Introducing the Adelaide Dirt League

This October marks the sixth anniversary of our first coaching session. When the Inside Line Downhill Mountain Bike Club asked me to run a few coaching sessions for fellow club members, a seed was planted and I am extremely proud of what has grown. I was not a coach at the time and I was certainly not in any position that involved teaching or sports instruction. In fact, I was a playing the drums in a band that showcased music for primary school students! With a healthy dose of naivety, I decided it was about time that mountain biking (the sport, not the camp activity) was showcased for schools, and Head for the Hills was born.

Tyson Schmidt coaching the first Head for the Hills coaching session

Tyson at the first Head for the Hills Coaching session

I could not have put it in such simple terms at the time, but the goal has always been to develop pathways into and through the sport. The way I saw it, was that unless you knew somebody who rode it was extremely hard to get started in the sport. Since then, our team has expanded. Cooper, Griffin, Moira, Talia and I have developed a range of over 20 programs that form a comprehensive network of pathways that support riders of all ages, interests and levels of ability.

“We are not a Coaching Company”

Although we deliver many coaching programs, we are not a coaching company. We are a rider development company and we are solely focussed on designing and delivering programs that support riders.

The Adelaide Dirt League

Adelaide Dirt League Logo

I cannot be more excited to introduce to you our latest initiative, the Adelaide Dirt League! Weekly mountain bike competition for juniors with an emphasis on rider development.

One of the biggest barriers we feel our sport faces is the lack of grass-roots pathways for junior riders. Let’s face it; we are battling giants like AFL, Netball and Basketball who could easily be considered the ‘mainstream’ sports for kids. Please do not misinterpret my point. I love these sports and I miss my social netball team dearly but it is far too easy for kids to be swept up in the mainstream if viable alternatives are inaccessible or even non-existent. We hope that we can provide an alternative weekly sport that kids truly resonate with.

A young mountain biker riding through a rock garden

Adelaide Dirt League – weekly sport that kids truly resonate with

Pilot Program

We will be running a ten week pilot program in term three before rolling out the full six month program in October. Key attributes of the Adelaide Dirt League are:

  • Elements from all mountain biking disciplines will be incorporated into the program including Cross Country, Gravity Enduro, Downhill, Cyclocross and Trials
  • Weekly sessions will be mildly competitive. We want to foster a spirit of competition without sacrificing the core principle of rider development
  • The program will be delivered in various locations around Adelaide, one of the many perks of living in the city with the most accessible trail network in the world!
  • The program will be split into halves, the second duplicating the first allowing participants to track their progress.

For more information and to reserve a place in the pilot program, go to the Adelaide Dirt League page on our website.

Please leave a comment. Your thoughts and ideas will be greatly appreciated!


Cheers – Tyson

Head for the Hills Off Road Cycling


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4 Comments

  1. Hi.
    Thanks for developing such interesting programs. Is the Dirt League pilot program next term suitable for complete beginners? Thanks.

    • Hi Megan, thank you so much for your feedback!

      It really depends on what you mean by complete beginners. The ADL is not a skills coaching program and is designed to challenge participants in a way that motivates them to practice and develop their skills. As with most of our programs, we require that participants can ride on two wheels confidently. Being a moderately competitive program, we feel that it is best if participants have some level of experience.

      We have some great entry level programs that enable complete beginners to gain experience off road and on trails, such as the Holiday Geocache Adventure and Holiday Skills.

  2. This sounds fantastic. Please let me know what ages will be included. I would be interested in signing up my son who is 13 years.

    • Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for the positive response. All the info can be found on the ADL program page of our website here.

      But to answer your question:
      – kids born in 2011 – 2013 are eligible for the Under 10 Category
      – kids born in 2018 – 2010 are eligible for the Under 13 Category

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