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Lakewood Mountain Biking "LMB" Message Board LMB Rules, Levels and Guidelines › MTB trail rules and Difficulty level ratings

MTB trail rules and Difficulty level ratings

A former member
Post #: 11

  • Bikers have to yield to everyone! Not my call, just a fact. You don't have to yield to motor vehicles, but it could be messy.
  • Uphill riders have the right of way with other bikers.
  • Only pass when safe and communicate that you are passing and on what side.
  • If you bring it in to the park, bring it back out.
  • Ride with control.
  • Stay on the trail.
  • If you are ahead in the pack, let oncoming traffic know how many more are in the pack still coming.
  • If you are ahead of another rider and you need to stop, go ahead and stop then move yourself and your bike off the trail so others can pass.
  • Be friendly and say "Hi" to others.

Ratings: 0 learning, 1-3 beginner, 4-6 intermediate, 7 and up, I will be walking a lot!

Level 0 = someone not sure how to use the equipment. This level is not really ready for mountain biking(in my opinion). This level of rider should start on dirt paths near lakes that are somewhat groomed. This will help them learn the bike and how to use the gears and brakes efficiently. This rider will quickly become a level 1 after becoming familiar with the bike and its controls. This however should not stop someone from signing up for a learning ride on what would be an easy-beginner ride or a level 1 or 2.

Level 1 easy-beginner smile still learning the bike, what gear to be in, how to breath without panting and can do some small obstacles.
Level 2 med-beginner wink same as level 1 but getting better and can do more obstacles, starting to look at line choice.
Level 3 adv-beginner biggrin knows the bike pretty well, knows when they did something wrong as soon as they did it, knows what gear to be in but doesn't always get there, has trouble on steep climbs or combos of obstacles. Line choice is getting better.
Level 4 easy-intermediate tongue has learned the bike well, line choice is good most of the time, can do short and steep climbs but still has difficulty's with long and steep, can do short combos of obstacles most of the time.
Level 5 med-intermediate laughing Can do long steep climbs with small obstacles, usually in the right gear, can do longer combos or more technical, able to track stand on even surfaces most of the time. Can start in the middle of a steep climb and is able to lift the front wheel while riding (wheelly)
Level 6 adv-intermediate cool looks further down the trail for faster line choice higher speeds both up and down, jumps water turn outs with out crashing, middle rings things the level 2 or 3 struggle with understands why, how and when to shift weight, usually lowers seat for decent.
Level 7 easy-advancedconfused Knows how to pedal through big narrow rocks with out getting stuck, very good line choice, starting to use rocks as jumps or jumps obstacles instead of climbing over them, does 2 foot drops easily, good at longer technical combos.
Level 8 med-advancedshock only really has problems with long technical obstacles
Level 9 adv-advancedangry usually the best rider you have seen and not on TV or films
Level 10 can do whatever they finddevilish and you see this guy on films and TV as well

All levels are subjective of the one reading them. And saying if you can do x ride in x gear, doesn't speak to ability only fitness or endurance. I think some people would rate me as a easy beginner and some would rate me as an advanced rider. It all depends on how wide the difference is between the judge and one being judged. I think I rate about 5 or 6 I have some skills but I can't afford to be hurt so I play it safe.
A former member
Post #: 371
Remember that these levels are what I (John) think the rider should be able to do, in order to go on that level ride. There will always be harder and easier sections on all trails and no level rating system can account for everything. Just remember that even level 5 riders may need to walk a section of a level 4 ride occasionally. We do our best to be close on this rating system but their will be errors made and we will always wait if the ride is posted too easy for what it really is. On the flip side of that if a ride is posted for a level 5 and turns out to be a 4 we will probably go faster to make it harder. If you are a strong level 4 and sign up for a level 5 we will wait for you unless it appears that you are just taking your sweet time. If you sign up for a harder ride, plan on working extra hard. The same goes for if you are a level 6 and sign up for a level 4, plan on lots of stops to wait for people.

We will not lower the level of ride to accommodate the slower riders. Meaning if a level 3 signs up for a posted level 5 there is a good chance that they will not be able to keep up. In this case the slow rider would be dropped from the level 5 group ride. One level up is fine but not two up.

Level 1-3 will always be a slower pace and more stops will happen. As you start to get ready to move to the next level (4) you will notice the trails do get harder and the pace a little faster with fewer stops. In Colorado there are not a lot of good fun beginner type rides and even less level 4 rides, so to compensate for this we usually will do a harder ride with more stops and breaks to bring the level down. This can cause some frustration with people that don't like to stop as much but this is what we have to do.

So please try to be patient with us and we will do the same. We also understand that people will have good days and bad so if your not going as strong as you usually are we understand.
A former member
Post #: 406
Here is a list of what I think of when posting a level for a ride.

  • Most bike paths and flat trail rides are a level 1 but could be a 2 if it is at a fast pace with more miles.

  • Trails with short climbs and spaced out obstacles will be level 2 or 3s depending on distance and size of obstacles. There are not a lot of level 2 and 3 rides very close and are typically shorter in distance so doing the loop twice may be called for to increase the ride time.

  • Level 4 gets tricky because it is a transitional level ride, these will have longer moderate climbs and short steep climbs with some bigger obstacles that people will have trouble with.

  • Level 5 is what I would consider a intermediate level rider. These trails will be more technical then the level 4 rides and will have more obstacles on them with more distance and more steeper down hills. I think Fitness helps more on these rides then technical skills.

  • Level 6 rides can hurt a bit even for good riders. They will have longer sustained climbs with obstacles thrown in for flavor. You will find larger drops and steps to maneuver with tricky sections that can break your bike or you. It is advised that you be skilled in technical riding and have a good fitness for riding these trails.

  • The following type of trails are not often rode in this group but on occasion they are. I consider Dakota Ridge a level 7. Most people that have ridden this trail have gone over the bars at least once and usually come back with bikes that need repairing. Now there are plenty of people that go through this trail with no problem and that speaks to their technical skills. This trail is not real long but is tough.

  • Level 8-10 I don't do but can imagine what they are. These trails make for great video or youtube clips. Really good riders will be using armor and more protective clothing with full face helmets. These will be more down hill then up just because they are so difficult.

Our group focuses on well rounded riders. On some trails the level of a few of the obstacles will not be reflected in the overall rating for the ride. The level of ride will reflect the overall feel of the ride.
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