We know it can be intimidating to sign up for biking events, but we cater our sessions and group rides to different skill levels so you'll be surround by people with similar abilities. Use the guide below to find out where you fit. It’s possible that you’re between levels, and that’s absolutely fine. For example, a lot of people are somewhere in between levels 2 and 3. If you’re looking for refinement, stick with 2. If you want a challenge, level 3 is the way to go. When in doubt, ask us! We can ensure you find the right fit.
There are fitness descriptions for each level. We do start the season with easier rides so that the group can build their stamina together. We do take breaks and we will never drop someone. This is NOT a cross country race club. We always set a reasonable pace based on the skill level and we never want riders to be exhausted before they get to the fun parts of the trail.
We have also introduced new "plus" groups. These groups will be doing slightly longer rides and require a bit more stamina. For example, the Level 2+ group will still be on Level 2 terrain, but the fitness required will be a closer to that of a Level 3 ride. If you are looking for more mileage during a ride, that is what these groups are designed for!
You’re totally new to mountain biking – it looks awesome and fun, but you’re not quite sure where to start. You need somebody to show you the basics and get you rolling, plus get an understanding of the different parts of the bike and how they work together.
Examples: You're riding places like Nose Hill, Fish Creek or a green trail at West Bragg Creek and are getting comfortable on the bike. Maybe you haven't ridden any of these trails and need someone to show you around!
Fitness: We take lots of breaks on Level 1 rides. The pace will be fairly casual. Most riders are still getting their pedaling legs and if that means pushing up a few hills, that is totally fine. By mid season you will be doing 10k-12k loops with a few hills throughout the ride. You will be amazed at how quickly you will build stamina after a few rides. This is what the Level 1 group is all about!
You mountain bike on “green” trails, and some “blue” trails, but you’re not 100% confident with roots, rocks and tighter lines. Improving cornering skills and your abilities over rougher terrain are some of your goals.
Examples: You can ride trails like Merlin and Bragging Rights at West Bragg Creek but could be faster and smoother. Trails like 7-27 and Race of Spades at Moose Mountain are a bit intimidating but are something to work towards!
Fitness: Level 2 rides require a bit of stamina. You will need to be able to pedal for 30+ minutes on flat and undulating terrain without stopping and be able to sustain climbing on gentle to moderate pitches for 15 to 20 minutes. If you have to walk a bit on the steeper stuff that is ok! We still take a number of breaks throughout the ride.
You have decent skills. You’re able to ride most trails, but have some issues on the harder sections of advanced trails. You want to start ripping the trail instead of riding it, but you need to improve your lines over roots and rocks and nail those corners. Some airtime wouldn’t be bad either.
Examples: You are confident on trails in West Brag Creek and ride the blues at Moose Mountain. You can get down a run like Toothless or Loamzilla but you you want to be more confident.
Fitness: Level 3 rides are faster paced and we take shorter breaks. On a trail like Merlin, you will be able to make the climb with 1 or 2 short breaks. You should be able to sustain your pedaling effort up a moderate incline for 20+ minutes (eg: Moose Mountain Road) without stopping and have the power to punch up some shorter steep sections.
Jumps? Drops? Gnar? Oh yeah. To get truly dialed on the bike, it comes down to refining your technique and line choices. You want to go bigger and get faster.
Examples: You can ride most trails at Moose Mountain/Prairie Mountain. You are ready to start becoming more confident on the steeps, carrying speed in technical sections and working towards some of the features on T-Dub, Race of Spades, Jean Guy etc.
Fitness: Level 4 rides do require a good fitness base as we do a lot of pedaling to reach the best terrain! You can expect to ride to the top of Moose Mountain Road, climb Prairie View or do 2 shorter laps on the Husky road. While we take it easy at the beginning of the season, we do try to do some big rides once we get deeper into the season. If you can climb the Moose or Husky road with only a coupe short breaks you are good to go.