Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned trail rider, there’s an unwritten code of conduct that all mountain bikers should heed. Following these simple tips will help you, your mates and fellow riders stay safe, get the most out of the trails and become part of one big, happy mountain biking family.
1. Play nice if passing
If you’re having a chilled ride, listen out for faster riders and move over to let them past when it’s safe to do so. They’ll be grateful not to be held up and you’ll be less stressed without someone right behind you.
If you want to pass a slower rider, call out in a friendly way (“rider on your right!”) and be mindful that they may not be able to pull over to the side straight away.
2. Don’t block the trail
If you need to stop for a rest, a pee or a chat with your mates about how you nailed that last section, don’t cause an obstruction in the middle of the trail. Riders coming along behind you may not have time to react and slow down to avoid you.
No one likes a selfish mountain biker, so pull over to the side and let other people enjoy the flow of the trail.
3. Check before pulling out
When rejoining the trail, riders already on it have priority, just like when you’re merging onto a motorway. So don’t pull out in front of someone — wait until they’ve gone past.
Remember to always look back up the trail before you set off again. Even a cursory glance over your shoulder can go a long way. Just because you can’t hear them doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t coming!
4. Lend a hand
You’ll come across loads of like-minded bikers when you visit a trail centre. If you spot someone who looks like they’re having a spot of bother — a puncture, mechanical issues or a spill — stop to see if they’re okay.
If the roles were reversed, you’d be grateful if someone helped you out. We’re all into this owing to our shared passion for riding, so why not make sure you spread the love!
5. Protect yerself
Whenever you’re out on your bike, make sure you’re wearing suitable protection. As a minimum, we’d recommend a helmet, gloves and, for anything other than pure cross-country riding, knee pads.
If you have a spill and aren’t wearing the right gear to protect yourself, it’s unfair to expect your mates or strangers to pick up the pieces.