Have you ever wondered …
why are there massive boulders strategically placed in the middle of my perfect line?
why do people follow the recommended trail line when it’s faster to take shortcuts across the trail?
why the hell are other people using the trail during my attempts to enter the holy KOM/QOM- heaven?
why do others always complain instead of cheer when I fly past them with earth shattering speed?
why should I ride a double black diamond trail when it’s faster and easier to simply create my own ride arounds for all the mandatory features?
Could your attitude actually be the problem?
Let us give you a little refresher on some basic trail etiquette that will keep you enjoying the trails in harmony with other users:
1. Be a good neighbour. Respect other trail users. They do not know you are a pro, so lower your speed and consider approaching with ‘How is it going?’ instead of ‘Get out of my way!!’ for some sweet karma points. Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise, give our furry friends enough room and a little time to adjust to you.
2. Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. If that is the case, consider other riding options. We luckily have plenty. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Please do not cut switchbacks, they are there to be enjoyed, not destroyed.
3. Know your limit, play within it. There is such a fine line between the ‘people are awesome’ and ‘fail army’, so stay in control of your bike and your speed at all times. Inattention for even a moment could put your safety and others at risk. Choose your trails according to your ability or the ability of the weakest rider of your group.
4. No need for speed. As tempting as it may be, trails are not a race track. Think of bullets 1 to 3 when riding and always remember: there is no glory for cheating your way to the KOM/QOM by shortcutting lines. If you really want to test yourself, join us for a fiver, timed events held by the NSMBA throughout the summer.
5. Be self-sufficient. Keep your equipment in good shape and carry necessary supplies for repairs and changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate protection.
6. No dig, no ride. A lot of time and effort has been committed to the building and maintaining our trails. Buy an NSMBA membership, join us for trail days or other events, want to give back, join us!
To visually underline the message of this blog, check out this funny video by our US friends at the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Even if you are not concerned with your own safety, trail etiquette is necessary to preserve access to trails now and in the future. Just like so often in life, bad decisions made by a few can have negative long term consequences, not just for yourself, but for all fellow riders. Don’t be the evil D-bag! Happy rides.