SF Bay Area Rides::Explanation of Categories
This is taken directly from Carol Shaw & Dick Blaine's
Western Wheelers Bicycle Club Ride Catalog.
The ride rating description was changed in 5/95.
For rides prior to 5/95, click here.
RIDE CATEGORY (A-F): Indicates pace as expressed by average speed with A
being the slowest. Average speed refers to speed while riding and is
independent of the length of the ride. A ride with multiple stops may
have the same average speed as one ridden without stops. A & B rides
have frequent to semi-frequent stops to wait for all riders. New and
inexperienced riders are welcome on A rides. On C-F rides there is no
obligation to wait for slower riders if a route sheet is provided.
HILLINESS RATING (1-4): Indicates elevation gain as expressed in feet
per mile with 1 being mostly flat. The hillier the ride, the slower the
average ride speed. If you are unaccustomed to judging ride difficulty
based on the number of feet of climb, or if the ride description is
unclear about the amount of climbing, call the ride leader for advice
and/or additional information.
MILEAGE ESTIMATES: Mileages stated are approximate and have been known
to vary depending on weather and group composition.
RIDE RATING EXAMPLE: "C/2/35" indicates a ride of approximately 35
miles, with between 900 and 1700 feet of climb, ridden at an average
speed of 13 mph.
AVERAGE SPEEDS (MPH) FOR DIFFERENT RIDE
CATEGORIES & HILLINESS RATINGS
| ||1 (< 25)|| 2 (25-50)|| 3 (50-75)|| 4 (75-100)|
|A|| 8|| 7|| NA|| NA|
|B|| 11|| 10|| 9|| NA|
|C|| 14|| 13|| 12|| 10|
|D|| 17|| 16|| 15|| 13|
|E|| 20|| 19|| 18|| 16|
|F|| 23|| 22|| 21|| 19|
CHOOSING YOUR RIDE CATEGORY: The table above indicates average speeds
for rides with different hilliness ratings in categories A though F. If
you are a new rider, the speeds in your category may seem low because
you know you can ride faster at times. Remember, however, that the
numbers represent the average speed for the entire ride. Please do not
attempt rides significantly beyond your level of experience. If you are
taking your first club ride, err on the conservative side.
If you are unsure in which category to ride on hilly rides (hilliness
ratings of 3 or 4), time yourself climbing Old La Honda Rd. and compare
your time with the time range listed below for your ride category. If
your time is within the range, you can feel comfortable in riding with
that group on hilly rides.
|B|| 40-60 minutes|
|C|| 30-40 minutes|
|D|| 25-30 minutes|
|E|| 20-25 minutes|
|F|| Less than 20 minutes|
If your time is higher or lower, you should consider riding with the
next faster or slower category. If you choose to ride outside your
category, you should neither push the pace of the group (in the case of
a faster rider) nor expect the group to wait for you at the top of the
hill (in the case of a slower rider).
WEATHER CONSIDERATIONS: Rides on pavement may be canceled if rain seems
likely during the ride. If in doubt, call the ride leader.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: As needed, please try to bring basic tools,
sunglasses and sunscreen, water bottles, food or food money, a first-aid
kit, phone change, "layered" clothing, etc. Bright clothing is
MOUNTAIN BIKES: Rides are rated with a letter designating pace (A to E,
with A the easiest). The number following indicates the difficulty of
the hills including both steepness & length (1 to 5, with 1 being the
easiest). The last number indicates the approx. mileage of the ride.
Rides will be canceled by rain at the time or within the 48-hour period
prior to the ride. Other severe weather may also cancel rides. Call to
confirm with the ride leader if you are unsure. All riders are required
to sign a release/waiver before every ride. Minors need a
parent/guardian with them to sign the release.
Ride ratings for rides submitted prior to 5/95
Expected pace on level ground:
A: UNDER 10 MPH. Relaxed pace, frequent stops to wait for everyone,
new and inexperienced riders welcome.
B: 10-12 MPH. Sightseeing pace, semi-frequent stops at key points to
wait for all riders.
C: 13-15 MPH. Steady pace, rest stops every hour or so, no obligation
to wait for slower riders if route directions given.
D: 15-18 MPH. Vigorous pace, occasional stops, no obligation to wait
for slower riders if route given.
E: 19-21 MPH. Advanced pace, few stops, no obligation to wait.
F: OVER 21 MPH. Racing pace, few if any stops, no waiting.
1: Flat (except perhaps for occasional overpasses).
2: Rolling Hills (e.g. Canada Rd, a few small hills)
3: Large Hills (e.g. Old La Honda Rd, a 1300 foot climb).
4: Hill mania (multiple long and/or steep climbs).