We describe rides by style as well as level. Below are explanations of the most commonly used riding style labels. It is important to note that most of our rides take place at Hartland. Riding at Hartland is considered by some to be an all-mountain experience. For each ride, we select trails and link them together to plan a route most in keeping with the posted style of the ride.
Our cross-country rides are on trails that consist of a mixture of rough forest paths (roots and rocks), single-track and smooth fire roads. The technical complexity of the riding trails will be easy to moderate. The ride level posted will determine the amount of climbing, number of breaks and duration of the ride.
Our all-mountain rides will include riding up or down moderately pitched single-track trails, negotiating rock and root sections, and rolling over obstacles. There may be elevated features (skinnies) low to the ground, which may or may not be wide enough for you to put a foot down without falling off. There may be sections on the trail where you would have the opportunity to take air off jumps or drops. The ride level posted will determine the technicality of the trails, ability to walk around obstacles, amount of climbing, number of breaks and duration of the ride.
Downhill (mostly ridden at places other than Hartland):
You will need to have a bike that has dual suspension with at least 5 inches of travel. On these rides, you should be interested in riding in cooperation with gravity! You need to have some confidence as these trails will challenge your skills. These rides will have us shuttling, taking a lift, or push our big-ass bikes to the top. At Hartland we will be trying to ride them to the top! You must have the drive to work on your downhill skills. You should be comfortable on steep root and rock sections. Some trails will give you the opportunity to practice table tops, drops, skinnies and man-made obstacles. Sometimes the terrain makes it difficult to get around obstacles. There are downhill trails that cater to all levels. Make sure you know how the trails are marked at your destination.
During our skill-building rides you will have an opportunity to practice your skills. As a group we assist each other by watching each other’s technique, spotting when appropriate and giving loads of encouragement. Every rider is responsible for deciding when they are ready to attempt any new obstacle. These rides are not coached. The host of the ride may have already posted the skill-building objectives in the description section of the posted ride, or they may ask at the start of the ride what the group would like to practice. Skills practiced and trails ridden will also depend on the posted riding level. These rides tend to be very slow-paced.
These rides are geared toward building endurance. They will include a lot of climbing. Usually the trails ridden on this type of ride will be cross-country or all-mountain in nature. The posted riding level will determine the length and pace of the ride, as well as the frequency and length of breaks taken during the ride. As the intent is to increase your conditioning and endurance, you will be pushed to keep a steady pace throughout the ride no matter what your riding level. These rides get easier the more you attend!