Keep in mind, though! This scale is by no means a bullshit-proof method, so best be honest in your assessment!
Level 1. Princess
You ride your bike every week, but most of the time you stick with asphalt or paved roads. You rarely venture on country lanes that are less than 1 meter wide or forest trails that are smooth and flat. Your biking experience is limited
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Level 2. Prince
When you ride you often leave behind asphalted or paved surfaces and look for forest roads, country lanes, or even tracks made by forestry tractors. You’re not intimidated by the occasional root. Steep climbs give you trouble and make you lose your balance, or find you trying to pedal through the wrong combo of gears. When riding you sometimes choose to walk beside your bike and prefer the safety of the solid ground under your feet whenever you encounter rugged terrain. When descending you are able to lift your body from the saddle, but you’re not exactly confident when using the front brake.
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Level 3. Aspiring boulder
For you mountain biking involves an off-road ride that includes hilly or mountainous areas. You feel really comfortable on forest roads or tractor tracks and you crave narrow paths that can make your bike dance. You don’t even blink when faced with a short stretch of small roots, as long as they’re not wet. You can easily lift the front wheel and have no trouble riding over small ledges during a descent. Steep and tight turns are often a challenge, however you’re not scared by a rocky surface, as long as the stones are well set in the ground.
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Level 4. Snake
Doing a “bunny hop” comes natural to you and you are able to lift the front wheel simply by balancing your weight to the rear of the bike. Steep climbs never catch you unaware and using the correct combination of gears is merely a matter of staying focused. You know how to move your weight forward on short and challenging climbs and it’s a rare occurrence, mostly due to a lack of concentration, for you to encounter difficulties in riding on most segments that are considered bike-appropriate. You’re comfortable having both wheels off the ground, and you can fly over 30-40 cm dropouts when descending, provided you keep your cool. You’re still in the saddle even over areas covered by large, unstable rocks, and feel at ease in muddy places or, really, just about any place that provides less than ideal grip.
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Level 5. Black Goat
You actively search for single trails covered in roots, meandering through rock gardens and chock-full of hairpin corners. You are able to keep your saddle high over challenging descents, even on a bike that has a rather short travel suspensions-wise (100-110 mm). When on a trail you eagerly look for obstacles that you can use to jump off of, and you really enjoy being off the ground for an extended period of time. The manual and bunny hop tricks are so familiar to you that you could do them in your sleep. When faced with steep climbs the only limit is your own physical strength, as your technical skills are definitely not an obstacle. Difficult segments have a special appeal for you and you often ride rather than walk through them. You are capable of correctly assessing your limits no matter the circumstances.
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Level 1. Crazy snail
In terms of endurance you’re simply zilch! Best case scenario your entire workout for a week consists of one or two hours spent in the gym. The thought of riding your bike through a non-stop 30 minutes climb is deeply unappealing. Nevertheless, when riding on flat surfaces you can go on and on for up to one hour or more, perhaps with short stops.
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Level 2. Turtle
You go for mostly cardio activities at least twice a week. If allowed a few breaks, you can spend some 2 or 3 hours pedaling in one day and are capable of covering a 250 m climb with no breathers. However, going for approximately 2 hour rides on two consecutive days requires a significant effort from you.
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Level 3. Sheep
You dedicate between 4 and 6 hours a week to a workout that is mostly cardio. You’re capable of spending up to 4 hours a day in the saddle (with some rest) and a ride that amounts to a total vertical climb of 1000 m is nothing to write home to mom about. You often enjoy going out for a bike ride for two or even three consecutive days. You sometimes take part in endurance competitions, as long as they do not exceed 3 hours. As for pace and intensity, you usually switch between on and off… without much variation in between.
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Level 4. Horse
You log between 6 and 10 hours of physical training each week and you often sign up for endurance races during which you end up spending up to 4 hours in the saddle. You don’t find it particularly difficult to ride for 4 days in a row, even if you spend 2-3 hours pedaling on each of these days. You can tell the difference between high intensity efforts and less intense ones and are able to adjust your pace to the route you’ve planned and the outside conditions of the day (mud, rain, heat, and so on).
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Level 5. Siberian husky
You see mountain bike rides as mostly an opportunity to work out. You have an overall program, clearly structured, and you spend anywhere between 10 and 15 hours a week on your training, sometimes even more. You are capable of riding for 5 days in a row, 3 hours a day. Even a ride that totals over 2000 m of vertical climb is no match for you, and you always know how to limit the intensity of your effort based on the route you’re riding, so as to power through the finish line.