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Mountain Biking School

The mission of the ECP Mountain Biking School is to introduce students to the skills and knowledge necessary to ride mountain bikes on a variety of single-track trails including some technical maneuvers and promote appropriate MTB etiquette.

The ECP Mountain Biking School is an all-volunteer program, taught by ECP members with a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and riding styles.  We're looking to introduce more people to mountain biking and show you how approachable it can be for beginners!


The School consists of three classroom sessions for discussing and learning basics and three outdoor outings through June and July.  Each outing will be part skills training and part trail riding. See the schedule below for details.

The course fee is $85, which covers supplies and camping for the post-graduation trip. Membership in the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh is required to apply for the school. Once you apply, you will be asked to attend a checkout ride so that we can assess your skills and fit for the class.

Riding your own mountain bike or another loaner bike that you can use throughout the school is highly suggested: no cyclocross bikes, downhill bikes, or BMX bikes.  Loaner bikes may available from instructors if needed, but are limited in number and size. If you do not have a bike, email and we can help you try to find one before the school.


    • Basic skills to ride trails around this region
    • Basic trailside maintenance
    • Appropriate gear and clothing for Mountain Biking
    • Different types of mountain bikes and disciplines associated with mountain biking
    • Fitness and injury prevention for mountain biking
    • Food and Nutrition


    • You must be 18 years of age to apply.
    • You must be a member of the ECP to participate. If you need to join or reinstate your membership, click here.  You can apply for ECP membership and Mountain Biking School at the same time, just be sure to follow both application processes.
    • You must sign a waiver.
    • You must follow all expectations for the school, which include treating other students and instructors with respect and having and wearing a helmet throughout the course when on a bike.
    • You must complete a checkout ride prior to being accepted as a student. This includes being able to mount your bike, maintain balance, shift, brake, and ride up and down hills on gravel roads or doubletrack trails (like Frick or Schenley Park) for ~3 miles without needing to dismount or rest. No advanced skills are required: that’s what you get from the school!
    • You must pay the school fee of $85. This fee is refundable if you are not accepted. Note that you will also be responsible for all of your transportation costs for classes and outings.

        If you have questions, email


        The 2024 ECP Mountain Biking School schedule is now available!

        The student checkouts are available to any prospective students. Applicants who have missed the application deadline and are still interested will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may email the school directors directly for consideration. Only one of the student checkouts is necessary to attend.

        Classes and outings are for accepted students only.

        Description Date / Time Location (Subject to change)
        Applications Open April 1 Click here to apply!
        Bicycle Maintenance Day

        April 20

        Time and location to be announced soon

        Applications CloseMay 29 @ 11:59pm
        Student checkout #1 (attend #1 or #2) June 4, 6:30pm - 8pm Frick Park Lower Frick parking area
        Student checkout #2 (attend #1 or #2) June 6, 6:30pm - 8pm Frick Park Lower Frick parking area
        Students Notified of Acceptance to School June 7 By email
        Welcome Party and Introduction


        Class 1 June 25, 7pm-9pm TBD
        Outing 1 June 29, 9am-3pm South Park
        Class 2 July 2, 7pm-9pm TBD
        Outing 2 July 6, 9am-3pm Alameda Park
        Class 3 July 9, 7pm-9pm TBD
        Outing 3 July 13, 9am-3pm North Park
        Post Graduation Trip (by invitation) August 16-18 Raystown Lake, PA 
        Winter Trip (optional)

        Saturday in December TBD

        Ray's Bike Park, Cleveland, OH


        Applications will be accepted until May 29th at 11:59pm. Applications are now closed for 2024, but check back next Spring!

        Contact if you have additional questions.

        Adopting the motto "Research, Education, and Adventure" in 1947, for three generations the ECP has provided the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new friends who share a willingness to accept the physical and mental challenges of outdoor exploration and adventure.

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        Mailing Address:
        5715 Beacon Street, No. 516
        Pittsburgh, PA   15217

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