Mountain Manners On A Bike

This quick guide to manners of the mountainside that will keep you in the good books of fellow riders, and maintain our rural environments for future generations of mountain bikers to come.

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Thinking about not only your safety but also the safety of other riders and user of mountain bike trails should be one of your primary concerns. At all times you need to be considerate to other path users, whether they are cyclists or not, as well as considering the environment you’re riding in. 

Sadly, open spaces near to cities are limited. As a result what little open space there is, is often overcrowded with many different types of user, mountain bikers and otherwise. All trail users should abide by a few simple rules and ethics to ensure that we can all enjoy our recreational time equally.

The rules

By acting considerately and courteously to other trail users on your bike you will not only ensure that everyone has a more enjoyable day out, but you will also avoid the trails becoming massively overused. Remember, the way you ride today will shape mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance mountain bike access and image by observing the following rules of the trail:

  • Always be considerate and courteous to other trail users. Don’t give mountain bikers a bad name!
  • Horses and walkers move far more slowly than a mountain bike so when approaching them from behind always let them know of your approach to prevent startling a horse or walker and causing an accident. Mountain bikes make very little noise and someone may be totally unaware of your approach … shout ‘on your left’ or ‘on your right’ to let people know you are about to pass and always thank people as you go by.
  • Children, horses and dogs can be unpredictable so take particular care when attempting to pass. It may be worth asking a horse rider if it is safe to pass at a given point, or wait until an owner has a tight hold on their pet before passing.
  • Never ride at speed along a busy trail as you may encounter dogs or children unexpectedly appearing from the trail edges. Always expect the unexpected to suddenly appear.
  • Never enter blind corners on a trail at speed. You really have no way of knowing what is round that corner and a head on collision probably won’t be high on your list of riding achievement.
  • Never ride in areas closed to mountain biking, such as bridleways specifically for horses. They are designated for a set purpose with good reason so ignore that at your peril.
  • Take your litter home. Never leave any litter when you go out mountain biking, leave the environment as you found it for others to enjoy.
  • You can always volunteer to help maintain a trail and help repair the damage caused by constant use. By being proactive you can contribute to everyone’s enjoyment of the great outdoors.