Talk:Proposed features/mtb:scale:amtb

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Please provide any feedback on this feature proposal here...

aMTB vs amtb

It's my understanding tags should also contain lowercase characters ( thus the proposal should use 'amtb'. It leads to less readability on the wiki but it would reflect the possible less readability when the tags is used elsewhere later. --Mtmail (talk) 11:55, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Agreed - and it's not a "should" - it's a must that keys are case insensitive, meaning it's irrelevant if you write "mtb:scale:aMTB=*" (containing upper case letters) or - and right, it's highly recommended to write keys lowercase, like "mtb:scale:amtb=*". --Geonick (talk) 20:06, 10 July 2022 (UTC)

Great feedback I have went ahead and changed all the tags to be lower case and only kept the aMTB nomenclature for human readable descriptive text. --JPinAR (talk) 06:12, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


The proposal says there is wider adoption at Trailsforks website. With 18065 trails in their table, I'd say that's true (and impressive). But on Trailforks website they only add a table, meaning "this is suitable", not a different rating. For example is rated 'black diamond' (very difficult) for regular mountain biking. By your own description that can't be applied to adaptive mountain bikers. --Mtmail (talk) 11:55, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Mtmail when I say wide adoption I say this in the context of the Adaptive MTB trail community, not the whole MTB trail community. In fact, it is preferred for only adaptive riders or those familiar with the needs of adaptive riders to rate a trail for being adaptive MTB friendly, which I'll probably make a point about or at minimum better explain the criteria for the rating and who should do it. As for adoption, every trail on Trailforks has the option in the edit screen to add an adaptive trail rating so although you are correct the non-edit page only displays relative data known about the trail you could go to the line below and be taken straight to the section to add a rating for the trail in TrailForks. Like many things with respect to disability, adoption is slow but what benefits the community typically benefits a number of others with respect to narrow sections of trails and the grading of certain burms. --JPinAR (talk) 06:23, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

Last week in Whistler Canada, I rode MTB trails that had both "standard" and aMTB ratings. Checked their online map and gained a better understanding which trains were suitable and how the signs are placed and how many differed in rating. Also saw three adaptive bikes, one active riding. I stand behind the proposal now, it's well used and accepted by riders and organizers. --Mtmail (talk) 12:40, 15 August 2022 (UTC)


Mtmail you brought up an interesting point that Whistler does use an aMTB rating system but they use a different one from KASA which is pretty regional to British Columbia. I did a lot of digging because if there are multiple adaptive mountain bike rating systems I want to give each a fair chance. I addressed this in more detail in the main proposed feature request but the KASA-based standard has its pros and cons. The pros are that it actually has a more comprehensive set of requirements for trails to meet based on the requirements which from the standpoint of someone that wants better and more adaptive MTB trails is a mixed bag depending on the rider. Some of the times adaptive can end up meaning boring or timid when some riders want safe but adventurous too. The second issue is that for OSM specifically, we want one tag to represent one thing or one quality of a thing. The KASA standard has seven all rolled into one. However, that said the aMTB standard that TrailForks uses has been expanded upon with a flag that switched the rating from most riders (think bell curve with 70-80% fitting) and switches it over to ALL riders and this is where the KASA rating and the TrailForks ratings can come back together and complement each other because for a large portion of the KASA rating it can be said that the KASA rating will give trails the ALL riders designation. This was a good catch and it did give me pause to think about and re-evaluate my proposal but I think with the new additions these now are complementary but the proposed tags align more with OSMs one tag-one thing best practices. JPinAR (talk) 21:51, 31 October 2022 (UTC)

"with requests for support at other MTB community websites."

Can you link to those requests? The 'external discussions' sections links to which is basically the homepage of a community instead of a discussion. Are there request for any map, openstreetmap specifically or for Trailforks to add such ratings? --Mtmail (talk) 11:55, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

The request for this has come from a few communities both online but mostly offline although some have online presences. For instance People For Bikes has done articles on which sites that AllTrails, MTB Project, and SingleTracks in addition to Trailforks are in discussion with McGhee's unPavement advocacy group respecting the adoption of the adaptive MTB rating model. Full disclosure Jeremy McGhee who is spearheading this effort is from my local town so I have first hand knowledge of the work and negotiations being had and have talked with a number of members of the adaptive sports community about the importance of having systems like this one in place are and can be. I hope that answers your questions in full or in part feel free to reach out if you have more questions. --JPinAR (talk) 06:25, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

Needs an explicit "not suitable" rating

The proposal currently specifies that "no rating" means "not suitable". This is a problem because it means there's no way to tell the difference between "not suitable" and "not yet rated". The vast majority of the world's trails fall into the latter category, not the former. --Carnildo (talk) 04:58, 25 June 2022 (UTC)

Typically I would agree that "not rated" and "not suitable" are not interchangeable. However, with respect to adaptive riding, this is not the case because a rider not knowing if a trail is suitable can result in significant safety issues for the rider who can easily get stuck or stranded without proper support. This phrasing was selected intentionally to emphasize that adaptive rides should have trails evaluated and rated to determine suitability prior to making assumptions about rideability. In short, this is an intentional emphasis on safety over pure accuracy that is very situational to adaptive sports specifically and not 'typical' from a non-disabled evaluation standpoint. I'm open to discussion on this and I'm not saying that your evaluation is wrong it isn't I'm just pointing out there was thought and intention put into the specific phrasing used to emphasize safety third, if safety was first then we wouldn't have adaptive riders. --JPinAR (talk) 14:57, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
An end user is free to interpret the absence of an "mtb:scale:amtb" key as meaning "not suitable", but without an explicit "not suitable" value, mappers have no way of indicating if a trail has been surveyed or not. (You can't use an explicit "not surveyed" value, because when someone adds a trail to the map, it doesn't have values for any key other than the one marking it as a trail.) --Carnildo (talk) 17:36, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
Carnildo I went back to the TrailForks and Unpavement project staff and they have adjusted the rating system to drop the 0 rating for paved ADA accessible and focused on the strictly can you ride the trail and with how much support system. They did however recognize that in order to keep people from evaluating trails that do not meet the definition of Mountain Biking they have started adding to their trail blogs not ridable and the somewhat subjective line in the same between Mountain Biking and Mountaineering is if support is needed for greater than 20% of the trail then the trail has ceased to be adaptive Mountain Biking and has become adaptive Mountaineering. With this change in recognition and with improved definitions of where the line should be drawn I went ahead and added mtb:scale:amtb=no. I also added that if a trail is not rated that adaptive riders should never ride a new single track without support. Please let me know if you have any more feedback on this proposal as this was good feedback and something the adaptive MTB community already was working through in changing the rating system. (These changes haven't made their way to TrailForks and there are some new tags for all-inclusive and requiring technical skills to further dial in the "what amount of support is needed" question even further.