O/T/E Trail Ratings
This rating scheme was devised by Doug Landauer, the author of many of these ride descriptions.
Other people, however, have also added ride descriptions, including their own O/T/E ratings.
Consequently, be aware that the ratings may not always be consistent from ride to ride;
one person’s "T6" may be another’s "T9", for instance.
One solution to this problem would be to allow readers to contribute their own ratings for each trail, and to compute an average rating based on this.
Maybe sometime in the future...
Doug Landauer’s Explanation of the Ratings:
I like to rate these rides on a set of three 1-10 scales.
Some are very subjective; some are dependent on your skill,
experience level, and overall fitness:
- O for Overall:
1 == feh ... 10 == Wowie!
- Overall, how much do you like this ride?
(This is obviously a very subjective measure).
Here, consider things not otherwise rated, like beauty,
crowdedness, convenience, danger (to you or to your
bike), as well as the T/E ratings below.
- T for Technical:
1 == easy, flat, wide ... 10 == tricky, steep, narrow
- How much technical skill is needed for this ride?
A "1" would indicate a flat, wide dirt (or even paved) road.
A "10" would be scary singletrack,
rocky, rooty, bumpy, sandy, maybe even muddy;
or having spots steep enough to be technically challenging
(as distinct from muscle-challenging).
On a "T10" ride,
much technical skill is needed to
stay on the bike even when going downhill.
If the ride has a lot of variety, use
some kind of average, or
use the ride description to
give more detail about your T rating.
- E for Effort:
1 == easy and/or short ... 10 == long and/or lots of steep climbing
- How much effort is needed for this ride?
This rating should get a combination of the ride’s length
and its steepness (on the climbing parts).
A very long but mostly flat ride and a shorter but much steeper
one might both get high E ratings.
Other factors that affect how much you like the ride should
be listed in the ride description; these could include some
of the things mentioned above that affected your Overall rating,
or could give details on what led to the T or E rating. Examples:
- Beauty of surroundings (e.g.,
"This ride stays in under the Redwoods most of the way, except for a couple of wonderful views of Monterey Bay.")
- Dangers to bike & body (e.g., "Watch out for bears!",
or "Very rocky -- trails in this park could well damage your bike.")
- Crowdedness, Convenience, Exposure (in either the
climber’s or the rescue-worker’s sense),
- Breakdown of the T or E rating (e.g., "T is only 4 because about 75% of the ride is dirt road. But the other 25% is some very interesting singletrack. Novices may have to dismount in spots.")
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