In our rides lists we give most of our rides an estimated grade to give an indication of how gentle or demanding they are expect to be.
We also normally give an indication of the expected distance. This varies over the year (shorter in winter, longer in summer). The actual distance will also depend on the group and the weather conditions on the day.
In all cases, please do check the expected distance when you choose a ride because we try to maintain a steady pace for the whole ride. If you are riding with us for the first time, we suggest you try an easier ride first to get a better idea of what these ride gradings mean. But if you find a ride a bit harder than you expected, don't worry, we won't abandon you.
Grade 2: Leisurely:
These rides are suitable for anyone who can ride a bike and enjoys gentle exercise. The pace is slower than our moderate rides and the distances are correspondingly shorter. Don't be fooled if the stopping place is very close by - we will probably take an indirect route and there may be some short uphill and downhill sections.
Grade 3: Moderate:
This grade applies to the majority of our rides. These rides go at a steady touring pace (averaging around 12 mph) and they are suitable for most regular cyclists as well as offering a more relaxed and social ride for fitter cyclists. You will need to be in good health and reasonably fit, but we do slow down for hills and headwinds.
Grade 4: Challenging:
These rides are longer and faster than our moderate rides. You will need to be fitter for these rides, and also have confidence in your ability to manage the extended time and distance and the more sustained pace. We may take shorter stops to allow for more cycling and longer routes between the stops.
Grade 5: Tough:
We use this grade very rarely. Typically we use it for rides such as our 200km Audax which are not only exceptionally long but also involve an element of time pressure.