Rules of the Trail

Rules of the Trail

These  guidelines  for  trail  behavior  are  recognized  around  the  world. IMBA  developed  the  “Rules  of  the  Trail”  to  promote  responsible  and courteous  conduct  on  shared-use  trails.  Keep  in  mind  that  conventions for  yielding  and  passing  may  vary,  depending  on  regional  traditions, traffic conditions and the intended use of the trail.

Ride On Open Trails Only

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 may  be  required.  Be  aware  that  bicycles  are  not  permitted  in  areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.

Leave No Trace

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.

Control Your Bicycle

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

Never Scare Animals

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.

Plan Ahead

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.