Trinidad unesco world heritage site



Lake District mountain bike courses

Skills Training


The Karavanke Alps



Limestone Mogotes

Cuba Vinales

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The ability grading system used for our holidays and courses has been developed out of client and guide feedback over many years. It is a bit more detailed than most people use, but we’ve found that it is much more useful.

We give grades for two different things:

Fitness level required
Mountain biking skill level required
Why separate the two?
If you look at a “Core Skills” mountain biking weekend you have to be reasonably fit, because we are riding in the mountains, but can have little or no previous mountain biking experience. To mountain bike in some destinations where we can provide vehicle uplifts might only require the same level of fitness, but the trails could be steep, rocky and demand high levels of mountain biking skill. How would we get this across with one grade? Badly, we think!

Do remember that grades are still just an indicator, and if you want to talk about your suitability for a certain trip please give us a call.

Skills for MTB courses and holidays

We use levels A-D:

A No experience of mountain biking or limited experience, mainly on gravel tracks or smooth trails, but can already cycle.

B Can ride with confidence on gravel tracks and trails, over loose stones and some rough ground. May have some experience of man-made singletrack trails.

C Can ride over most normal terrain including steep, rough, narrow tracks with tree roots and other small obstacles forming part of the normal ride. Confident on all man-made singletrack trails and will be able to ride most small drops/step-downs or other technical trail features.

D Can ride over any terrain including very rocky, severe descents, 2+ foot high drop-offs and other more challenging trail features.


Fitness for all holidays

We use levels 1 to 4:

1 Basic fitness from exercise once or twice per week. Can ride on flat or gently rolling terrain at a steady pace. Usually have the stamina to spend 2-4 hours out on a ride.

2 Moderate fitness from two or three sessions of exercise each week. Can ride hilly terrain at a steady pace.

3 Good fitness from regular exercise sessions and time spent actively involved in cycling. Can ride full days in any terrain at a steady pace.

4 Excellent fitness from regular training and a significant amount of time spent riding or racing. Can ride in any terrain at a demanding pace.