1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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Thread: Trail Ethics

  1. #1
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    Trail Ethics

    This has been mentioned but I was looking for some clearity. Such as I heard mentioned of horse riders and back packers giving right of way. And I do remember when I was on a trail something about people yelling what side they wanted to pass on or somehting like that. Any info greatly accepted.
    Big Man on a Little Bike

  2. #2
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    The following list is from the International Mountain Bicycling Association:
    http://www.imba.com/
    Rules of the Trail
    The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport's access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA's mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

    1. Ride On Open Trails Only.
    Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

    2. Leave No Trace.
    Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed 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.

    3. Control Your Bicycle!
    Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

    4. Always Yield Trail.
    Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.

    5. Never Scare Animals.
    All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra 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 is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.

    6. Plan Ahead.
    Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding -- and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

    Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.

  3. #3
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    It can also depend on the type of trails. At certain parks around this area, ONLY mountain bikers are allowed on certain trails. If I find a jogger/dog walker on it, they will usually yield, because they know whose trail it is. If it's a multiuse trail and I'm approaching from behind, I'll usually yell something like "passing on your left" to let them know.

    This is not the same for horses. When you see the horse/rider, get off your bike; you do NOT want to spook the horse. Usually the horse's rider will give you instructions ("pass quickly, wait till I pass, etc").

  4. #4
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    I always hop off the horses too. If they get spooked they could throw their owner or god knows what they could do. The owners are always very appreciative for it too. When I pass a rider on the trail, either from behind or if they are coming the other way, I always yell rider up so they are aware. And I let em know if I have anyone riding behind me. If I'm heading downhill and someone is climbing usually I give them the right of way also.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ice25gt
    If I'm heading downhill and someone is climbing usually I give them the right of way also.
    I'm a beginner and it seems to make sense to yeild to climbers
    since momentum is so hard to regain on a climb...is this
    the general rule for mtn biking.??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3034
    I'm a beginner and it seems to make sense to yeild to climbers
    since momentum is so hard to regain on a climb...is this
    the general rule for mtn biking.??

    Yes, gravity will always help you gain your momentum again when going down. That's the general rule almost everywhere.

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3034
    it seems to make sense to yeild to climbers since momentum is so hard to regain on a climb...is this the general rule for mtn biking.??
    Even if it is not a rule it is a sensible thing to do.

    I meet lots of people with dogs on my local trails and they seem to appreciate it if I give them a few seconds to control their dogs, instead of just flashing past. If you are not in a rush, people sometimes like exchanging a few words with you about what they are doing and what you are doing. I guess it is curiosity and/or courtesy.

    Horses... never met one on the trails yet but I know they are big and totally unpredictable. Some of them are sooo calm. Some will panic for the weirdest reasons.

    Trash... You do not want to see trash on the trails, so do not leave any.

  8. #8
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    For the most part it's common sense. Look ahead, be aware of other trail users and yield to pretty much everyone.

    I've found that coming to an almost complete stop for hikers is usually enough for them to step out of your way, they appreciate that and since they are moving slower in general they'll often let you by instead of making you wait for them to pass.

    As far as horses go, in my area the riders are worse than the horses themselves. They always have a condescending, self-righteous tone when they talk to you and are generally asses. But I like horses so I'm nice to them. A good tip I heard from a nicer equestrian is to talk to the horse, they don't know what to make of a human with a bike, but as soon as you speak they realize you're just a person and calm down.

  9. #9
    pronounced may-duh
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    When passing hikers and bikers I think you should slow to a crawl, smile, say good day and ride past them.

    Horses are different. I generally dismount and let them pass. If we are going the same direction. They usually let me pass (once past don't let them catch up to you). But I pass very slow while I talk (talking reassures the horse that you are human). One time I had to pass in a very tight hike-a-bike section cause these horse riders were stuck changing a shoe (kinda like a flat tire). I had to carry my bike and pass the backs of these horses all the time knowing that they may spook and kick me. Never come up quick on a group of horses and brake slide or make a big squealing noise.

    Just the other week I was in the parking area at a local trail head. Lotsa bikers just milling around and some people getting their horses ready to ride and one spooked and takes off into the woods with out it's rider. With horses you just never know what there gonna do.

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