Standards and fitness for guided mountain bike rides
While we don't have much technical riding in East Devon, you do need a certain level of technical skill and physical fitness. The area is undulating, with some very steep hills. Much of the best riding is on the Pebblebed Heaths and, as the name implies, there are loose pebbles to negotiate in places. We have three ratings for our rides: beginner, novice and intermediate:
This is for people who are just starting to ride a mountain bike off-road. We don't expect you to have mountain biking skills. You will be comfortable riding a bike on the road and/or on Sustrans-style tracks. You will know how to use the brakes and gears.
You have some experience of riding a mountain bike off-road, and are comfortable riding on forest roads, double track and occasionally on singletrack. You have basic bike handling skills and can change gear, brake and pedal efficiently. You would like to improve your riding and try more singletrack.
You have been mountain biking regularly for at least a year or two and are confident braking, cornering and using your gears. You are happy riding rough double track and non-technical singletrack, and have good bike handling skills. You have the skill to get up short sharp climbs and deal with small rocks and tree roots on the trail.
Mountain biking is demands more physical fitness than road riding or a spin class. As the terrain constantly changes, your whole body and mind are switched on all the time. In addition, you need short, sharp bursts of power on a mountain bike. This means that a mile off road needs more energy and fitness than a mile on the road. We mark the pace of each ride as gentle, moderate and faster.
A gentle pace with plenty of stopping to catch your breath and chat. Your average ride would be two hours on the road, or an hour off road.
You ride your bike regularly throughout the year and do other exercise too. Going at a relaxed pace, you can ride a mountain bike for at least three hours a day with stops on a ride that includes 2-300 meters of climbing.
You tend to blast round shorter rides, without much stopping, and are able to ride for up to five hours at a relaxed pace, with lunch and snack stops. You are happy climbing up to 500m a day.