01690 720214

Downhill Skills For The Trail Rider

Course Overview

A weekend spent enjoying the best bits of mountain biking - the Downhills. On these two days we provide a vehicle to get you up to the top of the hills, minimising the uphill pedalling. Not for armour wearing full-face-helmet riders, this weekend is more suited to those who just want to develop their downhill technique and confidence to improve their cross country riding. You'll be able to enjoy technique coaching from our mountain bike coaches and get lots and lots of downhill practice. The kind of weekend that makes you remember what it was like to be a kid.

Experience Required

Competent on blue and most red trails but lack confidence on steeper looser sections and fit enough to ride for 4-5 hours for two days running.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?

Have you reached a plateau with your mountain biking skills?
We have the solution with a weekend of biking focused on improving your confidence and ability to ride downhill without needing the legs to ride up hill.
Over the weekend you can expect around 1300m of uplift courtesy of our shuttle vehicle.

Course Content

This course is ideal for an intermediate rider who would like to try something different to push their skills.
We will look at bike set up, body position, choice of line and coaching on your technique,
We have loads of advice on what kit to buy and a good choice of local bike shops.

Day 1

Starts at our own dedicated skills loop, this is a professionally built mountain bike trail centre in miniature we can set the scene for the weekend and introduce a few techniques.
Then off  in the shuttle bus let the fun begin, we should pack in at least 3 shuttle runs each day.
The options are superb we can start on bridle ways and natural terrain then move on to single track and steeper descents.

Day 2

We may go for the open mountain feel with amazing views and swoopy descents mix this with some single track for a varied day.
Lots of our drop off and pick up points are at cafes and pub so bring a bit of cash for drinks and snacks.

Useful Books

  • Mastering Mountain Bike Skills by Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack
  • Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance - Lennard Zinn
  • Fundamentals - The Mountain Bike Technique Video - DVD by Dirt magazine

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Secure bike storage
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Bike (in good working order)

  • Helmet

  • Gloves

  • Protective glasses

  • Suitable clothing for a days ride (trousers/shorts, thermal/base layers, fleece, windproof top)

  • Footwear for biking (trainers or biking shoes)

  • Small backpack with spare clothes

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Basic tool kit including spare inner tube, pump

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Water bottle/hydration system

  • Lunch box/bag

  • Warm hat, neck gaiter/buff

These items are recommended for our advanced courses

  • Elbow and knee pads (we have a selection you can try)

  • Body armour

We recommend that you bring your own mountain bike (in good condition and full working order), if you don't have a bike you can arrange bike hire from one of the local bike shops, during the course we will make time to give advice to anyone looking to buy a bike and equipment.

If you hire a bike locally please let us know and arrange for the hire shop to drop off the bike either the evening before or by 9am on the first day of your course.

We would recommend Beics Betws - 01690 710766 if you need to hire a bike.

If renting a bike click here for a rough sizing guide

Customer Reviews For This Course

If you're not falling off you're not trying hard enough...

Martin Knight

An excellent weekend with two superb instructors (Chris & Denry).

I saw the course advertised on facebook as a last minute deal 24 hours before the course started so booked on the spur of the moment.

I was very impressed with all aspects of my time at PyB, particularly with Denry & Chris who were good fun, highly knowledgeable and worked hard to push everyone further. The en suite room was great, food good, beer, coffee and views from the bar memorable. I learned a huge amount that I have already been able to apply to my riding and I haven't fallen off since.

I am currently talking to other members of my local cycling club about coming back to do the course (or something similar) as a club booking.

The only 'notes' I would give to Pyb would be a greater investment in AV gear. An important part of the course for me was the video playback debrief so better cameras, tripods/flexipods would be perfect.

MTB downhill skills course


Booked a weekend course with a friend. There was 1 other person on the course so 3 of us to 1 instructor. The instruction by Chris was very good. We used a purpose built skills course and later went out by bus/uplift onto open mountain trails which was great. Lots of useful tips as well as the actual instruction. Accomodation was fine. Food was OK but the canteen was rather cramped so eating wasn't a terribly pleasurable thing just a necessity. Beautiful surroundings. We were lucky with the weather which made all the difference. Overall a good weekend and would do it again

Fantastic weekend

Christine Worsley

The course description was spot on. I really feel like my riding has progressed to the next level, thanks to the excellent instruction.
Our instructor, Pete, quizzed us on our riding experience and what our goals were for the weekend, then tailored the course around us.
We had loads of variety and there was a perfect balance between learning and developing techniques in the skills area and downhill riding on open trails. Pete's instruction was clear and easy to understand, with analysis of our riding and plenty of feedback and encouragement. He gave me confidence in my riding, and I had a brilliant weekend - the course was so much fun and I feel totally inspired. Thanks again Pete. Also thanks to Jack and Jen and all the staff at Plas Y Brenin who made this a really great weekend.

Excellent Instruction and amazing places to ride!!!

Clare Woodall

I have previously completed skills courses with many different places and instructors and had heard mixed reviews on Plas y Brenin but came with an open mind. I currently ride red/black trail centre's and natural terrain but I have to say this course exceeded all my expectations! Pete the instructor is an incredible rider with an excellent teaching manner, making the riding very relaxed but challenging at the same time, the skills venues and chosen riding areas were just an amazing. I would definately recommend this course to anyone wanting to gain confidence and learn getting air off various rock drops and riding steep loose terrain. With the benefit of concentrating on downhill skills with very little climbing (perfect for me!) Big thanks to Pete, Jack and Jen at the Centre for providing an excellent weekends riding!!

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.