


Degree of Difficulty Index 


Riding Terrain Definition: The Degree of Difficulty Index provides an objective measure of a ride's hilliness 


Computation Method: Divide the total elevation in feet gained/lost during the ride by the length of the ride in miles. This was determined using a GPS and a computer program that plots topographical information. The result is an index that we refer to as the Degree of Difficulty, which can be used as a comparison of the "hilliness" for different rides. 


Flat: 0 to 20 ft/mi of elevation gain/loss 


Flat to Rolling: > 20 ft/mi to 35 ft/mi of elevation gain/loss 


Rolling: > 35 ft/mi to 45 ft/mi of elevation gain/loss 


Rolling to Hilly: > 45 ft/mi to 55 ft/mi of elevation gain/loss 


Hilly: > 55 ft/mi to 65 ft/mi of elevation gain/loss 


Very Hilly: > 65 ft/mi of elevation gain/loss 


This index was developed several years ago when we were trying to devise a way to objectively determine the relative hilliness of any given ride. At the time the hilliness of each ride was estimated by the person developing the ride, which of course was subject to individual perceptions. 


Vic LaBarre changed all that when he purchased a GPS unit and computer software that worked together to provide topographical information for any ride, including: length; elevation gain/loss; a plot of the ride on a topographic map; and, an elevation profile. Vic also devised the simple mathematical model above called the Degree of Difficulty Index that enabled us to quantify each ride on a scale of Flat to Very Hilly. Most of the Degree of Difficulty data that appears on the ride documentation was provided by Vic. 


A caveat: While we have topographical data and a Degree of Difficulty Index for a majority of the rides, there are many rides for which we have no such data. We will strive to obtain this data during the 2005 ride season, but it's unlikely that we will be able to obtain it for all rides. Further, any new rides submitted may not have elevation gain/loss data because the submitters may not have the capability (GPS unit w/ Topo software, etc.) to obtain it. 




Geographic Region 


To allow you to search for a ride by region, Connecticut is divided into six geographic regions: Northwest; North Central; Northeast; Southwest; South Central; and Southeast. Because several rides start in Massachusetts, a seventh region called Central Massachusetts is also included. 


The Geographic Region of all rides and for the search feature is determined by the starting location. Due to Connecticut's small size, several rides may start in one region and travel into another. Region lines are along major state roads such as highways because many rides start from commuter parking lots along such roads. Map and Key for these Geographic Regions (except Central Massachusetts). 


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