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Re: What would you like to see?

16 July, 2008 09:00AM
Interesting idea but a couple of issues.

When you start sticking labels on things then you run into all sorts of problems because loads of people see them as absolute standards when that is not the case. In the days when I did a bit of mountain biking on prepared trails then I had the same sort of thought as you, that different builders had different ideas about gradings. But then I got to thinking about it and in the end you have got to accept that the gradings are for guidance and are usually decided by the local people who know the terrain and more importantly, the people who will be using them. A red route in a flat forest designed to attract families is likely to be different to a red route in the hilly forest designed to attract the more dedicated mountain biker. So, to my mind its best to take on board their idea, look at the map, look at yourself, look at your bike and do what you think is on for yourself.

Grading bikes? Wow. Two things.

First, who does it an how? Couldn't trust the manufacturers - some of the things some of them describe as mountain bikes wouldn't survive any off road riding. Some sort of independent body? What a nightmare!

Second, and most important, any grading would really have to be done on the combination of bike and rider. I know some riders who could ride the hairiest of black routes on the most unlikely machines simply because of their technical ability. You could stick me on on the finest machine available and the blacks would be out of bounds - I just ain't good enough to make the bike do what it is capable of.

Final point, and this is something the admin man might think about. I don't know if it would could be done or even if it is what this site is designed for but could an area be set aside for people to share their experiences on routes? A sort of "good places to cycle" section, perhaps divided up by counties in to which people could post routes and experiences. I'm not just thinking of high end technical stuff but anything and everything from short family rides upwards.
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