Trail description and details

1) Trail character

At the beginning, is recommended to describe the character of the activity or the experience in one comprehensive sentence. "Intense descend in rocky and technical terrain." or "Easy natural trail with a stunning view into the XY valley."

2) Detailed description

More detailed, but still compact and limited to important information. Get a few ideas what you could write about:

SurfaceRoots, rock, stone, gravel, sand, gras, dirt, needles, leafs, loose, compact
ObstaclesRoots, rocks, stones, steps, off camber
Built featuresBerms, doubles, tables, drops, step up, step down, north shore, bridges
Riding Flow, speed, blocked, smooth, rough, climbs, pedal sections, push biking
GradeSteep, flat, up and down
InterestsView, scenery, points of interest, historical or geographical background
Environmentforest, meadow, rock, alpine, river, valley, ridge, traverse, exposition, animals
SupplyWater sources, shelters, huts, restaurants on the way
HazardsExposed trail, steep slope, cliff, tree, landslide, gate, closing corner, junction, low branches, narrow trees, long section without shadow and heat during summer
SafetyNetwork coverage, contact of local/ regional rescue services, rescue locations (access points)
SeasonTime of the year when to ride best
WeatherCan the trail be ridden in wet conditions? Any dangers with bad weather (rivers rising, rocks falling, ...)
ImpressionFeelings, emotions, surprises, disappointments, ...
SectionsYou can divide your description into upper, middle, lower part, or others.
RoutingAvoid to describe the route. That's where the gps track and the location function is for. Only mention tips, when it easy to make mistakes e.g. when the trail is close and parallel to a fireroad, and it's hard to distinguish it on the map.
Length, elevationThis information is automatically generated from the GPS data. No need to mention this.

3) Difficulty

The difficulty (green, blue, red, black) is only based on the technical demands of the trail! The physical demands have to be considered because of the length, elevation and technical difficulty of the activity. The length and elevation are automatically extracted from the gps track, so no extra rating for the physical difficulty is necessary! Two examples: There can be a very long tour with lots of climbs, that is technically easy = green. There can be a very short trail, that is technically very challenging = black.

The difficulty is the average difficulty of the trail. A green trail with one difficult section is still green. 5m of difficult trail don’t affect the experience of the biker on this trail. An advantage of mountain biking is, you can stop, and walk down sections that are too difficult. Following you find the definition of the Trailguide difficulty rating system. It is very visual, and even without explanation it is understandable that green is easy, and black is hard:

GreenA singletrack that has no particular difficulties. Trail is also suitable for beginners. The surface is mostly compact and grippy. Obstacles that stand out of the surface like rocks, roots, or steps are not to be expected. You don't have to brake much, the grade is flat or slightly descending, the corners are wide and easy.
BlueTrails require basic biking technique like controlled braking and shifting your bodyweight. It still can be managed by sportive beginners. Here you have to expect small obstacles like roots, rocks, or steps. All obstacles can be rolled. The surface can be less compact with loose gravel, little rocks, or sand. The grade can be steeper, and requires more precise braking. There can be built obstacles like jumps that are all rollable, like tables or drops with ramps.
RedTrails require good biking technique. Beginners will have less fun on this trail, and probably push the bike more often. Precise braking, active body position, and dynamic shifting of bodyweight, good balance, looking ahead while riding, good cornering technique is required. The obstacles can be bigger and off-camber. There can be tight corners, sometimes even narrow switchbacks. The surface can be loose over longer sections. The grade can be steeper, there also can be longer continuous steep sections, or obstacles in the steep sections. Obstacles can occur that you can’t roll, but have to jump over or dynamically lift your bike over.
BlackVery good biking technique is required. Beginners will push down most of the trail. Intermediate riders will have less fun on this trail, and probably push several times. The obstacles can be high, and occur in a higher density, over longer sections. Also steep sections have obstacles like steps, channels, off-camber. Tight switchbacks can make turning over the front wheel necessary. There can be sections that are so steep that it is not possible to stop everywhere. There can be non rollable obstacles like bigger steps. Built obstacles like medium to bigger jumps in form of doubles and drops can be not rollable!

The communication to the guest is key. No rating system in the world will achieve a 100% congruence with all bikers. The difficulty rating will always be a fuzzy parameter to make decisions. When a guest comes to a new area, a “calibration tour” is suggested. This tour should be below the technical (and physical) limit of the guest.

Here is a comparison of different rating systems in mountain biking:

More diff.
Very diff.
Not possible to compare

4) Local services

One product of Trailguide is the promotion of local services. They are visible on the map and in all activity descriptions in a radius of 20km around their location. If you want to promote local services in at your destination, please contact us.

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Peter Seidl
Peter Seidl
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Trailguide AS
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3550 Gol
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