Section 2 – BCC Ride Key
The purpose of this ride key is to provide guidelines for ride descriptions so that members can determine what rides are appropriate for them. The key descriptions relate to distance, pace, terrain, and difficulty, although other designations may apply as noted below. Riders using this ride key are advised to keep the following in mind when reviewing the appropriateness of a ride:
- Evaluate The Entire Ride Description - In all cases, riders should review the entire ride description and conditions before deciding whether a ride is appropriate.There are many factors to consider in determining the difficulty of a ride, including terrain, store stops, wind and weather conditions, planned regrouping, and how the group plans to ride (paceline, rotating paceline, everyone expected to pull, surging, etc).Each ride will include a “difficulty “designation as determined by the ride leader. If you have questions about whether a ride will be appropriate for your condition/fitness/experience, call the ride leader and be honest about your fitness level, experience and ability. He or she will be able to tell you what to expect so you can make an informed decision.
- A Word About Average Pace – Your average pace is how fast you ride over the course of an entire ride, not how fast you can go for a brief period of time, so take into account both the projected pace and distance in determining whether a ride is right for you.Posted pace is the average over the entire length of the ride..On most rides, there will be periods during which riders will be riding faster than the posted average pace, so faster than posted paces should be expected on most rides for at least part of the ride.
- A Word About Pace and Terrain – Terrain really matters in the pace you can maintain.As an example, rides out of Masterson Station will typically be faster than rides originating from Midway or Georgetown because the terrain in Midway and Georgetown includes steeper hills (although in some cases, not much more total elevation overall).Therefore, do not assume that because you can maintain an average pace of 16 mph at Masterson Station that you will be able to maintain the same pace on a route with steeper hills.
- Considering Pace and Terrain Together – Some examples – Flat rides will usually be at the listed average pace.If the ride is rolling hills, you can expect slower paces than the posted average on the uphills, and faster than the posted average on the down hills – like a roller coaster – thus the name.A ride posted as hilly will typically have a much slower pace than the posted average on the up hills, the posted pace or a bit faster on the flats, and a much faster pace on the down hills.
- Starting location and route choice – Beginners and novices are strongly advised to select easier and shorter distances to begin with, and to progress up the scale as bike handling and group riding skills improve.Generally, the pace, terrain and difficulty increase together.
Summary of Ride Rating Categories (detailed descriptions are provided below)
Note that many of the regular weekday starting points during the riding season feature multiple rides with varying pace and difficulty levels. Most ride leaders post these rides for the entire ride season at the beginning of the season, so route descriptions included on the rides calendar are generally not specific. Some ride leaders post additional details about specific routes for the week using the BCC Facebook page a few days before the ride and riders are encouraged to check there for updated information.
Will vary and will be listed first in the ride description
Pace - Will be listed second
(Average for the ride on a flat road or a road with small rollers)
- L/CUnder 10 mph
- C10-12 mph
- B/C12-14 mph
- B14-16 mph
- A/B16-18 mph
- A18-20 mph
- EF20+ mph
Will be listed third
- 1- Mostly Flat
- 2 - Easy Rollers
- 3 - Moderate Rollers
- 4 - Strenuous Rollers
- 5 - Hilly
- 6 - Significant Climbs
Will be listed fourth
- Very Strenuous
Example of a ride posting – 25 miles, B3 Moderate – This describes a ride that is 25 miles long, with an average pace of 14-16 mph, moderate rollers, and of moderate overall difficulty.
The posted pace is the average rate of speed over the whole ride. Riders should expect that there will be periods during which the pace of the group will be faster or slower than the average pace posted.
Ride leaders may designate that a pace will be at the higher or lower end within a pace range by using a plus (+) or minus (-) designation for posting a pace. For example, the ride description may read “A+ pace”. In this case, the “+” indicates that the ride leader intends to average closer to 20 mph.
L/C = Leisure/Casual pace = Under 10 mph – This ride will be casual and stops may be frequent depending on the needs of the group. The ride leader will try to keep everyone together, or will provide an “out and back” or “lollipop” route that allows riders who want to go faster or slower to be monitored and assisted as needed. Suitable for beginners. The ride leader will assist with minor repairs. This is a social ride with an emphasis on having fun and learning or improving safe biking skills.
C = 10-12 mph. The ride leader will sweep or will designate a sweeper, and will regroup frequently, and help with repairs. The ride leader will typically ride with the less-experienced riders rather than the slowest riders in the group, should those people be different. C rides will be casual with a focus on developing cycling skills.
B/C = 12-14 mph. The ride leader will sweep or will designate a sweeper, and will regroup frequently. The ride leader will typically ride with the less-experienced riders rather than the slowest riders in the group, should those people be different. Intermediate cycling skills recommended. Riders should be able to change their own flat tires, although the ride leader may assist.
B = 14-16 mph. Participants are expected to be competent in basic bike handling and bike safety skills, and should have experience in riding with a group. Leaders are encouraged to sweep and keep the group together, but this is not required. The posted ride description should note whether the ride leader will sweep. The ride leader may help with some repairs. A ride at this level will be brisk and may involve a pace line. This ride has some stops and/or regrouping. Intermediate cycling skills recommended.
A/B = 16-18 mph. Participants are expected to be competent in basic bike handling and bike safety skills, and should have experience in riding with a group. Leaders will not sweep and may choose whether or not to keep the group together – the ride leader will typically announce his or her intentions at the beginning of the ride. Participants must be able to ride on their own and perform their own repairs. This ride may or may not include occasional regrouping. A/B rides will typically involve pace lines. Advanced cycling and group riding skills are required.
A = 18- 20 mph. Participants are expected to have significant experience in group riding with advanced bike handling and bike safety skills. Leaders will not sweep or keep the group together. Participants must be able to ride on their own and perform their own repairs. This ride may or may not include occasional regrouping. These rides will be fast-and will typically involve pace lines.
EF = 20+ mph. For experienced group riders who have advanced bike handling skills, and who are used to riding fast under varying conditions in a pace line/rotating pace line setting. Emphasis is placed equally on advanced riding skills, and the ability to ride at speed in a tight group while maintaining control. Riders who do not possess both competencies should not participate in EF rides. Participants must be able to ride on their own and perform their own repairs. Riders who cannot keep up will typically be dropped. Regrouping is possible but should not be expected.
Mostly Flat – Mostly flat roads with possible gentle uphills. Examples: McCracken Pike from Versailles to Steele Rd, Royster Road, Ironworks Pike from US 62 to Yarnalton
Easy Rollers – Small, rolling hills that are not steep or long, with some flat stretches. May be challenging for beginners. Examples: Steele Road between Versailles Rd and Old Frankfort Pike,
Moderate Rollers – Hills are a bit steeper and longer, with less recovery between hills. Some may be challenging. Not recommended for beginners. Examples: Briar Hill Road, Steele Road from McCracken Pike to Clifton Rd, Dry Ridge Road, Duvall Station Road,
Strenuous Rollers – Hills are numerous and challenging based on elevation, length or the quantity. Will typically include some shorter, steeper inclines and descents. Examples: Woodlake Road from US 460 to Stamping Ground,
Hilly – Lots of climbing and descending with steeper and/or sustained climbs, some over 9%. Examples: Watt’s Ferry, Scott’s Ferry, (Really any road with “ferry” in the name will include hills as those roads tend to go to the river)
Significant Climbs – Multiple hills with grades over 6% or with multiple climbs longer than ½ mile. Some climbs may be over 9%. Possible steep descents that may be technical, requiring good bike handling skills. For riders who are sure of their ability to climb steep grades for extended periods. Examples: Clifton Road either direction, Duncan Road (Millville Hill), Hanley Lane, Shyrock Ferry, Grier’s Creek, Grizzard, Grimes Mill
WE CAN ADD TO THESE LISTS WITH FEEDBACK FROM OTHER RIDE LEADERS.
Each ride leader will rate his/her ride based on the overall difficulty of the ride, considering the pace, terrain, distance, rest stops, road conditions, and cycling abilities required. Categories are as follows:
Types of Rides Not Based on Pace
In addition to the categories described above, rides may be posted on the rides calendar with one of the following designations:
Novice - Novice rides are for beginners developing basic riding skills and learning how to cycle with a group. Leaders will sweep, and help with repairs. No one will be dropped. Most of the time, novice rides will be between 10 and 17 miles in length with a maximum distance of 17 miles. These rides will feature frequent stops and/or regrouping involving discussion and instruction. The ride leader(s) will try to assist all participants, with primary focus on participants who need the most assistance. New riders will be encouraged to move on to other rides once the ride leader feels comfortable with the rider’s skills.
Pace Chaser Rides – Pace chaser rides offer riders an opportunity to challenge themselves by starting with a faster group, with an opportunity to drop back to a following group at a more moderate pace as needed. Pace Chaser rides feature at least two pace groups riding the same route, with the faster pace group starting first. Riders wanting to move up to the next level can start with the faster group, and may drop back to the slower group as needed.
All Comers Welcome – These rides will offer the opportunity for everyone to come and ride, however those planning to do a different pace than the ride leader, will be expected to be able to do their own repairs, read the map and cue sheet, and ride independently. The ride leader will post the pace he/she intends to ride and how he/she will lead regarding those who choose to ride with the ride leader. Others are welcome to attend but should have no expectations regarding support from the ride leader.