bike trail may 2021

September 15, 2021

SIU’s Touch of Nature offering a bicycle instructor certification course this fall

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is continuing to expand its offerings by presenting a bicycle instructor certification course in October.

The comprehensive three-day program, Oct. 5-7, complements the facility’s Multiuse Trail System. The Midwest’s newest mountain biking trail system is now open for use by bikers, hikers, runners and walkers. The Level 1 Certification Fundamental Skills Bicycle Instructor Certification Course will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The facility will also be home to the 2021 Catalyst Race Series.

Comprehensive course

The course is a hands-on, very inclusive training on the fundamental elements of mountain biking and participants who complete the course will have the necessary skills to teach mountain bike clinics. The program covers fundamental skills, instructor best practices, skills analysis, proper form, personal riding skills, methodology and terminology and provides an introduction to instruction.

To complete the program and earn a four-year certification, participants must demonstrate an understanding of the material, perform a prescribed teaching simulation and pass a written test.

Among the prerequisites needed to participate in the class, participants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have three or more years of mountain bike experience and BICP Ride Leader Certification (available online with the cost covered in this course registration fee).
  • Possess current first aid and CPR certification.
  • Have volunteer or work experience in the biking industry.
  • Have good communication skills and the ability to perform basic bike repairs on the trail. Wilderness First Aid certification is also recommended.

Register online now

The class is limited to the first eight people to sign up and registration is due by Monday, Sept. 20. The cost is $650, which includes the cost of the online Ride Leader Course. Register at

On-site lodging is available at Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road. For more information about the bicycle instructor certification course, contact Erik Oberg at 618-453-3945 or email

To learn more about the new multiuse trail system or Touch of Nature, visit, email or call 618-453-1121.