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Old 08-01-2008, 12:00 PM   #46
Snuffy
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Reading ride reports and looking at the road type has given me a heads up on where i could go and where i would kill myself. Like a lot of folks here, i tend to ride alone and i'm not really wanting to put myself into a predicament, although i surely will. We are a curious bunch and will at least challenge to succeed or fail.

Having a trail/road rating just for bikes would certainly be useful and pics give a nice visual.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:12 PM   #47
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You guys are re inventing the wheel. Enduro and dualsport rallies already have a course rating system that would be easy to use in this application:


Course descriptions

Note: this is assuming dry weather conditions. Inclement weather or fire danger will dictate probably running only B or C courses, so as not to damage trails. Letter designations are in key with typical AMA enduro class descriptions.

AA: VERY DIFFICULT [extremely advanced] - sophisticated and complex trails that are only passable by a real dirt bike. Extreme uphills/downhills and trials-like sections, which require lower gearing. Aggressive knobbies required.
A: DIFFICULT [advanced] - plenty of challenging trail that requires advanced trail techniques. Aggressive knobbies highly suggested.
B: MODERATE [normal] - moderate or mild trail skills required. Larger single-cylinder or two-up bikes should easily traverse these sections. Generally passable by an advanced Jeep/driver combo. Regular dualsport tires are acceptable.
C: EASY [very easy] - practically no trail. Mostly gravel road. Passable by large 2-cylinder bikes, two-up, or most any 4-wheel drive. Regular dualsport tires are acceptable.

(from blackdogdualsport.com)
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:50 PM   #48
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I like this one best so far

I have no clue how to do it, but there is one other thing I think needs to be incorporated, and that is what the trail consists of - i.e. soft sand, packed dirt, mud, rock, water, etc.

Going on rides with others from other parts of the country has been interesting. Riders from many parts of this country and others from around the world have come and ridden in Baja with me. In some cases, the riders are more generally skilled than I. But my home terrain is sand and rocks. So I'm playing on my home field in Baja, and visiting riders with superior skills are sometimes played out wrestling with soft sand. Then we hit some muddy sections and I think they ride like speed crazed maniacs.

The main thing is to keep it simple, not bloated. Maybe the attached scale with a one sentence description.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMartin
Hi,

I agree that narrative descriptions are great. Having an agreed upon "language" or rating system to go along with narrative could make it less subjective.

Sections
Any section without a bailout point should be covered by a single rating that describes the worst of it. Any section with bailout points would benifit from ratings for each sub-section.

Three draft factors: terrain, width, navigability.

Terrain
T6--Requires supplemental assistance, e.g. block and tackle or extra help to steady or lift the bike into a boat.
T5--Difficult, expert off-road skills required
T4--Medium, average off-road skills required
T3--Mild, doable by someone new to dirt riding
T2--Firm, graded dirt (potentially slippery when wet)
T1--Pavement

Width
W3--Extreme, e.g. single track too narrow for a GS with boxes
W2--Medium, need to pay attention
W1--Unrestricted

Navigability
N5--Extreme likelihood of getting lost without a guide; spotty GPS coverage
N4--Confusing even with GPS
N3--Fine with GPS or maps
N2--Fine with written directions
N1--No brainer

Jay
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:45 AM   #49
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I just now ran across this thread. What a great idea. But it's one that can't be left up to committee. To many different perspectives.

I think that someone needs to step up and list what they think are the correct ratings.

One way to get around the equipment thing. Traildamage.com list several key components of a trail.
Then they give each component a simple numerical assignment. I think that they use 1 to 5. After that they back up what they are talking about with a photo.
This system works for them. Given the fact that jeepers face some of the same equipment issues that we do, we should review their methods first. Some of our comments are very close to what TD.com does.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:20 PM   #50
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Tim,

You prompted me to post this. During my ride in Colorado, I was thinking about this thread. I recently rode this list of passes, and here's my attempt at rating them before I forget which was which....

Poughkeepsie Gulch T4 W2 N2
Black Bear Pass T4 W2 N2
Imogene Pass T4 W2 N2
Unnamed, Near Lone Cone T2 W2 N3
Columbine Pass T2 W1 N2
Baxter Pass T2.5 W2 N3
Jack Springs Pass T3 W2 N3
Dunckley Pass T2 W1 N2
Ripple Creek Pass T2 W1 N2
Red Table Mountain T3 W2 N2
Hagerman Pass T3 W2 N2
Mosquito Pass T3 W2 N2
Weston Pass T2 W2 N2
Tin Cup Pass T3.5 W2 N2
Taylor Pass T4 W2 N2
Pearl Pass T4 W2 N2
Schofield Pass T5 W2 N2
Lead King Loop T4 W2 N2
McClure Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1
Kebler Pass T2 W1 N2
Ohio Pass T2 W1 N2
Los Pinos Pass T2 W1 N2
Cinnamon Pass T3 W2 N2
Slumgullion Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1
California Pass T3 W2 N2
Hurricane Pass T3 W2 N2
Corkscrew Pass T3 W2 N2
Stony Pass T3 W2 N3
Buffalo Boy Mine Road (to the top) T4.25 W2 N3; (to the mine) T4 W2 N2
Red Mountain Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1
Molas Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1

Others I've ridden in the past few years and not above:

Ophir Pass T3 W2 N2
Hancock Pass T3.5 W2 N2
Tomichi Pass T3.5 W2 N2
Williams Pass T4 W2 N2
Boreas Pass T2 W1 N2
Lynx Pass T2 W2 N2


Geyser Pass (UT) T2.5 W2 N2.5
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:47 PM   #51
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Great work Bruce. Maybe we should start thinking of making a new thread that shows the rating system and some of the listed passes.
There seems to be a bunch of stuff grouped in the technical.
I can see rocks, off camber, mud, steepness, and a bunch more in that group. I'm thinking that we might be better served if that group was spit up into one or two sub groups that combined makeup the level of technical difficulty.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:31 PM   #52
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Tim, that is a good point.

On most of the more technical passes, it's really just one or two points that create the 'rating' for the trail. I tried to 'average' them, as some are easier than others depending on which direction you're going, like Schofield, Pearl, Poughkeepsie, Black Bear, etc. That's why I felt compelled to ride them each way (at least the hard spots).

Plus it was fun.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #53
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wow, cool, thanks for doing that, I'm gonna book mark this for next summer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaspipe
Tim,

You prompted me to post this. During my ride in Colorado, I was thinking about this thread. I recently rode this list of passes, and here's my attempt at rating them before I forget which was which....

Poughkeepsie Gulch T4 W2 N2
Black Bear Pass T4 W2 N2
Imogene Pass T4 W2 N2
Unnamed, Near Lone Cone T2 W2 N3
Columbine Pass T2 W1 N2
Baxter Pass T2.5 W2 N3
Jack Springs Pass T3 W2 N3
Dunckley Pass T2 W1 N2
Ripple Creek Pass T2 W1 N2
Red Table Mountain T3 W2 N2
Hagerman Pass T3 W2 N2
Mosquito Pass T3 W2 N2
Weston Pass T2 W2 N2
Tin Cup Pass T3.5 W2 N2
Taylor Pass T4 W2 N2
Pearl Pass T4 W2 N2
Schofield Pass T5 W2 N2
Lead King Loop T4 W2 N2
McClure Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1
Kebler Pass T2 W1 N2
Ohio Pass T2 W1 N2
Los Pinos Pass T2 W1 N2
Cinnamon Pass T3 W2 N2
Slumgullion Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1
California Pass T3 W2 N2
Hurricane Pass T3 W2 N2
Corkscrew Pass T3 W2 N2
Stony Pass T3 W2 N3
Buffalo Boy Mine Road (to the top) T4.25 W2 N3; (to the mine) T4 W2 N2
Red Mountain Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1
Molas Pass (PAVED) T1 W1 N1

Others I've ridden in the past few years and not above:

Ophir Pass T3 W2 N2
Hancock Pass T3.5 W2 N2
Tomichi Pass T3.5 W2 N2
Williams Pass T4 W2 N2
Boreas Pass T2 W1 N2
Lynx Pass T2 W2 N2


Geyser Pass (UT) T2.5 W2 N2.5
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:04 PM   #54
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Really liking the TWN scale. Maybe add an F for Features - (S)sand, (M)mud, (H)hill-climbs, (SB)switchbacks, (L)Ledges, (R)rocks, (RG) rock-garden, (WC)water-crossings, (W)washes, (G)gravel)? Just so folks have an idea of why the T ranking is what it is.....

So, in Tucson, AZ, you'd get the following rating on these:

Mount Lemmon Road T3 W2 N2 F-SB
Campo Bonito Road/Wash T3.5 W2 N4 F-S.W
Redington Road T3 W2 N2 F-R.W
Charouleau Gap T5 W2 N3.5 F-H.L.M.RG.R.SB.S.WC
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:00 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
So, I think there's a useful distinction between "there's this one b*tch of a hill in the middle" and "the whole thing is just like that hill". That circles back to the issue of pace.

I think climbers rate both a crux and the climb as a whole. So, a climb can be 5.9 with a 5.10 crux somewhere, vs another climb is all 5.10. That might be a useful distinction...

In climbing a route will have a higher rating if it has a sustained level of difficulty. If something is a long 5.9 type climb, where its 5.9 climbing the whole way with no rest, it'll probably be rated 5.10a.

I strongly suggest that the vehicle you're travelling on is left out of the rating system. The vehicle you choose should be based on the trail rating, not the other way around. Its up to the rider to determine for themselves what level of trail they're willing to take their vehicle down.

It doesn't need to be complicated. A simple 1-10 rating system would be a great starting point.

Yes, it might not encompass everything. But rock climbing is a lot like that as well. They started off as 5.1 - 5.10, as 5.10 was the hardest route that anyone could climb back then. Then gear became more advanced and people started to push the limits. I think there's now a 5.16 somewhere in France that only one person has successfully climbed.

Routing systems evolve. It doesn't need to be perfect to start. You just need to start using something.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:05 AM   #56
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Quote:
I agree that narrative descriptions are great. Having an agreed upon "language" or rating system to go along with narrative could make it less subjective.

Sections
Any section without a bailout point should be covered by a single rating that describes the worst of it. Any section with bailout points would benifit from ratings for each sub-section.

Three draft factors: terrain, width, navigability.

Terrain
T6--Requires supplemental assistance, e.g. block and tackle or extra help to steady or lift the bike into a boat.
T5--Difficult, expert off-road skills required
T4--Medium, average off-road skills required
T3--Mild, doable by someone new to dirt riding
T2--Firm, graded dirt (potentially slippery when wet)
T1--Pavement

Width
W3--Extreme, e.g. single track too narrow for a GS with boxes
W2--Medium, need to pay attention
W1--Unrestricted

Navigability
N5--Extreme likelihood of getting lost without a guide; spotty GPS coverage
N4--Confusing even with GPS
N3--Fine with GPS or maps
N2--Fine with written directions
N1--No brainer

This is perfect. It leaves everything up to the rider to determine if they can do the trail on their equipment. These ratings, plus a mileage estimate for the trail, should be everything you need to determine if you can navigate a trail.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:10 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenranger
Really liking the TWN scale. Maybe add an F for Features - (S)sand, (M)mud, (H)hill-climbs, (SB)switchbacks, (L)Ledges, (R)rocks, (RG) rock-garden, (WC)water-crossings, (W)washes, (G)gravel)? Just so folks have an idea of why the T ranking is what it is.....
Been watching this thread a bit and this is a great addition to the TWN. As one more index and sorry if it's been mentioned would be a seasonal access rating. Just something simple. You'd have to know the code but just after the TWNF add a month numbering index. 1/12 would mean it was year round. 3/5 would mean only accessible March through May. This is the slightly complicated part is having the index easily wrap around the new year, but once known is easy. Example, 6/3 would seem confusing at first but it easily identifies that the trail is accessible(definition: when the trail is within reason of providing the experience of being reasonably within the condition as the previous indexes have indicated) June through March. Could restrict month indexes to when the trail is impassable. I dunno. Just figure that there's a lot of trail certain times of the year that the conditions change drastically. Even a super simple road can be impassable in the right rainy season, etc. I don't have much desert experience but not knowing this or thinking someone else's rating covers the whole calendar year can be dangerous considering flash floods. Another good example is a wet season like we have in FL, where some of these swampy jeep trails go from easy to swallow-a-bike-whole two months of the year. Getting a bit complicated but looks like a consensus is developing here.

Just .02 for ya'. Gonna start implementing this and at least annotating my maps. Good job folks, this is vital info for ease of planning anything from an hour ride to a full on expe.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:56 AM   #58
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TWNF looks good

Just read through the whole thread... I think the TWN system was the most informative without being too elaborate. Season/weather influences should be covered well enough by the F designation. By including key features the rider should be able to reasonably predict weather influences.

There will always be trails/situations that slip through the cracks, but this seems like a great start. Over time, maybe seasonal closings/impassable months could be added in the one-line description. It'd be very tough to get seasonal data year-round for a trail before posting. Weather/season isn't predictable enough to add to a trail description IMO.

Good work and good ideas. Can't wait to see more ratings and try out some trails for myself. I wouldn't rush too much on getting things decided by Feb. That'll make for few contributions from the northerners. Not much trail riding happening during the winter for a lot of the country.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:07 AM   #59
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I dont do much off road but here is what a bunch of people in the South and Southeast have been using for a while. It might help and it might not, just a lil info for those that are trying to set this up.

http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php/topic,2799.0.html

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:08 PM   #60
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Interesting thread. The Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club has done some work on this. We've been using this system for about a year:

http://motoidaho.com/pub/ratingSystem.aspx#Level%20p

It's worked fairly well so far. We typically use the rating system for the toughest stretches of road and try to factor in for speed for the rest of the ride. For example, I did a 700 mile, 2.5 day ride through central Idaho this year and rated it as a level 4 on our scale. There were a number of sections that were that difficult and warranted that rating system that probably totalled 50-75 miles of trail... however there were also several sections of wide open smooth flat gravel road where we were traveling at 75-80mph because we had a group of 15 or so riders who could handle that.

It seems to have taken a lot of the subjectivity out of the process and we've had better success with getting people in on rides at their level.
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