Recognizing that single track is already one step up in difficulty from riding a gravel road, if you are comfortable riding a motorcycle you should be able to ride these trails. In general, easy trails will have no exposure to heights, relatively few rocks, minor stream crossing only, no difficult hill climbs and no noticeable obstacles. Easy trails are rare.
Experienced riders should be able to ride a ‘Moderate’ trail without falling or getting off their bike. You can expect occasional obstacles or technical sections that will require the rider to manage the bike with some skill. There may be some hillside exposure, rocky sections and more challenging stream crossings but everything should be ridable without anxiety. Such obstacles, however, can be expected to challenge a novice rider.
Very few trails are “Hard” from start to finish. So when looking at a hard trail you are generally going to find a great ‘Moderate’ trail with some difficult sections. The difficult sections usually involve long or deep stream crossings, challenging climbs or descents, larger rocks or boulders, or much more precarious exposure. When writing up a ‘Hard’ trail we will try to specify those sections that result in the “Hard” rating. Expert riders should have little trouble riding a ‘hard’ trail but even they can expect to dab and paddle a bit. Those who are less than expert may need help through certain sections and will likely have a fall or two. Injury to person and/or bike is a tangible possibility.
Like ‘Hard’ trails, ‘Extreme’ trails will usually have sections of easy and moderate riding. But when the trail gets ugly it gets really ugly. Even expert riders shouldn’t expect to complete the trail unscathed. Occasionally the rating is for danger such as cliff edge riding but most of the time the issue is a handful of long or difficult obstacles or obstacles that require multi-person assists to get bikes up or over. Steep, loose and rocky will be common trail adjectives. Unless the trail is short, you can expect to be physically spent by the end of the ride. These trails also see less traffic and therefore downed trees and washouts are more common. These trails should be started with plenty of daylight remaining and riders should be prepared with tools and equipment for trail work and bike repairs. All motorcycles should be running well and capable. Extreme trails ridden in one direction may only be ‘hard’ when ridden in the other.