RIDE TYPES AND LEVELS
Types of Rides
Pre-Season Purple Prep
Join us for a non-intimidating rotating station format to get more comfortable with your bike and mountain biking with our organization before our season starts. We will cover some easy beginner bike maintenance, bike anatomy, bike fit and other new to riding topics. This is geared toward Never Ever and Beginner bikers looking to gain some knowledge as they prepare to ride with us.
Social rides take place on days other than Thursdays during the season and on Thursdays in September. These are more casual and usually only a few groups of varying ride levels. Rides can cover urban trails, new or smaller parks and even in the dark! Due to membership demand, we only open these to friends and family IF we do not fill the ride with paid members.
Trail Skills Rides
For some weeks, we will offer ONE Trail Skills Ride for BEGINNER skills and/or ONE for INTERMEDIATE skills. The purpose of this ride is to go over obstacles and features on the trail and work on the skills to ride them successfully. Before heading out on the trail, go over a skill you will encounter on the trail. For example, if you are going to a trail with lots of switchbacks, take 5-10 minutes before you go on the trail to practice switchbacks. Pre-planning for this ride is key as you will need to select appropriate obstacles and review proper cues/ form.
These will primarily be continuous rides. Groups are expected to take breaks as needed but can also do short “sessioning” lessons if an obstacle necessitates it. Group level is determined by both pace and skill level.
Each level will offer a ride titled after that level and one “Hangout” version of that pace. Note: Never Ever and Advanced groups do not tend to have separate pace groups.
Hangout Pace: This is the slower of our two pace groups. It is for riders still working on improving their cardio endurance or who just enjoy taking more breaks for socializing. This group will do less mileage.
“Regular” Pace: This is the “faster” of our two pace groups. Note, we’re not racing, and it is still a no-drop ride. But we will take fewer breaks and will generally cover more miles. (This was called “Hustle Pace” last year but we found that was intimidating)
These Monday night clinics will focus on specific bike handling skill(s) (switchbacks, wheel lifts, climbing, etc.). These rides should be conducted with a specific lesson plan and may take place entirely on grass or also involve sessioning a specific section of trail.
Skill Level Groupings
Welcome to Mountain Biking! This group is for those who are new to riding bikes, timid about joining a group ride, or need to get accustomed to riding bikes on dirt trails.
Skills to work on include one finger braking, level pedals, eyes scanning the trail ahead and mounting/dismounting.
Trails will have some turns and small obstacles but will be flatter and have minimal obstacles. Never Evers will not have separate pace groups, but will stick together at a Hangout Pace.
This group is for those who can operate their bikes, but are still learning the art of gear shifting, climbing, descending, cornering and balance on the bike. Riders are less comfortable with mountain bike handling techniques.
Skills to work on include navigating small roots, rocks, and turns. Will be starting to work on climbing and descending techniques and appropriate braking with descending.
Trails are wider, have more varied terrain with some elevation change and small obstacles (sand, small rocks).
This group is for those who are ready to take a step beyond Beginner rides towards the Intermediate group. Riders can control bike speed / direction and shift gears quickly and efficiently. They are consistent with keeping level pedals, one finger on the brake and demonstrate good neutral and ready positions on the bike.
Skills to work on are rocks/ step ups lower than curb height, more bike/body separation, cornering, rolling obstacles, consistently being out of the seat for descents, and mastering braking.
Trails are progressing from typical “Green” to more “Blue” trails.
This group is for those who demonstrate a sturdy stance on the bike for ascending/ descending, are comfortable starting to ride though rock obstacles and roots, but still know when to walk obstacles they are not comfortable with. They are comfortable with a moderate sustained pace.
Skills include switchbacks, steeper climbs and descents, suspension compression to get over obstacles, rolling larger obstacles where wheels leave the ground.
Trails are narrow, have some limited exposure, more climbs and descents and obstacles such as drops/roots of 1 ft or less.
This group is for riders who are close to progressing to Advanced riding. They are capable of techniques such a front wheel and rear wheel lift and can put the two together to navigate over obstacles. They are fairly confident on steep climbs and descents and steeper switchbacks.
Skills work includes maneuvering through larger rocks, roots, steeper switchbacks and tighter turns.
Trails are progressing from typical “Blue” to some “Black” rated trails.
Don’t be intimidated! Advanced riders are skilled at shifting their weight to navigate technical climbs, descents and all trail features. Riders are comfortable with wheels leaving the ground for a little bit. Keep in mind even the best advanced riders still have to stop and walk something every now and then.
Skills include working on technical climbs, sharp switchbacks.
Trails include larger obstacles, possibly more exposure and farther distances. Note Advanced groups will note have separate pace groupings, but will stick together at a Hustle Pace.