THREE FACTORS make up the ease or difficulty of a ride – not counting such chance factors as traffic, road conditions, and weather. They are: elevation, distance and pace. These factors are important considerations for riders when selecting rides in which to participate. Riders should NOT sign up for rides beyond their ability. Many of our rides are 30+ miles at a pace of about 12 mph to 20+ mph. “Biting off more than you can chew” can result in discouragement or sore muscles and invites accidents.
Grade - Represented by an alpha letter.
“A” (Steep) - Mostly steep grades: strong riders only.
Within “A” rides, an average distance is 38 miles with 3100 ft of climbing
“B” (Steep/Moderate) - Some relief from steep grades.
Within “B” rides, an average distance is 43 miles with 2600 ft of climbing
“C+”, “C”, “C- ” (Moderate) - Hilly; a challenge for the average rider.
Within “C” rides, an average distance is 37 miles with 1500 ft of climbing
“D+”, “D”, “D-” (Moderate/Easy) - Rolling hills, a challenge for beginners.
Within “D” rides, an average distance is 34 miles with 900 ft of climbing
“E” (Easy) - Some gentle grades, but no problems.
Within “E” rides, an average distance is 32 miles with 350 ft of climbing
“F” (Flat) - If any route is really flat.
Within “F” rides, an average distance is 37 miles with 250 ft of climbing
Distance - Represented by the actual number of miles.
Pace - This will range in speed between about 12 mph to 20+ mph. Riders tend to increase their pace as they gain experience, fitness, and are challenged by more difficult rides. Beginners and novices are strongly advised to select easy and short distance rides to start with and progress up the grading scale with experience and capability.