Trail Etiquette and Usage Reminder

Fellow mountain bikers and trail users, a quick plea/reminder on recommended trail etiquette and usage for our shared trails in the area.

  1. STAY OFF WET TRAILS – our local trails get a lot of use.  Riding them when they are muddy or wet increases the damage to them by providing ruts for water to run in, enlarging puddles and preventing drainage.  General rule of thumb is 24 hours for each inch of rain received.  After 2 inches of rain, give the trail at least 2 days to dry out. Give trails even more time to evaporate if it is cold or freezing overnight.
    During freeze thaw cycles in the winter: Water expands as it freezes, loosening the soil, and breaking apart the protective packed dirt on the trail surface. Once the water melts, the saturated soil remains loosely packed, leaving deep mud. Frozen trails are great to ride on when they are completely frozen, but get off the trail before it thaws. Sun hitting a sub-freezing trail will melt it very quickly. You can encounter muddy trails when it is below freezing outside.If you can see your tire tracks in the ground, its too wet. Go ride gravel instead!
    Some gravel riding resources for the wet weather:
  2. RESPECT AND BE COURTEOUS to other trail users.
    1. Slow down when you encounter other trail users.
    2. Warn them you are coming with a bell or voice.  Do it early and give them time to process the warning.
    3. Smile and say hello.  Being friendly helps break down stereotypes of mean, aggressive riders.
    4. Whenever possible, pull off to the side of the trail and let walkers and runners go by.
    5. If a runner or walker has to step off the trail to let you pass, SAY THANK YOU!

We are sharing the local trails with other users.  We are trying to build a community where mountain bikers are considered positively, as stewards of the trails, not as a threat.

I’ve been told recently by several hikers and runners that they have encountered rude bikers who do not slow down, do not warn them they are coming, do not say thank you for getting out of their way. This has made them scared to use the trails.

All it takes is several bad examples to sour all the work CAMBC is doing to gain access to, and become trusted advisors of our local trail systems and their owners and managers.

Thanks for your consideration, and thank you for supporting CAMBC.

John Lewis
CAMBC Board Member
RTF Board Member