Mountain Biking Etiquette
The great majority of mountain biking takes place on trails that are also frequented by other sorts of people who like being outside, such horseback riders and hikers. Since 1988, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has been providing its members with a set of guidelines known as the Rules of the Trail. These guidelines are intended to encourage considerate and responsible behavior on trails that are used by multiple users simultaneously and to ensure that everyone has positive experiences.
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Think of these guidelines as an adjunct to the Leave No Trace principles that apply to everyone who uses the outdoors. They are specific to mountain biking. You may be confident that you are doing your bit to respect the natural environment as well as the other people who use the route if you adhere to these simple instructions and follow them.
The Guidelines for the Path
Ride open trails.
Do not leave any traces.
Control your bicycle.
Make the proper concessions.
Never attempt to frighten animals.
Ride Open Trails
Riders in the past who abided by the regulations were responsible for opening up the locations that we all enjoy visiting today. Because there are so many open routes to choose from, there is no valid excuse for not finding one.
Please be respectful of closed trails and roads; if you have any questions, contact a property management.
On private property, entering without permission is considered trespassing; instead, get the necessary permits or authorizations.
In any part of the land that has been set aside as state or federal wilderness, it is against the law to ride a horse or operate any other kind of vehicle.
Do not leave any traces.
The inherent allure of muck is not sufficient justification for a splatterfest that causes harm to the trailbed below.
If a path is muddy and soft, look for an alternate route to use since it is more likely to be damaged.
Keep to the trails that are already there and do not blaze any new ones.
Avoid shortening any switchbacks.
At a minimum, you should pack out the same amount that you put in.
Maintain Command of Your Bike
Maintain a positive attitude and put a lid on your adrenaline. You may be motivated to improve your riding abilities by seeing footage of riders who seem to defy the rules of physics.
Observe and comply with all speed guidelines and rules.
Maintain vigilance, since even a split second’s worth of inattention may put you and others in danger.
Always stay within your capabilities while riding.
Give an Appropriate Return
Since the conventions for yielding and passing may vary depending on the region or the circumstances of the traffic, it is essential to get familiar with the following regulations as well as the local norms. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself with both sets of rules. You hope that every interaction will be a positive one.
Always make sure other people using the route know you’re coming and welcome them in a pleasant manner.
As you go around bends, be aware of the possibility that you may encounter other trail users.
Give way to trail users who aren’t riding bikes (gently enlighten them if the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel).
When cycling downhill, you should always give way to bikers coming up the slope (gently enlighten them if the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic).
Ensure that each passage is safe as well as polite.
Never Startle or Frighten Animals.
When an animal is terrified, it may become both defenseless and deadly. The animals’ sole defense against you is another person or another animal.
Since animals might be swiftly startled by an unexpected approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise, it is important to be always alert for any threat.
Allow animals sufficient space and time to acclimate to your presence.
Take extra precautions while approaching horses and listen carefully to the recommendations given by equestrian riders (ask if uncertain).
Under no circumstances should you bother wild animals, livestock, or any other domestic animals.
Prepare for the future
The IMBA Rules of the Trail should be read and understood before you begin. You should also do study on your journey and pack intelligently; it is usually simpler to prepare well than it is to do trailside medical care.
Many trail networks use trail signs that have the same symbols that ski resorts rely on to mark difficulty: green circles for trails that are appropriate for novice riders, blue squares for trails that are appropriate for intermediate riders, and black (or, gasp, double black) diamonds for trails that are reserved exclusively for experts.
You need to be familiar with your gear, your skills, and the best way to be ready for the terrain you’ll be riding in.
Maintain your independence by ensuring that all of your gear is in working order and carrying supplies with you at all times in case the weather or other circumstances change.
Always protect your head by using a helmet along with other protective gear.