Group Coach and Ride: Beginner

From £120.00 inc. VAT

(6 customer reviews)

Level: 1-3


1-3 coaching rating


3 hours

Guided ride

2 hours


Surrey Hills

Group Coach and Ride: Beginner

From £120.00 inc. VAT

(6 customer reviews)

Coaching isn’t just a great way to improve your mountain biking skills: it can also be a load of fun.That’s why we’re introducing our new group mountain bike coaching for beginners. It’s a simple formula:

  • 3 hours of expert coaching, in a group of up to five other mountain bikers at the same level as yourself
  • after a short break, a 2 hour guided ride, so you can put your new skills into practice

This combination makes for a great mix of learning and fun, with one of Marmalade’s expert coaches.

This beginner session will be optimised to suit you and the other riders, but you can expect to cover things like:

  • Bike setup – including tyre pressures and suspension settings
  • Safe and effective braking
  • Gear selection
  • The ‘Ready Position’ – for perfect off-road posture
  • Line choice – selecting your way through the trail

If you need a higher level of coaching, check out our intermediate- and advanced-level Group Coach and Ride days.

If you need to hire a bike, check availability first and book using the bike hire selector below.

Or, for some private guidance…

    • Our private coaching is flexible and focused, so you (or you and your friends) can really focus in the skills you want to master

Itinerary: Group Coach and Ride

After an introduction and briefing to the day, you will get started on this day of off-road skills-building:

10.00am to 1.00pm – Three hours of structured coaching will be adapted to suit riders’ needs, but is likely to cover:

  • Bike setup – including tyre pressures and suspension settings
  • Safe and effective braking
  • Gear selection
  • The ‘Ready Position’ – for perfect off-road posture
  • Line choice –selecting your way through the trail

1.00pm – 1.30pm – Lunch break. Enjoy a drink and snack at Peaslake Village Stores or the Hurtwood Inn – or bring a packed lunch.

1.30pm – 3.30pm – Now it’s time to practise your new skillset on a fun and progressive guided ride on the famous woodland trails of Holmbury and Pitch Hills. Your coach will customise a route specifically designed to give you opportunity to use your new skills and build your confidence.

The area and the trails

The lush woodland that smothers these green sandstone hills is festooned with ancient bridleways and trails that have made the Surrey Hills famous. This ride will perfectly link together the best introductory trails of Holmbury Hill and potentially Pitch Hill, depending on our progress on the day.

Your choice of bike

E-bikes or conventionally-powered mountain bikes are all welcome, whether you bring your own or hire from our friends at The Riders Hub.

How to get here

By train – The nearest station to Peaslake is Gomshall which provides easy connections of around an hour from London via Dorking and Guildford stations.

By road – From London and the south you’ll likely use the A3 or A24 and the A25. Head for Hurtwood’s No.1 car park at the top of Holmbury Hill.

Jim Barrow
Cycling UK, Technical MTB Coach

Mountain bike skills coaching on the surrey hills for beginners novice advanced intermediateJim’s two-wheeled journey began in the early 80s on a BMX, then progressed onto mountain bikes in the 90s. He fine-tuned his bike skills across the whole off-road racing spectrum: XC, enduro, endurance, cyclocross and BMX.

Having built this deep love of biking, Jim now devotes himself to sharing it with other riders, as an experienced leader and coach. And when he’s not mountain bike coaching or shredding in the woods, he’s camping in them – adding bikepacking to his enormous biking portfolio.

Jim guides Marmalade rides all over the UK – and is our skills coaching specialist and bikepacking expert. So whether you’re looking to finesse your trail technique or discover the joys of sleeping under the stars, Jim’s looking forward to riding with you.

Andy Pittson
MIAS, Technical MTB Coach

Mountain bike skills coaching on the surrey hills for beginners novice advanced intermediateAndy spent most of his early days and his twenties as an accomplished climber – taking  him all over Europe. As mountain biking became more popular in the 90’s it wasn’t long before this adventurer was exploring the great outdoors with pedal power.

Swapping ropes for tyres, mountain biking became Andy’s new passion. Never one to turn down an exciting opportunity Andy headed off to southern Spain to work overseas as head guide for one of the world’s leading mountain bike holiday providers, where he spent seven amazing years delivering multi-level experiences for their global community.

These days Andy is settled with his family in the vibrant city of Brighton, and has been guiding and coaching for Marmalade since 2019. Andy still races enduro – keeping his bike-handling skills finely tuned.

Just like Jim, Andy boasts a wealth of UK wide and overseas experience and is passionate about sharing his knowledge to improve your skills.


  • Duration: 5 hours
    • 3 hours coaching
    • 2 hours guided ride
  • Distance: 9-11 miles (14-18km) approx
  • Elevation gain: 1,300 ft (400m) approx
  • Technical Grade: Novice
    (any questions, please contact us)
  • Meet time: 9.30am │ 10.00 am on bikes
  • Meet point: Hurtwood car park no.1, Holmbury Hill, Peaslake
  • Our beginner Group Coach and Ride day is aimed at the novice off-road cyclist and the regular beginner mountain biker looking for a sociable and informative group activity to learn the core skills and fundamentals of mountain biking
  • To take part, you’ll need to be an active person who has the personal fitness to ride for at least 2 hours at a social and comfortable pace
  • You should be confident riding a bike on roads or smooth terrain, able to operate it safely, before joining us to look at off-road skills
    • For more basic instruction on learning to ride, try a Bikeability course
  • The trails may include features such as roots and loose rocks, along with small rollable steps – all of which can be easily ridden or avoided
  • This session may contain undulating trails – and in places, climbs that may be challenging
  • This session requires a suitable mountain bike (Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable)
    • See the ‘Bike Hire‘ section below if you need to hire a bike
  • Riders should be aged 18 and over
  • If this ride sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, please contact us and we’ll help you look at other options

Equipment, kit and clothing


  • Suitable mountain bike in good working order (bikes can be hired)
  • Helmet (in good condition, with no damage)
  • Clothing and shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the day
  • Personal choice of drink and ride snacks


  • Gloves
  • Glasses, sunglasses or eyeshields
  • Backpack
  • Spare inner tube
  • Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
  • Padded cycling shorts for comfort

What’s not included

  • Bike hire – this can be booked via the ‘Bike Hire‘ section
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Pre, during or post activity refreshments
  • Personal travel or accident Insurance
Private coaching

Base price of £180 is for one person for 2 hours. Add more riders for a group of four using the ‘Extras’ drop down menu.

Need to hire a bike? Then after you have booked your coaching, scroll down or click here to reserve your bike with our friends at Surrey Hills Bike Rental.

Still not sure what experience is for you or have a question? Then please send Sean an email or call on +44(0)7840724611.

(All prices include VAT)

Bike hire (extra information)

Bike hire selection

  1. From the system below choose the date and time to match our itinerary
  2. We recommend the six hour option as a minimum from 9.30 am
  3. Select normal mountain bike or electric mountain bike
  4. Choose the size of bike, based on your height
  5. Add a helmet if you need one
  6. Go to checkout and complete the bike hire reservation
  7. Book your place on your desired coach and ride session with us

Please Note:
​The bike hire system below can sometimes have a delay before it has fully loaded. If it fails to show, then visit Surrey Hills Bike Rental direct to reserve your bike. Then return to this page to confirm your place on our guided ride.

(** Marmalade MTB is not responsible for the provision of these bikes. By using the system below you are booking direct with Surrey Hills Bike Rental.)

6 reviews for Group Coach and Ride: Beginner

  1. Helen Hoette

    Had a great day on the Beginners Coach and Ride event on Sunday in the Surrey Hills. After going through bike set up, our coach, Andy, took us step by step through the various techniques needed to negotiate the trails. I have to admit that I was quite anxious at the start doing the first practice trails but using the skills we’d practised in the morning session prepared me for the afternoon ride. Thanks Andy for building my confidence. Looking forward to joining Marmalade on future guided rides.

  2. Dan Rusby-Gale

    Fantastic! Really enjoyed the Beginners Coach & Ride with Andy in the Surrey Hills. After covering the basics of trail riding (which was totally new to me despite being a reasonably experienced road bike rider) Andy took us down a few trails. I picked up so many useful tips on ride technique and bike maintenance. Looking forward to returning to Marmalade for a guided off road rides.

  3. Martin

    Really enjoyed the day out with Andy and the group!
    Great to be able to apply the techniques taught straight on the routes.
    Would recommend to anybody wanting to build confidence in riding downhill routes safely and controlled.

  4. Peter Adams

    Great days training with Jim. Really informative and I felt I learnt a lot. After lunch, we enjoyed putting into practice what we had learnt in the morning. If you’re new to mountain biking or like me you have done a few rides but want to improve I would definitely recommend this course. As always Marmalade MTB delivers.

  5. Jon

    Had a great day on the beginners coach and ride day and learnt new techniques. Good fun and Jim was great and good company with fellow riders.

  6. Rebekah fisher

    I had a brilliant time on my beginners coach and ride day. I have learned so much, and spending time out on the hills and tackling trails I may ordinarily have thought too hard has really boosted my confidence in handling my bike. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I am very excited to do more!

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