MTBA Trail Guidelines

ozzybmx

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I notice that MTBA have taken their TDRS down and are reviewing it!
In Australia, the vast difference across trail networks is crazy.
Cleland as you know has trails marked black diamond and they are fire tracks with no features, in comparison, Trouty in Derby is single black.

I like the idea of an outline or ring around the grading to indicate if there are technical features on it, rather than grading on steepness.

Maydena circles their trail gradings in orange to indicate its a freeride trail. So just because you ride blue trails elsewhere, you might want to proceed with some caution here.
Even the Maydena single blacks give you a warm fuzzy feeling when you reach the bottom, unscathed.

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Stredda

Likes Dirt
In Australia, the vast difference across trail networks is crazy.
Cleland as you know has trails marked black diamond and they are fire tracks with no features, in comparison, Trouty in Derby is single black.

I like the idea of an outline or ring around the grading to indicate if there are technical features on it, rather than grading on steepness.

Maydena circles their trail gradings in orange to indicate its a freeride trail. So just because you ride blue trails elsewhere, you might want to proceed with some caution here.
Even the Maydena single blacks give you a warm fuzzy feeling when you reach the bottom, unscathed.

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As I have mentioned before I do like the way Maydena have rated their trails. It not only tells you the skill level but the type of trail be it flow, tech or free ride. They all are a step up from most other networks, there's a lot of blues at Maydena that would be blacks anywhere else. :p

I get told so often about my local trails that "this trail" should be a blue and not a black because it's easy for them and then someone else will say the opposite because it's well above their skill level. Hence the reason for a standard. You can technically have a totally smooth black diamond trail that is black because of trail width and gradient alone. I don't think some people get that.
 

Ackland

Likes Bikes and Dirt
You can technically have a totally smooth black diamond trail that is black because of trail width and gradient alone. I don't think some people get that.
Cleland as you know has trails marked black diamond and they are fire tracks with no features
Yep... plenty of vehicle tracks with extended sections greater than 20% around here - Take Note Billy old lad.

There's also an issue with every twat starting out on enduro rigs which have suspension travel greater than the allowable obstacle sizes on beginner and intermediate trails.... "This is easy"
 

climberman

Likes Dirt
I dunno about a 'standard' approach.
Ski areas get around this by haveing the trail gradings be relative to the resort itself, rather than anywhere else. A black at Selwyn isn't a black at Hotham, but it's the hardest run at Selwyn.
 

ozzybmx

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Yep... plenty of vehicle tracks with extended sections greater than 20% around here - Take Note Billy old lad.
Well 10yrs younger than me whipper-snapper Acko, I'm saying that the current grading is misleading and needs to be looked at.

An older bloke, same age as me... who hasn't rode a bike in 35yrs, buys an e-bike and can clear those 20% sections with ease, giving him a false pretence he can ride black diamond trails.

I like the current colour grading and don't think it needs any others added, but think it needs to have an outline around it like the orange hoop to indicate technical features, jumps, drops ect.
 

sbm

Likes Bikes
As the skiing joke goes, there's three types of double black diamond trails.

There's double black diamonds, with an annoying young guy at the bottom claiming this trail would only be a single black diamond where they come from.

There's double black diamonds, with an annoying young guy at the bottom claiming this trail would only be a blue square trail where they come from.

And there's double back diamonds, with an annoying young guy at the bottom surrounded by paramedics being evacuated.
 

sbm

Likes Bikes
My personal benchmark for an advanced trail, is that it becomes difficult just to walk down. That is, getting off and pushing won't necessarily save you, and if you don't ride something you might have to carry, finagle, or lower the bike past a feature, or go completely around.

I think my benchmark for a green trail is, would I send a bright-faced beginner or young kid, on an ancient cheap bike, down it blind with no protective gear?
 

rockmoose

Likes Dirt
@sbm you saw me at Whistler hanging off a tree with my bike didn't you? I thought I would try a "technical" blue trail and quickly got over my head.
I can guarantee you weren't the first, nor will you be the last.

Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
 

Sekt

Likes Dirt
I notice that MTBA have taken their TDRS down and are reviewing it!
The revised TDRS can be found here: https://www.mtba.org.au/wp-content/uploads/CCJ18202-Revision-of-Aust-MTB-Guidelines-Section-10-V3.pdf

I haven't had a chance to look through it, so I'm not sure of the changes made, although I notice they've adopted your styling for the easy/intermediate and intermediate/difficult symbols Acko. Apparently there are a couple of things anomalies in this revised release that they're fixing, and I suspect the incorrect colours on the intermediate/difficult symbol is one of those.

Anyone with sharp eyes able to highlight what's changed?
 

teK--

Eats Squid
Would be great to have some consistency in applying those gradings to tracks around Australia. E.g. Follow me at Lysterfield (a fairly chill blue rated track) is rated as Double Black. If riders of that track think they could potter along in the same manner on the double blacks at Maydena, they are gonna be in for a surprise.
 

ozzybmx

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Would be great to have some consistency in applying those gradings to tracks around Australia. E.g. Follow me at Lysterfield (a fairly chill blue rated track) is rated as Double Black. If riders of that track think they could potter along in the same manner on the double blacks at Maydena, they are gonna be in for a surprise.
Steep vehicle/fire tracks with 20% section rated a single black diamond are just some that make a mockery of the whole system.

I don't care for myself, I can ride 99.9% of trails but its confusing for those who do rely on the grading to indicate what they should ride to get the enjoyment out of it.

Must be a shit feeling to be pushing your bike down a blue when you have ridden double blacks elsewhere.

Met a family on Kingswall riding average bikes, gave them a bottle of water as they were basically done... rode blue trails at home, had shuttled to black stump and been on lower Kingswall for nearly 2 hours, basically pushed the whole trail. Mum was not a happy chappie.
 

teK--

Eats Squid
Steep vehicle/fire tracks with 20% section rated a single black diamond are just some that make a mockery of the whole system.

I don't care for myself, I can ride 99.9% of trails but its confusing for those who do rely on the grading to indicate what they should ride to get the enjoyment out of it.

Must be a shit feeling to be pushing your bike down a blue when you have ridden double blacks elsewhere.

Met a family on Kingswall riding average bikes, gave them a bottle of water as they were basically done... rode blue trails at home, had shuttled to black stump and been on lower Kingswall for nearly 2 hours, basically pushed the whole trail. Mum was not a happy chappie.
For sure.

Grading tracks more difficult than they actually are, (in the hope it would discourage people from riding something above their pay grade), is a huge disservice and can be outright dangerous when the same person then goes somewhere else that grades tracks properly.
 
I think this is where trail filters are a critical part of good trail design although I acknowledge they can be difficult to achieve depending on the terrain. First feature on the trail should be no more than 50m in and represent what the rider can expect for the remainder of the trail.
 

Stredda

Likes Dirt
The problem with this one is that the Intermediate with Difficult Sections icon is basically the same as the Easy with Intermediate Sections except it's a square.
The way Ackland had it with the blue/black background is much better as it showing that it's a blue trail with some black features.
Don't think MTBA are really putting a lot of effort into this. I've been working with the Wild Mersey trails project manager and TrailScapes are currently building here now and they have said that trail building contractors have not been consulted at all on the revised rating system.
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Ackland

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Don't think MTBA are really putting a lot of effort into this. I've been working with the Wild Mersey trails project manager and TrailScapes are currently building here now and they have said that trail building contractors have not been consulted at all on the revised rating system.
Had a brief web chat today with MTBA's project team regarding the TDRS.
There's a much better revision coming.
Garry (Trailscapes) was invited but couldn't make it and sent through some of his comments (as did one of his senior staff)
 

Stredda

Likes Dirt
Had a brief web chat today with MTBA's project team regarding the TDRS.
There's a much better revision coming.
Garry (Trailscapes) was invited but couldn't make it and sent through some of his comments (as did one of his senior staff)
That sounds promising then. They definitely need to consult with the land managers and contractors as they are building with a grade in mind and if a rating changes it will mess with past work. I'm keen to see the revised rating as we are planning to rate the Wild Mersey trails currently under construction.
 
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