Road ride categories:
The following relate to ride categories as listed on the monthly ride schedules and referred to in e-mails etc.
(A): Advanced: For riders in good cycling shape, typically from routine to hard riding, challenging terrain, 25-75 miles, average 14 to 18 mph.
(B): Intermediate: For average rider who rides regularly, 15-35 miles over moderate terrain, no long steep hills, average 10 to 14 mph.
(C): Beginner: For almost all riders, 5-20 miles on any type of bicycle with gentle terrain, average 6 to 10 mph.
Memory Ride: A ride without a designated leader. The route and length are up to those who show up.
While this isn't directly related to "catgories", this tutorial on paceline etiquette is full of excellent information, which helps keep everyone safe: Paceline Etiquette
Mountain Bike Categories:
The club has never formalized ride categories for mountain bike rides. Mostly, it has been equating the effort and intensity of a road ride to a mountain bike ride. That isn't much help to new riders or to those that only mountain bike. The following is one attempt to establish a base for mountain bike ride categories.
Class A: For strong, experienced, conditioned cyclist, expect technical single track, long steep hills and moderate to fast pace. Rides will usually be 25+ miles, but technical difficulty, hills and pace are principle determining factors.
Class B: For riders in good cycling shape, typically from routine to hard riding, challenging terrain. Will usually involve single track of moderate difficulty, but can include some technical single track and long climbs. Rides will usually be 15+ miles at a moderate pace.
Class C: For the rider who rides regularly, 10+ miles over moderate terrain. Single tract will seldom exceed moderate difficulty. Example: A loop in Kanawha State Forest using Davis Creek Trail and Middle Ridge Road and other park roads.
Class D: For almost all riders. 5+ miles over gentle terrain. Double track or easy single track.