The Mountain Biking Difficulty Ratings are based on the following criteria:
- Average Pace
- Estimated Stops
- Accumulated Elevation
- Steepness of Ascents and Descents
- Trail Surface and Type
- Expected Technical Ability
- Bike Repair Knowledge
Most abilities accommodated, with distances of up to 5 miles that may include gradual elevation gains, and an average pace of up to 4 mph with multiple stops. Travel is primarily on dirt fire roads and bike paths that may include obstacles or sandy surfaces. Highly accessible, generally family friendly, and may be identified as beginner, entry-level, skills clinic or family rides. Basic trailside bike repair may be taught.
Distances of up to 10 miles, with moderate elevation that may require hike-a-bike for novice riders on some ascents. The average pace is up to 6 mph, with numerous stops for resting, regrouping and/or interpretation. Rides are primarily on wide dirt fire roads or graded surfaces, with the possibility of obstacles and loose, sandy surfaces or small, dry creek crossings. Some trailside bike repair knowledge is appreciated, but may also be taught.
Distances of up to 15 miles, with a total expected elevation gain of up to 2000 feet at an average pace of between 6 and 8 mph. There may be several stops for resting, regrouping and/or interpretation. Rides are primarily on natural surface trails or roads, and may include moderate to steep ascents and singletracks that my require hike-a-bike over some technical sections. Some trailside bike repair knowledge is very beneficial.
Distances of up to 20 miles, with significant elevation gain up to or slighlty in excess of 2500 feet over natural surface trails, including technical and steep singletrack. The average pace is up to 8-10 mph, with minimal stops for resting/regrouping. Routes are appropriate for advanced level riders in good cardio condition who are comfortable with tight singletrack and downhill trail riding at a higher rate of speed. Knowledge of trailside bike repair is expected.
Distances may range from 15 to well over 20 miles, with accumulated elevation gain in excess of 2500 feet, over steep, hilly, rugged terrain, covering a variety of natural surface trail types including significant technical singletrack. There will be minimal stops for resting/regrouping, and an average pace potentially upwards of 10 mph. Routes in this category are designed to challenge high-advanced to expert level riders in endurance, technical riding, and downhill abilities. Knowledge of trailside bike repair is a requirement.