Ontario’s Best Bike Clinics & Lessons

Learn something new, improve your skills and feed your passion.

For cyclists of all calibers looking to expand their skills, Ontario is a dream. Lush forest landscapes and quiet shoreline roads make up some of the greatest routes in the country. To enjoy such a vast provincial playground requires a level of constant growth—and Ontario is just the place to do that.

If you’re looking to finally hit that drop that’s been eyeing you down in the woods, shave three seconds off your 80-kilometre country route, or learn how to rebuild a bike, there’s a clinic for that. We’ve highlighted a multitude of Ontario-based clinics and lessons to help you become the best cyclist possible.

Mountain Biking

If mountain biking is your passion, chances are you love a good rush of adrenaline, value agility and appreciate the wilderness. These clinics and lessons are run by seasoned pros who are dedicated to helping you become the best mountain biker possible.

one young cyclist rides on a dirt trail while others watch
Skills clinics can help gain confidence and make riding all the more enjoyable. Source: Michael McKenzie // Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club

Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club Skills Clinics | Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay is home to some wicked mountain biking trails, in large part thanks to organizations like the Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club (BSMBC) who build and maintain Trowbridge Forest and Shuniah Mines. They also run races and events—and clinics.

In partnership with Shred Like a Girl, BSMBC runs intermediate mountain bike skills clinics for female identifying riders (16+). One clinic called Features Fest focuses on teaching riders how to tackle challenging features like rocks, bridges, roots or ledges. Another, called Jumps and Drops, aims to give riders confidence riding drops and jumps on the trail. Clinics typically run throughout the summer months.

Batawa Ski Hill Mountain Bike Skills Clinics | Batawa

Tammie Stanton is an Ontario-based personal trainer and coach who has spent most of her life helping people become better athletes. As a certified professional mountain bike instructor, she leads skills clinics on the beautiful, challenging trails of the Batawa Ski Hill, which in the summer is a mountain biking area with every kind of terrain.

Level 1 Beginner clinics are offered to riders who are still learning the basics of mountain biking, while Level 2 and 3 clinics are geared towards riders looking to dial in advanced mountain biking skills.

kids ride their bicycles through pylons as part of a cycling class
The kids programs offered by the North Bay Mountain Bike Association are a great way to get youth involved in the sport. Source: Connie Hergott

North Bay Mountain Bike Association Lessons & Programs | North Bay

For some, it’s much easier to learn in a one-on-one environment. The North Bay Mountain Bike Association (NBMBA) loves to promote riders of all ages and skill levels, which is why they offer private lessons for mountain bikers who prefer to have personalized instruction.

Their PMBIA-certified instructors are available for reservation-based lessons to members and non-members who want to focus on anything from beginner skills to hitting big drops. Learn more about building confidence with a qualified instructor who is committed to meeting your specific needs here.

The NBMBA also runs youth programs for kids age five to 16, introducing the younger kids to mountain biking while helping older kids continue developing their skills.

Norco Dirt Series Lessons and Camps | Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay

The Norco Dirt Series has been promoting mountain biking in a positive, team-building setting since 2001. Founded on the belief that mountain biking wouldn’t exist without camaraderie, they offer a ton of skill-building camps and clinics that take place all over the world.

In Ontario they offer camps in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Niagara, Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto, St. Catharines and Petawawa. The camps and clinics are led by professionals and cater to a range of skill levels, from brand-new mountain bikers to advanced riders. They even offer an instructional guided trip for those with advanced skills.

Learn more about the camps and clinics and their locations here.

a bike instructor teaches a group of young cyclists while on a ride
Learn the basics for a lifetime of awesome riding. Source: Conor Nesbitt – C.A.N. Media // Hardwood Ski and Bike

Hardwood Ski and Bike Programs & Lessons | Oro-Medonte

Looking to expand your mountain biking skills? Hardwood Ski and Bike runs mountain bike lessons and programs for everyone.

Adults can register for one of the Level 1 or Level 2 Learn to Ride and Ride Better clinics to hone beginner skills or move past them. Join one of their Women's Mountain Bike Skills Clinics to learn crucial skill development and build confidence during beginner and intermediate rides. They also offer a NCCP Intro to Community Coaching program for those whose long-term interests revolve around coaching others for competitive and educational mountain biking events.

Youth programming includes Radical Riders (ages six to 15), focusing on learning the fundamentals of riding; and Trail Shredders (ages 11 to 15), focusing on bike handling skills, maintenance, trail building and more.

Hardwood also offers lessons for ages seven and up.

Group of mountain bikers at a trailhead.
Improve your mountain bike skills with Minii Adventures. Source: Minii Adventures Inc.

Minii Adventures Mountain Bike Experiences | Ontario

The team at Minii Adventures is devoted to growing the mountain bike community by providing experiences to riders of all abilities. They run clinics, events and private lessons in both indoor and outdoor environments to help foster skill progression. They run far too much programming to list here, so it’s best to check out their Private Experiences and Group Experiences online. Programming is run largely in Southern Ontario, but the Minii Adventures team also travels across the province, offering experiences in northern locations such as North Bay and Sudbury as well.

a group of cyclists pose after a lesson
It’s all about learning and having fun! Source: Stoked! MTB Sessions

Stoked! MTB Sessions | Southern Ontario

Offering group events and private lessons in locations across Southern Ontario, Stoked! MTB Sessions is determined to help cultivate skilled and passionate riders. Sign up for either all gender or women’s only events, introductory courses, skills clinics, progression series, bike maintenance classes, and private and semi-private lessons to improve your confidence on a mountain bike and have more fun on the trails.

Rad Adventures Programs | The Blue Mountains

Adults and youth alike can improve their mountain biking skills with Rad Adventures, operating out of Petun Conservation Area. The organization offers corporate clinics and private lessons, women’s intermediate and beginner programs, and beginner, intermediate and advanced programs for kids.

Ride KW Coaching | Kitchener-Waterloo

Coach Marc at Ride KW offers one-on-one mountain biking lessons at popular locations around the Kitchener-Waterloo area, including The Hydrocut. Lessons are intended for adults who have two to three years of mountain biking experience and who want to up their skills.

two cyclists talk and point at the bottom of a grassy hill
Gain confidence downhill mountain biking with the help of a knowledgeable instructor. Source: Horseshoe Resort

Horseshoe Resort Lessons | Barrie

Take downhill mountain bike lessons right at Ontario’s premier downhill mountain bike resort, Horseshoe Resort. Lessons are offered to complete beginners and those who are simply looking to build upon existing skills. Private lessons are available for up to two riders. Find out more here.

Adventure365 Clinics | Sudbury

Adventure 365 is a staple in the Sudbury community, providing support for all manner of outdoor activities. They run bike rentals out of Kivi Park and also provide events and clinics throughout the year.

Durham Shredders Programs | Durham Region

The Durham Shredders are a mountain bike club for youth. They offer Learn to Ride and Learn to Race programs to help kids gain mountain bike skills on the trails.

Consummate Athlete Lessons | Collingwood and Mulmur

Coach Peter Glassford at Consummate Athlete specializes in helping off-road cyclists develop their skills for their individual goals, whether that may be for group rides, races or technical trail riding. You can find out more about his bike skills lessons here.

Fat Biking

Sometimes spring, summer and fall don’t make up enough of a riding season. With a little gear modification and some warmer clothing, these clinics target those whose love of cycling intersects with a love of snow.

Fat Bike Skills Series | Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie

Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie are known for their cold, snowy winters, making them the perfect locations to learn to ride in the winter. The Norco Dirt Series offers winter clinics for trail riders who are looking to add snow to the list of terrain they thrive on. Taking place in small groups, these skills clinics will help beginner and intermediate riders build snow-biking confidence, while learning about how great winter riding is. Learn more about the fat bike clinics here.

For those who don’t own a fat bike, you can rent one from Adventure365 in Sudbury or Velorution in Sault Ste. Marie.

General Riding

Everyone has to start somewhere. Whether you’re new to biking or are in need of a refresher, these clinics and programs are perfect for introductory skills or skill brush-ups.

Discovery Routes Community Bicycle Education Programs | North Bay

Discovery Routes is a pro-adventure organization whose course options are offered to adults and youth, and range from beginner Learn to Ride programs to Instructor Certification programs. By focusing on trail maintenance and bicycle education programs they ensure everyone has the chance to experience cycling. Learn more about their programming here.

Safe Cycling Courses | Thunder Bay

In an effort to encourage healthy, active lifestyles within the Thunder Bay community, Safe Cycling Thunder Bay offers courses to cyclists of all ages. Their Kids Courses target grade school aged kids and teach riding theory, how to conduct safety checks on bike equipment and handling skills that will keep them safe. For most courses, kids must already know how to ride a bike, but there is a Learn to Ride course offered for kids just starting out.

Safe Cycling also offers specialized 55+ courses for older cyclists who are looking to learn among peers. In this category, participants can choose between a Cycling Skills course and Tire-Changing Workshop.

Lastly, Safe Cycling offers to come to workplaces to provide Safe Cycling Theory and Advanced Cycling Skills programs.

Ottawa Bicycle Club Clinics | Ottawa

For those looking to gain confidence and skills when just starting out, the Ottawa Bicycle Club offers various clinics to help support local cyclists.

The OBC’s Riding Skills Clinics go over how to prepare for rides, traffic safety and riding skills. Group Riding Clinics provide tips on how to ride in an organized pack. Cycling Safety Presentations take place in a classroom setting and go over risks, safety precautions and tips for riding in traffic.

Learn more about their educational programs here.

Rolling Horse Clinics | Burlington

Rolling Horse offers community clinics as well as hands-on workshops teaching how to change a bike tire.

Track Cycling

Track cycling in a velodrome is a beast of its own, focusing on lap times, positioning and maintaining steady acceleration. Using a specialized bike and a unique banked track, it takes a bit of getting used to!

National Track Racing Training | Milton

The National Cycling Institute of Milton offers cyclists of all abilities the chance to experience a world-class indoor cycling track. They offer beginner, intermediate and advanced structured training programs for youth and adults who are looking to start riding track or improve their existing indoor racing skills. A mixture of on-track training and cycling-based exercises will help cyclists take their riding to the next level. Learn more about their programs and facilities here.

Bike Parks

No matter if you’re there for the pump track, jumps or rails, bike parks offer so many ways to have fun. But, they can be intimidating to beginners, to mention unsafe if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully there are lessons that can help you get started.

Woman standing in front of bike girl is sitting on.
Gain confidence riding indoor features at Joyride 150. Source: Joy Ride 150

Joyride 150 Lessons | Markham

Joyride 150 features a beginner area, cross country area, pump track, jump lines, dirt jumps, a foam pit and more. Learn how to navigate all these features by taking lessons: Learn to Ride, Learn to Joyride, Bikes and Brews Adult Jump Clinic and more. They also offer an after-school Ramp Camp program with three levels to foster skills progression among kids aged four to 15. The expert instructors will have you riding with confidence in no time.

Road biking

It doesn’t get much more freeing than road biking, where you can head out your door and create endless routes through urban and rural scenery. If you want to improve your speed, endurance and technique on a road bike, following are the clinics and lessons for you.

Team Atomica Cycling Clinics | GTA

As a quickly growing training and development centre in the GTA, Team Atomica specializes in coaching and training for all the components that go into triathlons. They offer bicycle clinics focusing on speed and endurance, to help road cyclists become faster, stronger racers. Learn more about their cycling clinics here.

Hardwood Next Wave Development Program | Oro-Medonte

The Hardwood Next Wave Development Program is aimed at youth wanting to improve their road racing skills. The program provides introductory level cycling skills as well as helps kids improve their athletic ability. The program will prepare them well for racing and set them up for a bright future in the sport.

Gravel Riding

Fitting somewhere between road biking and mountain biking, gravel riding lets you take the road truly less travelled. Gravel riding opens up possibilities, allowing you to go the rural route and enjoy less vehicle traffic and take in seldom-seen views. So, how do you get started?

Yours Outdoors Grit and Gravel | Haliburton

The Grit and Gravel clinic from Yours Outdoors is an introduction to gravel biking for new riders who are interested in learning about the mechanics of how to ride on a multitude of surfaces, how to be prepared for adventurous excursion, and how to perform standard roadside repairs. Your practice area will be in beautiful Haliburton Forest, where over 400 kilometres of gravel roads abound.

Crazy 8 Barn & Garden Clinics | Elgin County

Referred to as “backroad riding” by Crazy 8 Barn & Garden, rides take place on gravel and hard top roads, as well as rail trails. The idea is to explore the scenic landscape of Southwestern Ontario and use whatever pathways are necessary to do so. Owner Susanne Spence Wilkins offers clinics to help get more women out on gravel roads and trails.

Repair and Maintenance

No matter what kind of cyclist you are, no matter what kind of bike you ride, there will come a time where repair and maintenance knowledge will be your best friend. These Ontario clinics will help you take on every adventure with the confidence, knowing you have the skills to take care of your bicycle.

Winterborne Bicycle Institute Courses | Dundas

If you want to learn the ins and outs of bicycle maintenance, from basic upkeep and tool use to full fledged bicycle overhauling, Winterborne Bicycle Institute can teach you all that and more. With day courses like the Park Tool School, students will learn how to perform all the necessary basic repairs their bike may need when trail or road riding.

The Institute also offers an intensive Pro Mechanics Course that runs for 11 days and provides students with the resources and confidence to understand, repair and build each component of a bicycle. Learn more about the Institute and courses here.

Bike Sudbury Repair Workshops | Sudbury

Bike Sudbury’scommitment to making Sudbury a bike-friendly city is evident in their bicycle repair workshops. These clinics are offered for free throughout the riding season in Sudbury, and provide cyclists with key information on how to repair, maintain and care for their bicycles. The workshop dates are updated on the Bike Sudbury social medi apages and you can learn more on their website.

Community Spokes | Thunder Bay

If you prefer to do it yourself, but still need a bit of guidance, Community Spokes is the perfect cycling hub to visit. With full shop amenities, they maintain a “pay it forward” mentality by providing cyclists with a free space, free tools, affordable parts and expert advice. Bring your working bike or project into the shop to experience a hands-on learning environment where you’ll be the one doing the actual work, but experts are there to guide you. Drop-ins are welcome.

Quick Cranks Bike Repair Courses | Ottawa

Quick Cranks is an Ottawa-based bicycle dealer and repair centre offering a range of bicycle repair courses. From a DIY bicycle repair station to regimented clinics and courses, there’s something for everyone who wants to learn how to take care of their bike. Choose from their Basics or Novice courses to spend a day learning about typical bike fixes and upkeep, or register for their Pro Mechanics course to learn how to repair and maintain bikes on a professional level.

Learn more about the courses and the shop here.

Rolling Horse | Burlington

Rolling Horse offers a community bike shop on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll have access to the space, tools and help of a mechanic. The program is pay-what-you-can.

Find the clinic or lessons for you

Learning to ride, repair, endure or improve can greatly increase the feeling of accomplishment in your cycling life. Choose to take part in one of these diverse bike education programs to become a better cyclist and fulfilled adventurer.

About Marshall Veroni

Marshall Veroni is a poet, songwriter and outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time travelling Canada in one way or another. With a background in creative writing, he is dedicated to immersing himself in small-town Ontario to cover outdoor adventures, music, the arts, food and travel. 

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