Ride Rating System
The purpose of our Ride Rating System is to encourage and enable Ride Leaders to provide factors encountered in travel by bicycle which fairly describes the difficulty of the tour being offered. With full disclosure, members can join tours that fulfill the challenge they want and feel capable of safely and comfortably enjoying. Rather than solely relying on a general overall rating, we require:
- A number/letter combination appearing in the upper right box on the Ride Description page describing where the tour fits within the following parameters of average daily climbing, Levels 1-4, and average daily mileage, Levels A-D, of all required rides. (For fixed base rides, all days are used for averages.) Where the averages hide very difficult days or fall closely between Levels, the Ride Leader and Tour Reviewer may agree a higher number/letter rating is appropriate.
- A mandatory ride rating paragraph which discloses hard days significantly above stated Levels and/or additional factors, such as those listed below, making the tour more or less difficult.
Ride Leaders should screen ride applicants, but members are responsible for determining whether or not a tour is right for them.
The Ride Rating System separates the degree of Climbing Level and the Distance Level of the ride into two separate indices.
Climbing Level - Average Daily Climbing Required
- Climbing Level 1
- Climbing Level 2
- Climbing Level 3
- Climbing Level 4
Distance Level - Average Daily Distance Required
- Distance Level A
- Distance Level B
- Distance Level C
- Distance Level D
New Ride Rating Paragraph — the Important Details
Members must carefully read the Ride Rating Paragraph before joining the ride. Data will be shown for any of the following conditions that will be (or are likely to be) encountered:
FACTORS DECREASING OVERALL DIFFICULTY
- Easier alternative routes on required days.
- Rest or optional riding days between hard days.
FACTORS INCREASING OVERALL DIFFICULTY
- Required riding days that significantly exceed tour number/letter rating.
- Long or frequent climbs and grades above 8%.
- Riding at high altitude.
- Rough road conditions, unpaved routes, bike paths.
- Heavy traffic.
- Complex navigation.
- Extreme weather possibilities.
- Long distances between water, food or shelter.
- Riding on the opposite side of the road than accustomed to.
Commercially supported rides are denoted by the van icon
Alert! - Read the Description Carefully
There are some rides that will not exactly match the Ratings as stated; for example, a 2B ride might have climbing levels greater than 2500 ft or distance levels longer than 50 miles on some days. In such cases the "Alert!" icon warns you to read the Ride Description very carefully."
†For rides that occured prior to 2012 please refer to the previous Ride Rating system