Mountain Biking Conduct and Etiquette

As a recreational activity, mountain biking should be fun. But that doesn’t mean you free to do whatever you want. When riding on national parks and public trails, you are more likely to encounter hikers, joggers and horseback riders using the same trails. Since you are traveling at a faster speed than others, it is important to take precautions, observe proper conduct and show consideration for others.

Below is the list of proper conduct and etiquette that you must observe while in the area:

Go easy with hikers. When you have to pass them, slow down and make sure they know that you are there. Do not pass in top speed, otherwise you will startle them. You may even receive negative reaction if you do not slow down. Once you have seen persons in front of you, reduce substantial speed as you get near and make some noise so that they will know that you are coming. A greeting or a bell is good but sometimes, foot scrape, gear shift or any subtle noise is enough. Never assume that they have seen you until they look up.

Do not forget to thank them for giving you their right of way. Pass with care especially if there are young children and pet animals. The key is to show respect and be polite.

Give way – If you see other bikers or hikers coming your way, the best thing you can do is to slow down until you reach full stop and let them pass, especially if the track is narrow or if they are coming from above. Add some smile on your face and a polite nod.

Never scare horses and other animals – Horses are often scared of bikes. If you see equestrians coming your way, make sure that you dismount at least 15 meters from the horse. Most horse owners will appreciate this gesture and will thank you. Also you will never know if you are dealing with horseback rider or an inexperienced horse so initiate courtesy.

Moreover, do not make any abrupt movements that will scare the pet animals of other people on the trail. Be respectful with the owners and they will surely appreciate you. Keep your distance from any animals you have seen on the wild whether it is dangerous or not. Do not disturb them because they may attack. Remember that animals are more scared than you but they will not hesitate to fight back if you pose any threat to them.

Leave no traces – Do not throw anything on the trail. Bring a small bag to place all your trash. Candy and food wrappers, plastic cups, empty glue tubes and bike parts are non-biodegradable. Stay on the trail. If you cannot ride the trail, dismount, carry your bike and walk through it. Do not create new paths to avoid bike tracks that may be followed by other bikers. If you are going to ride on private property, make sure that you ask permission from the owner.

These are some of the things you must do as a mountain biker to show your respect and consideration to others and the environment. Take this in mind whenever you set out on a mountain biking trip or even if you are going for a quick ride to a public park.