Skill and Fitness Rating System

Ensuring our Riders are matched with adventures appropriate for their experience, skill level, fitness level, and interests, is of utmost importance to us. We ask every Rider to review the Skill and Fitness Rating System below to ensure they’re confident in the skill and fitness levels required for the particular Ride they’re interested in joining.

 

We also ask all of our Riders to understand that our adventures are designed as a group experience (i.e. not a race nor a private guided tour) for riders who may be coming from all corners of the globe, and that there is bound to be some differences in skill and/or fitness within any given group. For example, some  riders may excel at descending, while others are stronger climbers or are more adept in certain environments, and therefore some amount of waiting to regroup every now and again should be expected. This is mediated to an extent by having the lowest guide to client ratio in the industry (1:4), and by being upfront and transparent about the challenges of each Ride in our descriptions and in our communication.

 

Please read the following guidelines carefully and ensure the level of the Ride you are interested in accurately matches the level you find yourself at. If you are unsure if a particular Ride is right for you, please contact us with any questions as we’re always excited to  be of assistance.

 

 

Skill Ratings 

SKILL LEVEL 1 - NEWBIE

You've never ridden a mountain bike before.

 

SKILL LEVEL 2 - BEGINNER

You have limited experience with off-road trail riding. Singletrack - what is singletrack?

 

SKILL LEVEL 3 - NOVICE

You're into riding off-road on wide dirt or gravel roads or doubletrack trails, but don't yet have the skills or the confidence to ride terrain with roots, rocks, tight corners, tight trees and steep sections. 

 

SKILL LEVEL 4 - STRONG NOVICE

Your dedication to mountain biking has led you to your first handful of rides on real singletrack. You enjoy the smooth mellow singletrack, although you may find the trails are too narrow, the climbs come too quick to shift and often have you walking, and the obstacles have you a bit surprised and wondering: "people ride over that stuff?"!

 

SKILL LEVEL 5 - INTERMEDIATE 

TERRAIN

At a controlled speed and on mellow singletrack terrain, you are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand.

 

OBSTACLES

You are comfortable and confident rolling over small obstacles (a couple inches high) like roots, rocks and small rollable drops (a couple inches high). You do not yet feel comfrotable taking your wheels off the ground.

 

BIKE PARKS

If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green trails and some blue trails. You roll over obstacles with ease, although keep both wheels on the ground at all times.

 

BIKE SKILLS 

You are confident and successful executing the following basic bike handling skills on mellow singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate the terrain and shift gears accordingly.

Descending - you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent.

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required.

 

SKILL LEVEL 6 - STRONG INTERMEDIATE 

TERRAIN

You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on more challenging terrain and at higher speeds.

 

OBSTACLES

You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable, and use the ratcheting method of pedalling to clear your bottom bracket and rear wheel over the obstacle.

 

BIKE PARKS

If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green trails and blue trails, and have dabbled in some black trails though they may leave you walking several technical sections.

 

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears smoothly.

Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing is typically successful, unless technical roots, rocks or corners have you walking a short section.

Descending - you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent. You are comfortable with speed and letting go of your brakes as long as you can see the exit or end of the descent.

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required.

Cornering - you understand effective cornering techniques although may still need to work on your timing and coordination.

 

SKILL LEVEL 7 - ADVANCED 

TERRAIN

You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking.

 

OBSTACLES

You can bunny hop over obstacles such as small roots and rocks that less advanced riders may attempt to roll over.   You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable. You can handle some raised obstacles such as bridges, though with some trepidation.
 

BIKE PARK

If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green, blue  and black trails. You may have ventured on some double black diamond  trails, but many sections leave you feeling nervous and unsure. 

 

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears smoothly and efficiently.

Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing that involves technical roots, rocks and switchbacks are typically no issue for you.

Descending - you use the brakes sparingly, and enjoy getting some air off little rocks and roots. 

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes independently of each other when required.

Cornering - your timing and coordination on all types of berms is solid. You are comfortable leaning your bike through the corner and exit with acceleration.

 

SKILL LEVEL 8 - EXPERT 

TERRAIN

You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking. You rarely, if ever, walk.

 

OBSTACLES

You often bunny hop over obstacles such as roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over.   Small drops are no issue for you and you are fully comfortable with having both wheels leave the ground.  You are confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

 

BIKE PARK

If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green, blue, black and most double black trails. 

 

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears often and smoothly.

Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing technical roots, rocks and switchbacks are no issue for you.

Descending - you use the brakes sparingly and enjoy getting air off every rock, root and drop you can find.

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes independently of each other when required.

Cornering - your timing and coordination on all types of berms, switchbacks and corners is solid. You have no problem leaning your bike through fast corners and exit with acceleration. You are comfortable with stoppies on tight switchback and have even attempted nose pivots, although not always successfully.

 

SKILL LEVEL 9 - PRO

You are a mountain bike god/goddess. You can handle the most technical terrain imaginable, eat up steeps for breakfast and can hit all the gaps, drops and jumps any bike park and double black diamond trail throws at you.  You love to play with your bike on expert-level obstacles, and you've mastered  advanced skills such as wheelies, manuals, stoppies and nose  pivots.

 

 

Fitness Ratings 

Note: “Pedal time” means just that, hours pedaling. For example: 6 hours of pedal time would likely turn into an 8 hour day out on the bike once breaks are included.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 1

  • You are a couch potato.

  • You cannot ride for more than half an hour on flat terrain at a time, and the thought of climbing on a bike is daunting.

  • You exercise less than 1 hour per week.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 2

  • You live a fairly sedentary life with little physical activity other than walking.

  • You can handle a 1 hour bike ride on flat terrain at a relaxed pace.

  • Riding for multiple days in a row is not possible.

  • Small, short hills are challenging to climb, but are sometimes manageable.

  • You exercise on average 1 hour per week (including riding a mountain bike).

 

FITNESS LEVEL 3

  • You are capable of 2 hours of pedal time in a day at a relaxed pace, as long as there are several breaks.

  • Riding for multiple days in a row sounds daunting, but you could handle 2 or 3 days of it at no more than 2 hours of pedal time per day.

  • You can handle one or two easy climbs of up to 150 vertical metres (330 ft.) total.

  • You exercise on average 2 hours per week (including riding a mountain bike).

 

FITNESS LEVEL 4

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 2 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 3 hours of pedal time. 

  • You are capable of climbing up to 200 vertical metres (650 ft.) in a day.

  • You exercise on average 3 hours per week.

  • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 5

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 2-3 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 4 hours of pedal time. 

  • You are confident climbing up to a total of 300 vertical metres (1,000 ft.) in a day.

  • You exercise on average 4 hours per week.

  • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 6

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 5 hours of pedal time. 

  • You can handle moderately steep climbs of up to a total of 500 vertical metres (1,650 ft.) in a day.

  • You exercise on average 5 hours per week.

  • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 7

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 5 hours of pedal time. 

  • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.

  • You exercise on average 6 hours per week.

  • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 8

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 6 hours of pedal time. 

  • You have little trouble climbing 1,000 vertical metres (3,280 ft.) in a day on steep terrain.

  • You exercise on average 6-10 hours per week.

  • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

 

FITNESS LEVEL 9

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day.  You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 6 hours of pedal time. 

  • You can handle steep, sustained climbs of up to 1,500m (4,920 ft) in a day.

  • You exercise over 10 hours per week.

  • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.