Most extreme, mountain-based sports have a code of conduct. Either written or spoken, this code allows riders to remain safe and responsible while on the trail. Climbing has one. Skiing and snowboarding has one. Mountain biking, a fast-paced extreme sport wherein several people share a swath of wilderness and may or may not interact with one another, has one, too. In fact, mountain biking etiquette may be one of the more important codes of conduct; you will likely share Redding’s trails with hikers, runners, and equestrians, which increases the need for extreme caution and a reverence for safety. Below, we have listed and detailed the six Rules of the Trail.
- Ride open trails. You should never ride on trails that are closed off. Respect trail and road closures, and don’t trespass on private land.
- Leave no trace. This applies to all outdoor adventure sports. Stay on existing trails, don’t cut switchbacks, and pack out at least as much as you can pack in.
- Bike in control. Keep your head up and obey all speed regulations and recommendations. Stay alert and always ride within your limits.
- Yield appropriately. Always let other trail users know you’re coming and give a friendly greeting. Do your best to anticipate other trail users around corners, and yield to non-bike trail users. Always yield to riders headed uphill when you are riding downhill.
- Don’t scare the animals. Frightened wildlife can be very dangerous, so do your best to stay alert and use special care when passing horses.
- Plan ahead. Do the appropriate research before your trip and pack what you’ll need. Know your equipment and your own ability and be self-sufficient. Always, always, always wear a helmet.
Depending on your mountain biking terrain, these rules of conduct should be posted on either the base or the peak of the trail or mountain. Even if they’re not, learn to respect the code and other riders; mountain biking is only safe if you know how to stay in control and handle the trail.