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Ride Ratings System

Before I started riding scooters, I was somewhat of a bicyclist. I was a member of the greater AZ Bicycling Association (GABA) and on a number of organized rides with them. They also kept a list of good rides with maps and descriptions (sound familiar?) as well as a rating system for their rides that gave you an idea of what to expect before you got there. When I first started posting ride maps, I wanted some kind of way to rate the rides but couldn’t come up with anything I liked……. until now.

I think I have devised a decent, although somewhat subjecting, system for assigning a difficulty level to the rides which is better than what I have been using. Not only will I be going back and assigning scores to those rides already listed in the “Ride Maps” tab, I will also assign a score to each ride we do in the future to give newcomers an idea of whether or not a ride is appropriate for their current skill level.

Creating this system required that I look at a number of things besides just the ride. For example, if I say a ride is appropriate for advanced riders only, what does that mean? I need to create “levels” of rider skill and then definitions or descriptions of what, in my opinion, constitutes each level. This is a work in progress and is not meant to offend or malign anyone’s riding ability. I welcome suggestions regarding improvement of anything in this post.

Skill Levels

Becoming skilled at riding is something that takes time, effort, education and most of all, miles, miles, miles. Therefore, I am basing my skill levels primarily on miles ridden. I have created 5 skills levels. One thousand miles, IMHO, is what is necessary to go any one level to the next. We, at SIR’s, highly recommend attending the MSF course and recognize it’s value. Accordingly, successful completion allows you to add five hundred (500) miles to your actual number ridden. e.g. if you ridden 621 miles since you got your scooter and then complete the MSF, you can now make your total 1121 which moves you from “Newbie” to “Advanced Beginner.”

By the way, this system is just to assist people in SELF DETERMINING their own readiness for any given ride. No one will be asking for anyone’s mileage numbers to prove their readiness for a ride.

  1. Newbie                                – 0 to 1000 miles

  2. Advanced Beginner  – 1001 to 2000 miles

  3. Competent                       – 2001 to 3000 miles

  4. Proficient                          – 3001 to 4000 miles

  5. Adventure Ready        – 4001 miles and up

Rating Criteria

I came up with a point system where the total number of points determines the overall score, Score is based on points scores assigned in each of 3 criteria. Generally each is given a score between 1 and 5, with 1 being the easiest. Exception: An extreme score in any one of the criteria can push the ride to the highest level regardless of it’s scores in the other areas.

Ride Distance – The longer (time and/or distance) you are in the saddle, the more tired you become. A tired rider has slowed reaction times. However, the more long rides one does, the more accustomed you are to it, therefore, higher level riders are not as affected (up to a point) by distance as less experienced riders. After a bit of thought, I chose 75 miles (roughly 90 minutes) as my unit of measure. Therefore:

  • < 75 miles              = 1 point

  • 76 to 150 miles    = 2 points

  • 151 to 225 miles   = 3 points

  • 226 to 300 miles  = 4 points

  • 301+ miles              = 5 points (add 1 pt for each additional 75 miles)

Road Quality – This is a very subjective category. While the distance between two or more points doesn’t change, road quality can, and does, change. I will assign a score to a given road. However, it may get re-paved and upgraded at some point, or it may get damaged in a storm and down-graded. Any significant stretch of dirt/sand/gravel (I have no idea, yet, how I will determine when it is “significant.”) will result in a score of “5.” This number will be further adjusted by the speed limits of the roads on which the ride takes place. In other words, a rough road in a 25 mph residential street may only get a score of “3” where the same degree of roughness on a 50 mph street would get a score of “5.”

Twists, Hills and Grades – Another subjective category. I think the definition is self explanatory. Like “Road Quality” raw score will be adjusted by the prevailing speed of the road being ridden.

Using the above system will render scores from 3 to 15+.  Following the name of a ride, I will post its score in the following format:

Ride to XYZ: Score RD-2, RQ-1, THG-3 Total = 6

This lets people see why it’s score was given and if they aren’t proficient in a certain, they can avoid rides with high score in that criteria.

 Now to break the points down to match our skill levels:

Ride Score

Minimum Suggested Skill Level

3 or 4

Newbie

5 or 6

Advanced Beginner

7 to 9

Competent

10 to 12

Proficient

13 or more

Adventure Ready

The ride score is determined by the ride leader of that ride. I encourage anyone posting any future rides to use this scale and prominently post the score somewhere in your description of the ride.

If you have constructive criticism of this system, place send me an email, phone call, text or set up a time to meet with me. As I mentioned before, this is not aimed at anyone and is something I’ve wanted to do since I created the first ride map. Your input is appreciated.

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