Tag Archives: International Mountain Bike Association

Tips for a fun bike ride on or off the paved riding trail

With warmer temperatures drying out the bike trails for another riding season we thought it be a good to repeat a message developed by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). These tips work well for courteous conduct on both shared-use paths and lanes. Keep in mind that procedures for yielding and passing may vary in different locations or with traffic conditions. By following these six ‘Rules of the Trail’ everyone should have a fun and memorable season.

Bike trail etiquette for a safer ride

Bike riders enjoying the Root River Trail with the majestic bluffs in view and whispering in the breeze, "Come Explore."

Bike riders enjoying the Root River Trail with the majestic bluffs in view.

  1. Ride open trails:

    Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.

  1. Leave no trace:

    Riding the red dirt of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail, north of Crosby, MN. photo by Aaron W. Hautala

    Riding the red dirt of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail, north of Crosby, MN. photo by Aaron W. Hautala

    Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

  1. Control your bicycle:

    Here a father and son are out on a Mountain bike trail enjoying some quality time together. Photo taken on a trail near Lakeville, MN.

    Here a father and son are out on a Mountain bike trail enjoying some quality time together. Photo taken on a trail near Lakeville, MN.

    Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

  1. Yield appropriately:

    A little bit of traffic congestion near a local Minnesota mountain bike trail head, as everyone is having fun.

    A little bit of traffic congestion near a local Minnesota mountain bike trail head.

    Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners.                                                                                                                                                           Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.

  1. Never scare animals:

    With a full moon gracing the night skies the next couple days, even in the daytime it is not uncommon to see a deer or other wildlife pop out from the bushes onto a road or trail in front of you.

    It’s not uncommon to see a deer or other wildlife pop out from the bushes onto a road or trail in front of you.

    Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

  1. Always plan ahead:

    Here a mountain biker walks his bike back to the trailhead after missing a technical turn along the trail.

    Here a mountain biker walks his bike back to the trailhead after missing a technical turn along the trail.

    Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Search here at:  https://www.imba.com for more riding information in your area or see the new bike guides at: HaveFunBiking.com