Code of Ethics
This is PalisadesMTB’s recommended etiquette while you are out enjoying the trails. Some elements are from IMBA’s Rules of the Trail, adapted specifically for our local area.
Always wear a helmet, eye protection and gloves.
Nothing ruins the day like a sharp stick in the eye. You might also consider additional protection depending on your skill level & the location where you are riding.
Don’t wear headphones when riding.
There may be times when it is important to hear things around you such as other trail users, animals & falling trees/branches.
Carry the hydration, energy, tools & parts you’ll need to ensure an enjoyable ride. Learn how to make trailside repairs such as fixing a flat, repairing a snapped chain or replacing a broken derailleur hanger. There is a freedom in knowing you won’t have to cut your ride short or walk your bike out of the woods.
Ride within your limits.
Enjoy the ride and think about the terrain and your technique instead of just your speed. This is something we do because we enjoy it, right? So what’s the rush?
Skidding leads to unnecessary wear and erosion. Keep those wheels turning. Stay on the trail; don’t cut corners. We want to keep the trails narrow and well defined.
Yield to hikers.
It is standard practice that cyclists yield to hikers. Slow down as soon as you see hikers, well in advance of passing. This gives the other trail user plenty of time to see you coming and reassures them that you are in control of your bike. If the hiker moves over indicating that you should pass, ride by slowly (walking speed). Always be friendly; a simple smile and hello goes a long way. Compliment their dog and you’ve won them over. If you’re riding in a group let them know how many riders are behind you.
Never leave any trash in the woods.
Not a gel wrapper, not a valve stem cap, nothing. If you see trash left by others, consider picking it up and stuffing it in your pack or jersey pocket. If we all contribute, we can keep our trails tidy.
Move branches and debris off to the side.
Help keep the trails clear by stopping to move branches and debris off to the side. Large logs should be left alone; just walk or ride over them. Learning to ride over logs is a great skill to have and helps in many riding situations. Do not ‘build up’ the logs by piling branches next to them. They rarely stay in place and often become a nuisance for other trail users.
If you encounter a stopped rider in the woods, check if they are all right.
You might have the tools or knowledge to get them going again.