Terrain definitions for MTB courses

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
How we define Trail, Technical and Advanced terrain for MTB courses.

Trail Terrain

For the Trail Mountain Bike Leader Award:

Overview
Trail terrain is non-technical. This means that it does not involve specific route selection (for example between rocks, roots or other obstacles) in order to ride on it. It can be as narrow as handlebar width. Typical trail terrain includes: forest tracks, fireroads, cycleways, and other smooth ground. Public highways and roads also fall within trail terrain.

UK specification:

Limiting factor Specification
Height limit: Less than 600m above sea level
Remoteness factor: No further than 2.5km (30 mins walk) from a road or accessible landline telephone and shelter
Weather conditions: Only one of the below can apply to remain in scope (if 2 or more apply, it is beyond the level of the award):
  • Temperature less than 10°C
  • Continuous or heavy precipitation
  • Average windspeed of 30mph or more, or gusts of 40mph
  • Visibility of 500m or less

Where ice may exist, it must be clearly and easily avoidable

Trail terrain:
  • Cycle accessible rights of way and routes that are defined on the map and ground
  • Non-technical (i.e. does not require route selection within the trail or body positioning to ride)
  • The surface is relatively smooth (though not necessarily surfaced)
  • Where virtually all the route is entirely rideable

Specification outside of the UK: The Trail Leader course is designed principally for the UK, however it may be used further afield with the following provisos:

  • The holder is equipped with knowledge, experience and appropriate locally recognised qualifications to act as a mountain bike leader for the area they are using. These factors should include at least language, culture, weather and emergency procedures and may be covered through the CTC International cultural module.
  • In addition for locations with similar weather patterns to the UK, the Leader should remain within the specification of limits as stated above. These locations might include, for example, Scandanavia and northern Europe.
  • Where a more settled weather pattern exists, for example in southern Europe, the Trail Leader may extend their riding to above 600m, but must at all times remain less than 2.5 km from a road or land based telephone or contact point (e.g. top of a manned lift station), via a trail terrain rideable route.

 

Technical Terrain

For the Technical Mountain Bike Leader Award:

Technical terrain is, as its name suggests, technical. It includes singletrack and routes with obstacles which require technical skill to be ridden over or avoided, such as roots, rocks or holes. It does not necessarily mean big drops or seemingly unachievable sections, but the sort of terrain that most mountain bikers may come across on a normal ride.

Typical technical terrain includes: singletrack, farm and moorland tracks and paths and other mountain bike accessible rights of way with sections requiring line selection to ride. Technical Terrain also includes trail terrain and public highways and roads.

There is an enormous amount of technical riding out there, most of the riding available to us in fact is technical. It is best suited to the leading of groups with some previous mountain biking experience and abilities.

UK specification:

Limiting factor Specification
Height limit: Less than 600m above sea level
Remoteness factor: No further than 2.5km (30 mins walk) from a road or accessible landline telephone and shelter
Weather conditions: Only one of the below can apply to remain in scope (if 2 or more apply, it is beyond the level of the award):
  • Temperature less than 10°C
  • Continuous or heavy precipitation
  • Average windspeed of 30mph or more, or gusts of 40mph
  • Visibility of 500m or less

Where ice may exist, it must be clearly and easily avoidable

Technical terrain:
  • Cycle accessible rights of way and routes that are defined on the map and ground
  • Where virtually all the route is entirely rideable
  • Terrain within the leader's and group's capacities

Specification beyond the UK: The Technical Leader course is designed principally for the UK, however it may be used further afield with the following provisos:

  • The holder is equipped with knowledge, experience and appropriate locally recognised qualifications to act as a mountain bike leader for the area they are using. These factors should include at least language, culture, weather and emergency procedures and may be covered through the CTC International cultural module.
  • In addition for locations with similar weather patterns to the UK, the Leader should remain within the specification of limits as stated above. These locations might include, for example, Scandanavia and northern Europe.
  • Where a more settled weather pattern exists, for example in southern Europe, the Technical Leader may extend their riding to above 600m, but must at all times remain less than 2.5 km from a road or land based telephone, via a technical terrain rideable route.

Where you remain within the height and remoteness factors, but make use of less technical terrain, you may only need the Trail Mountain Bike Leader Award.

 

Advanced Terrain

For the Advanced Mountain Bike Leader Award:

Advanced terrain is that beyond the limits of both trail terrain and technical terrain.

UK specification:

Limiting factor Specification
Height limit: No limit, except where weather conditions are exceeded, where the limit is no higher than 600m above sea level
Remoteness factor: No limit, except where weather conditions are exceeded, where the limit is no further than 2.5km (30 mins walk) from a road or accessible landline telephone and shelter
Weather conditions: Where none or one of the below can applies, the unlimited height and remoteness factors apply. Where two or more conditions apply, the award is limited to Technical Leader specification:
  • Temperature less than 10°C
  • Continuous or heavy precipitation
  • Average windspeed of 30mph or more, or gusts of 40mph
  • Visibility of 500m or less

Where ice may exist, it must be clearly and easily avoidable

Advanced terrain:
  • Cycle accessible rights of way and routes that are defined on the map and ground
  • Where virtually all the route is entirely rideable
  • Terrain within the leader's and group's capacities

Where this terrain is used in the UK, you might need an Adventure Activities Licence to lead certain types of groups.For more details, see the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority website.

Specification outside of the UK: The Advanced Leader Award is designed principally for use in the UK, however it may be used further afield with the following provisos:

  • The holder is equipped with knowledge, experience and appropriate locally recognised qualifications to act as a mountain bike leader for the area they are using. These factors should include at least language, culture, weather and emergency procedures and may be covered through the CTC International cultural module.
  • In addition, the leader should be appropriately qualified through other means where required by the local state for the environment and conditions encountered.

Where you remain lower than the height and closer than the remoteness factors specified, it may be more suitable to use either the Technical Mountain Bike Leader Award for a technical environment.

 

For clarification on this subject, please contact CTC MTB.

Article Tags

Share This Page

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Carol McKinley (Acting)
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

Terms and Conditions