You will need a route that is challenging, and ride it with some key things in mind: When riding technical terrain, especially descending, stand on your pedals with a slight bend in your knees, waist, and elbows. It’s an athletic stance that helps absorb bumps in the trail. Shift your weight forward while climbing to keep the front wheel tracking. Shift your weight back while descending to keep your bike balanced and to keep from being pitched over the handlebars. And use both your brakes like dimmers, and don’t slam them.
A trail will typically be graded based on three main criteria, technicality, distance and the amount of climbing involved. It’s perfectly possible that a trail that isn’t especially hard technically will receive a higher grade simply because it covers a lot of ground or may cross remote or exposed wilderness terrain. Similarly a trail may be short but be packed with tough features and obstacles that bump up its grading. Obviously it’s possible for a trail to score highly on all three counts.
Severe routes are marked with “black”. They are suitable for expert mountain bikers who will expect and relish technical challenges, and suitable for off-road quality mountain bikes. The expectation of technical riding include unforgiving terrain, severe climbs and descents, or considerable distances. May include “drop offs”. The trails are mostly off-road. Expected to include a significant proportion of single-track, with challenging surfaces. Hazards are expected, as assessed and agreed by an expert user. So where can I really train to become an expert? Here is a selection of routes from Patrick Dwyer:
Expert: Grade 5
This route is usually closed during the summer months due to the rain. This 1.6 miles of single track is like a giant bump track, which essentially goes up and down through an overgrown exposed pit mine. The start of Ridgeline is approximately five miles from the trailhead without any shorter route available. There's no water to be had either, but there is a nice rest area at the end which can be pretty crowded on a nice day. It is mostly smooth and thus fast and flowing, but the extreme ups and downs are what makes it deserve its difficult rating. It is almost completely shaded and there are no bailouts, which may be harder to walk than to ride. There are three extreme descents that are optional that divert from the main trail and quickly merge back in.
Expert: Grade 5
Once parked head south on Babcock until you cross the Tillman canal, the Trail Marker will be just after the canal on the right. The trail provides nonstop excitement surrounding an advanced dirt jump track filled with hips, transfers, and doubles. It is well marked and has many drops and jumps (with marked bypasses) scattered throughout the route. There is also a dirt jump area in the middle of the loop. The trails are named from all of the wild grapefruit and orange trees in the area (but they are not edible).
Extreme: Grade 6
An important suggestion is that you shouldn't ride it when wet. Clay trail surface becomes extremely slippery after a rain. There is no traction for climbing or braking. This is the toughest trail section on Moonscape. Expect to find multiple drop-offs, gap jumps, g-outs, very steep climbs, a 40 wooden boardwalk and a wooden skinny. The last drop feeds into a step-up jump, which if executed improperly, could cause injury.
Extreme: Grade 6
Again, don't ride Moonscape when wet. Enter Moonscape at the Rollercoaster exit or use the RC Connector to access the start. Take a big breath starting a steep climb followed by a qualifier steep drop. Start breathing again for a slow climb up to the 50 ridge and enter into a series of steep, tight, and twisty drops and climbs. Expect mandatory 2 rocky rollovers and 3 drop-offs. The optional sections with longer and even more intense test of your skills, include Gravitron (above), Doom and No Dab Hill.