Difficulty rating of the trail

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dragos
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by dragos » Wed May 09, 2018 7:57 pm

Didado wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 6:53 pm
To ride a '5' Tet trail on a lightweight enduro bike would be peanuts but on a 1200 a '5' might mean impossible
Yes, that's what I was saying as well.
Didado wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 6:53 pm
so in other words because of the equipment a rating will be meaningless.
This makes no sense.
A rating will be very useful exactly in helping you choosing the right equipment, or avoiding the trail if you lack the equipment or competence.
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Ard
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Ard » Wed May 09, 2018 8:43 pm

The short of it is: No, the trails will not be rated.

You could follow ride reports on this forum or on the FB page of people who are, or have been riding the section you are interested in and that's it.

If you're unsure if you can get your big bike across the TET, buy a smaller one or get more practice. Bring friends, a support team, rent a helicopter to follow you.
You're most likely a grown up. Figure it out.

Sounds harsh but you are not the first that wants his blanket tucked in on an adventure.
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Schussboelie
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Schussboelie » Wed May 09, 2018 10:50 pm

I’m totally with Dragos on this one, the “equipment” is not a factor on the grading side, only on the user’s side.
Referring to the skiing analogy, I know any steep or icy run will be more challenging on my 1m89 powder skis with an underfoot width of 109mm, compared to my shorter and narrower slalom skis.
So even though there’s a variance in what’s required from me depending on the tools I choose, that variance in itself is a constant.
Moreover, that variance is completely in MY control and dependent on MY choices, the iciness and inclination of the slope is not.
The same goes for (rock) climbing. There is a set scale even though the applied equipment varies.
In climbing the equipment is the human body, not skill and experience but morphology, things like length and body height.
Still, a 6b climbing route is a 6b, regardless of the tool.

Back to the tracks, the difficulty is not in setting a general scale, given you also provide the corresponding reference frame and base parameters.
In that way a ‘blue’ track could be considered as ‘red’ in a big bike.
Or, using a scale from 1 to 10, add 2 or 3 when on a big bike.

The sheer scale of the TET however makes it impossible to define and maintain.
What defines a section? How often should/can one change or maintain the rating in relation to the distance? How many people need to confirm a rating before it can be accepted? And who can do that?
What in case of a conflict or uncertainty in rating (which you know will take less than two days to come up)?

So, I’m even more with Ard.
If you need that kind of security and guidance, the TET is probably not for you.
It’s a community and a (free!) tool, not a product.
Use it or don’t.
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Lenzwerf
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Lenzwerf » Thu May 10, 2018 2:49 pm

Don't forget the surface. Riding soft sand or slippery mud is a skill you have to master. If you're used to rocks and hardpack you'll have a chalenge on feshfesh like sand. The same sand can be easy after a bit of rain or when it's cold while the hardpack mud will be treacherous after a bit of rain. There's just too much to consider.

Next grading question will be on tyres... "Can I ride part 'so and so' on road tyres?" Maybe we could warn against the dangerous creatures in particular forests like wolves or lyme infected ticks...
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Nomad
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Nomad » Fri May 11, 2018 7:43 am

This would be difficult, for example I rode a trail in the English Peak District recently that is heavily rutted for a long stretch. It's near to but not on the TET but I use it for comparison as i've ridden it twice in different circumstances

I was riding my wife's Freeride 250F and we had had a few days of lovely sunny, dry weather. it was really easy even though I was on trials tyres (not great in the mud that still remained in the bottom of some ruts). Whilst it took some skill to ride, I didn't have to stop or even put a foot down, so on a scale of 1 to 10 i'd say a two or three.

Two months previously i rode it on my 690 Enduro on Metzeller Saharas, it was raining heavily and I struggled the whole way, paddling through the ruts as every time I tried to stand up on the pegs i lost the front end and fell (luckily not far as the ruts are pretty deep), I can't remember how many times I had to pick the bike up! That time i'd rate it an eight or nine!

So do you rate it somewhere in the middle? It could end up being a big shock to someone on a large adventure bike with luggage on a wet day!

On a big GS it'd be an eleven at least :D

The comparisons have been made to climbing and skiing so as someone who has done both my observation would be:

Ski pistes are man made and carefully managed so generally the rating is only about overall steepness.

Climbing routes are a bit closer being graded to the most difficult part, so that would deal with the scenario of the long easy lane with a show stopper in the middle. But that said climbing routes are subjective and constantly the subject of great debate among climbers :lol

Hang on that sounds familiar :facepalm
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Didado
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Didado » Fri May 11, 2018 11:10 am

Schussboelie wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:50 pm

Back to the tracks, the difficulty is not in setting a general scale, given you also provide the corresponding reference frame and base parameters.
In that way a ‘blue’ track could be considered as ‘red’ in a big bike.
Or, using a scale from 1 to 10, add 2 or 3 when on a big bike.
Interesting. The reference frame for example would say we take an average skilled rider on an average weight bike as the base parameter to rate the difficulty of the track. For example people ride the TET on bikes ranging from 105 kg Enduro to 230 kg Big bikes and anywhere in between.

We base our track rating on an reference rider which is Joe Average on lets say a KTM 690 which weighs something like 155 kg wet without luggage and he's driving on 50/50 tires under dry weather conditions. If your bike is lighter subtract from the rating, if the equipment is heavier add to the rating. If you are skilled substract and if you are a beginner add to the rating. If your tires are knobbies... If it is wet...

So in essence your saying the rating is based on equipment and skill after all. We are saying the same thing but with other words :-)
Schussboelie wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:50 pm

The sheer scale of the TET however makes it impossible to define and maintain.
What defines a section? How often should/can one change or maintain the rating in relation to the distance? How many people need to confirm a rating before it can be accepted? And who can do that?
What in case of a conflict or uncertainty in rating (which you know will take less than two days to come up)?

So, I’m even more with Ard.
If you need that kind of security and guidance, the TET is probably not for you.
It’s a community and a (free!) tool, not a product.
Use it or don’t.
Totally agree on that.
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Schussboelie
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Schussboelie » Fri May 11, 2018 11:16 am

Nomad wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 7:43 am
Climbing routes are a bit closer being graded to the most difficult part, so that would deal with the scenario of the long easy lane with a show stopper in the middle. But that said climbing routes are subjective and constantly the subject of great debate among climbers :lol

Hang on that sounds familiar :facepalm
:lol
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Schussboelie
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Schussboelie » Fri May 11, 2018 11:22 am

Didado wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:10 am
Interesting. The reference frame for example would say we take an average skilled rider on an average weight bike as the base parameter to rate the difficulty of the track. For example people ride the TET on bikes ranging from 105 kg Enduro to 230 kg Big bikes and anywhere in between.

We base our track rating on an reference rider which is Joe Average on lets say a KTM 690 which weighs something like 155 kg wet without luggage and he's driving on 50/50 tires under dry weather conditions. If your bike is lighter subtract from the rating, if the equipment is heavier add to the rating. If you are skilled substract and if you are a beginner add to the rating. If your tires are knobbies... If it is wet...

So in essence your saying the rating is based on equipment and skill after all. We are saying the same thing but with other words :-)
I guess so! :D
As long as the reference frame is clear (which poses a whole challenge in itself), in theory a single uniform rating could be established.
One scale suffices though, no need for seperate scales for different equipments or skills.
Didado wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:10 am
Totally agree on that.
:handgestures-thumbup:
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Paul C
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Re: Difficulty rating of the trail

Post by Paul C » Fri May 11, 2018 11:51 am

Personally I think it's too much to ask of the volunteer linesmen, or women. It's a massive job and consistency will be an issue. We just have to be strong enough to stop and turn back. It's our own personal responsibility to do so.
As to analogies I think ski grading can vary significantly from one area to another. Especially from one country to another. It's a while since I've done any serious rockclimbing however I always took the grades there as an indication. I knew that my stature and skills enabled me to climb some equally graded routes much more easily than others.
Due to our own experience all of us will be more experienced on some terrains than others. Some of my local trails can be quite rutted so I guess I'm happier riding ruts than a rider who has less experience of them. My ride yesterday, where I just happened to ride some of the TET in Derbyshire, England, was significantly different from a similar ride a month ago. We had a wet spring, it's recently been relatively dry. It was like riding a different route.
So, like I said at the start, in my opinion leave it be. If a rider want's to post up here about some recent difficulties, then fine. A route might be flooded, trees down etc. Otherwise, we should be experienced enough to make our own decisions and accept the consequences.
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