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There has been some discussion lately about adopting a common ride rating system so everyone would instantly know what to expect when they show-up at the start of a ride, even with a group of riders you don't know.
I have given it some thought over the past year and have come to the conclusion that getting every club to use the same system to determine the difficulty and speed of a club ride will not work. It's like a ride leader trying to keep his ride together with all the different ability levels in the group - it's not going to happen.
Cyclists are an independent lot and getting them to agree on anything is difficult. So getting a number of cycling clubs to agree on a common system to rate rides is ludicrous, especially when the club members themselves often disagree on how a certain ride should be listed. What's "brisk" to you is "touring" to me and what's "rolling" to Pantani is "hilly" to Cipolini.
I would love it if there was one universal system, it would make my task of listing all those rides much easier. As it is now, they are listed using each clubs terminology whether it's 3/M/40, 3-B-29,C/INT/12/1500 or 4-M-35 and you have to go to the Ratings page to see what the code means.
If you have any suggestions or comments about this, feel free to e-mail me with your ideas and maybe something beneficial to all of us will happen. Maybe not, but at least we tried.