to tackle trails with confidence.”
Nearly 37,000 people participated in REI Outdoor School cycling classes in 2014, and the co-op is projecting an increase in the coming year. In addition to providing participants with world-class instruction, REI Outdoor School offers complimentary access to highly-rated gear, such as high-performance GHOST-brand mountain bikes that are now available exclusively at REI.com.
REI’s new mountain biking classes include:
- Mountain Biking Trail Outings: Organized group rides in iconic destinations offer an entry-level experience for riders looking to begin mountain biking in a more relaxed setting.
- Mountain Biking Skills Sessions: A set of five two-hour intensive skill development training sessions cover braking, climbing and descending, suspension tuning, tight turns and wheel lifts.
- Mountain Biking Development Workshop: Designed for riders looking to refine a spectrum of biking techniques, the full-day Mountain Biking Development Workshop offers a curriculum based on the complete set of individual skill training sessions.
- IMBA Instructor Certification Program (ICP): A multi-day course that teaches already proficient riders essential leadership skills and mountain biking expertise needed to safely and effectively lead group rides and clinics. The course begins with a three-hour evening session focused on preparing students for the following two days of outdoor field work. Upon completion, participants receive ICP certification at the level that corresponds to the class curriculum.
The ICP is offered in partnership with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). IMBA is a nonprofit educational association dedicated to bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation and cooperation among trail users, grassroots advocacy groups and innovative trail management solution providers.
“Since 2003, REI and IMBA have worked together to strengthen local mountain biking groups and the outdoor community through cutting edge cycling education and volunteer service programs,” said ICP Manager Tammy Donahugh. “REI’s latest endeavor to offer an instructor certification course demonstrates its recognition of IMBA’s leading methods and practice. We’re excited to partner with REI to train more cycling enthusiasts to take their skills to the next level.”
REI cycling classes are competitively priced, ranging from Mountain Bike Skills Sessions for $45 (REI member price) to $482 (REI member price) for the IMBA ICP course. Riders are provided with gear for use during classes at no additional cost, and all REI members receive discounts on class registration. To learn more and find REI Outdoor School cycling classes in your area, please visit REI.com/learn.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 5.6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips and outstanding customer service. REI has 138 stores in 33 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 150 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally trained, expert instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.