Your conduct is key! We encourage you to ride with the points below from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) in mind to create a pleasant and safe trail experience for all trail users and animals.
Please visit our friends at trailetiquette.org for lots of great additional info!
Ride on Open Trails Only. Respect trail and road closures and don’t trespass. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.
Leave No Trace. Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Say NO to mud because wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options. Also, stay on existing trails, and don’t create new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Appreciate the parkland that we have and pack out what you pack in, and pick up random litter.
Control Your Bicycle. Inattention for even a second can cause problems! Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations. Using a bell is a great idea but please don't go faster because you have one.
Always Yield the Trail to Other Trail Users. Cyclists yield to equestrians and hikers. On trails, stop and step aside if necessary to let them pass.
Yielding means slowing down, establishing communication, being prepared to stop, and passing safely.
For horses, stop and ask equestrians if it is OK to pass. Horses are easily startled. Horses recognize the human voice more so than bells. In general, if you meet an equestrian on a trail:
The rider will appreciate your courtesy!
When approaching other cyclists, the rider going uphill has the right-of-way. This courtesy is extended to not break the climber’s momentum and because it is easier to restart when going downhill if there is a need for someone to stop for a safe pass. Note that the person with the right-of-way can choose their path. They may not follow the convention of staying to the right if that is not their best path, even on fire roads!
How are you perceived by other trail users? Even if you are a caring and friendly individual, with your helmet, sunglasses and a facial expression concentrating on the trail, you may appear intimidating to other trail users. Smile, say "Hi!" and ring your bell if you have one. It will promote goodwill on the trail and happiness to the trails community that we are a part of.
Never Scare Animals. Animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you.
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. Having a successful ride depends on your preparation and knowledge. Know your ability, skill level and equipment, and choose your trail accordingly. Always wear a helmet, prepare your bike, take a map of the area where you will be riding and check the weather. Bring enough water, snacks, and tools to repair your bike. Be self-sufficient so your ride is satisfying to you and not a burden to others.
Photo credit: Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District