Bicycle Trail Grading System

We hope this illustration will help you to better understand the terrain of our cycling trips and experiences.

Grade 1 – Novice
Off-road : surface is either firm gravel or sealed
(e.g. concrete or asphalt).
On-road : generally follow quiet roads with little traffic.
Suitable For : novice cyclists, families and others seeking a very easy cycling experience.

Grade 2 - Beginner 
Off-road : predictable, mostly flat with some gentle climbs. Surface is either firm gravel or sealed
(e.g. concrete or asphalt).
On-road : generally follow quiet roads with little traffic.
Suitable For : beginners, occasional cyclists and families who have limited cycling experience.

Grade 3 - Intermediate
Off-road : can be narrow and may include hill climbs and drop-offs. Surface is mostly firm, but may include muddy or loose sections. There may also be obstacles such as rocks or tree roots to avoid.
On-road : moderate traffic level, include hill climbs and possible gravel sections.
Suitable For : regular, experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness and over 12 years of age.

Grade 4 – Advanced
Off-road : narrow with steep climbs and unavoidable obstacles. Surface includes firm and loose sections, with rocks and tree roots. Some walking may be required.
On-road : moderate vehicular traffic, include hill climbs and possible gravel sections.
Suitable For : fit and experienced cyclists with good on-road and/or off-road skills, a high level of fitness and over 12 years of age.

Grade 5 – Expert
Off-road : technically challenging, include steep long climbs, quick descent and dangerous drop-offs. The surface will be hugely varied and cyclists should expect rocks, roots and ruts. Carry of bicycles and some walking is likely. Possible river crossings in the mountains.
On-road : high traffic volumes with a limited shoulder for riding, hill climbs and possible gravel sections.
Suitable For : highly experienced cyclists with a excellent on-road and/or off-road skills and a high level of fitness. Grade 5 trails are for those who relish technical challenges and are comfortable riding in traffic. These trails can be both physically and mentally demanding and are not suitable for children under 12 years of age.

Source : New Zealand Cycle Trail



Before You Ride

The following chart gives you an indication on how long it will take you to cycle a certain distance (not considering traffic conditions and rest stops). 

Cycling Speed Distance
5 KM 10 KM 15 KM
Slow 20 minutes 40 minutes 60 minutes
travelling at 15 KM / H
Medium 15 minutes 30 minutes 45 minutes
travelling at 20 KM / H
Fast 12 minutes 24 minutes 36 minutes
travelling at 25 KM / H

source : Gold Coast (Australia) Cycling Guide


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