At Mastering MTB Skills we’re passionate mountain biking enthusiasts and professionally trained skills instructors who coach all levels of riders from beginners that want to be introduced to the sport and learn how to start mountain biking, all the way to more advanced riders who want to hone and master MTB skills to push past their riding plateau.
We’re here to help you become the best mountain biker you can be and would love to invite you to join us on our group and private MTB skills training programs as well as our guided rides.
Meet Your Coaches
All our coaches at Mastering MTB Skills are professional BICP Certified Instructors (Bike Instructor Certification Program) with awesome personalities filled with enthusiasm that guarantee a fun, safe progression session on your bike.
We believe there are aspects to coaching that go beyond certification and that’s being able to read and understand each individual. Our coaches understand that every person comes with their own fears and perspectives and they know how to treat each individual in a thoughtful way.
Keeping riders safe and helping each individual push through their limits is challenging and a very important part of our job. Our coaches share mountain biking tips and techniques to help riders develop and hone their skills, using their experience to know when and how far to push each individual.
We always bear in mind that it’s hard for someone to go beyond their fears or break through their skill plateau. Our MTB skills clinics are designed to help get you to break through your own mental or physical barriers, and the best feeling for us is when we see a client have that ‘ah-ha’ moment and their bike and body start becoming one – that is the magic moment for both the coach and the student.
Seeing your progression realised is our biggest KPI and that’s why we love what we do!
Owner / MTB Skills Instructor
I started mountain biking in 2016 and just like any newbie on the bike I was scared and not very good at it. I would get so nervous, fall a lot and get discouraged.
Coming from an athletic background and being strong, fit and competitive I very quickly realised I had zero technical MTB skills and would beat myself up physically from falling so much and mentally on almost every ride.
I started out riding with my partner, who is quite an avid rider and it was really challenging to try and keep up with him, but I was determined – if he could do it, so could I.
That same year I decided to take on some ladies skills lessons – that believe it or not was run by my partner himself – Wessel Jacobsz. Owning a bike shop he often got ladies asking him to assist them with their MTB skills (it must have been that kind smile and patient heart 😉).
These MTB skills training lessons completely changed my riding and my mindset – even though it was really hard learning from my boyfriend it taught me a new life skill – if you just listen and observe you can learn so much.
I gained an understanding of the fundamentals and slowly began to build my confidence on the bike. I would spend hours practicing my skills (just on the grass) and was determined to master them to take my skills to the mountain bike trails. I started to really love being on my mountain bike and all I wanted to do was ride and get better at it each time and so I did.
As my riding progressed and I got more confident on my bike, I realised that there was a need for a teaching environment that supports women in a safe, fun and encouraging way. So I decided to take my passion and share it with other girls.
In 2017, Wessel and I went over to the USA to become certified to start coaching. We got our certifications through the Bike Instructor Certification Program (BICP) which is recognised as the global leader in MTB skills instruction.
After spending some time riding in the USA and getting my certification, I came back to South Africa and dived right into ‘Ride Like A Girl’ and it’s been such a blessing to look back now and see how much we’ve grown and how many women we’ve empowered through mountain biking.
I love what I do. Truly. This is my dream job. I run my own business and I make a living by riding my bike and I get to share a sport that can change and enhance others’ lives.
I love that I can inspire women through mountain biking and show them that they can be better riders. Mountain biking is an intimidating sport and through ‘Ride Like a Girl’ we help women overcome this fear by teaching them to believe in themselves and their abilities and understanding the sport on a deeper level.
My advice to all the ladies out there who want to experience the joy of mountain biking – don’t be afraid to be the “newbie” or beginner. We have all been there once. I didn’t just wake up one day and start hitting big drops and jumps on my bike, there was a progression.
The few years I’ve spent on my mountain bike is testament to how your riding can progress quickly if you take the time to learn and then ride your bike a lot, and most importantly practice your MTB skills!
Reach out with an open mind and ride with other women who have experience. I truly believe that if you ride with people who are better than you, it will help you become a better rider. Let go of thoughts of what others will think of you – if you can’t ride certain features or if you walk your bike, it’s all part of the progression not perfection.
Progression only happens when we practice and challenge ourselves to push past our fears. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. Don’t give up!
Owner / MTB Skills Instructor
After completing a BSC (Entomology and Zoology) at Rhodes University in 2008, I decided that an office or laboratory was not for me and took off into the wide world.
I have always loved being outdoors and adventure sports are in my blood – especially teaching and training people how to enjoy and get better at it.
I went on to become a PADI staff Instructor (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) as well as an RYA yacht master instructor. I have travelled the world training people to dive, sail, fly-fish and mountain bike and have lived and worked in Antarctica, the Mediterranean, England, the British Virgin Islands/Caribbean, USA, Mozambique and South Africa.
I became more seriously involved in mountain biking in 2015 after I returned to South Africa and started working at and became a partner in TRIBE multisports in Bryanston. Initially, I just enjoyed riding my mountain bike, but soon many of our customers started asking if we could help them with mountain biking skills training.
It was out of this that ‘Ride Like a Girl’ and ‘The Spokesmen MTB Skills’ were eventually born. In the beginning our MTB skills clinics were quite basic and based on experience and instinct only. Soon, however, we realized that we needed to become a lot more professional about it.
My partner Victoria was instrumental in this realization when she pointed out that the mountain biking scene in South Africa was very clubby and oriented towards the bros, which made it very intimidating and inaccessible to most normal people and, especially, women.
Most available training was offered by people who were great at riding, but did not necessarily pay much attention to how people learn and overcome their fears. We needed to do something different to make the sport less intimidating and more accessible to a wider range of people who wanted to ride, but did not know how to start mountain biking.
After doing a lot of research on mountain biking instruction around the world, we decided to visit the BICP in the USA, to have a closer look at their program. We were very impressed with their “progression approach” and the professional and systematic nature of their curriculum.
In 2017, we enrolled in the Professional BICP Certified Mountain Bike Instructor Trainer Programme and completed their BICP Level 1 Certification in Pennsylvania in the USA. We returned to Massachusetts and Vermont in the USA in 2018 to do Levels 2 and 3 Certifications.
In the beginning of 2019, we also became the official representatives for the BICP in Africa and now own and run BICP Africa which aims to expand the BICP’s International Standard for Mountain Bike Instruction throughout Africa by training more instructors in the BICP methodology and approach.
Since aligning our work at ‘Ride Like a Girl’ and ‘The Spokesmen’ with the BICP curriculum and “progression approach” we have gone from strength to strength and helped literally hundreds of new and experienced riders throughout South Africa to get a better grip on their riding.
Learning how to recognize your fears and limitations, and then how to manage and control them through the mastery of a series of simple and easy to learn basic MTB skills is one of the most empowering experiences. Helping people through this process and seeing them succeed not only gives me professional satisfaction, but makes me so happy on a personal level. I like teaching and love to witness that moment when people get it. Everybody can. Literally everybody!
OUR MTB FRIENDS
We Make Riding Fun
Mastering MTB Skills helps you have fun while mountain biking. Join us for a good time.