Colin, Chris and I were talking about having some “calibration” tracks, which folks could use for comparing track difficulties, and possibly testing themselves.
The original idea (or at at least Colin’s idea as understood by me), was a couple of simple stretches… if you can ride this you’re grade 1, grade 2 if you can do this one. Which sets everyone up for “We’re going on a track out west, open to grade 3 or better riders.” This solves a number of “what does medium difficulty” mean, as well as helping point out areas folks can use for practice.
The chief problem IMHO with that is it is overly simplistic. Some folks are good at baby heads, others laugh at creek crossings, some have the stance for downhills (actually, all of those are stance). Hill climbs are different from sand, which is different from tight single track, and flat single track isn’t the same as steep single track +/- rocks, roots, and mud. A rider who can ace a hill climb on a big bike ( grade 3) might be hard pressed in grade 1 single track.
I had a bunch of tracks for the Oliphant Lake area, and proceeded to cut them up, and labelled the technical bits. The problem with that is I had 20+ little bits of disconnected track… but I had given them all difficulty levels. On _my_ garmin, you don’t want to have to go through each track and “show on map” for 20+ tracks. You could do it, but you’d need to be motivated, and it would mean scrolling past those 20+ tracks anytime you wanted to deal with another track.
So I rolled up all the tracks into hard/medium/easy. If you display them all, then everything is connected… and it’s easy enough to set colors on 3 tracks. (If it isn’t clear, color support in GPX files is extremely limited.)
Blah, and I see errors immediately (green where it should be blue).