Navigating the Trails: A Brit's Guide to Mountain Biking Etiquette

As mountain bikers, we are all out on the trails for one thing to ride our bikes and have fun right? But if you are new to mountain biking or just need a refresher there are unwritten rules of the tails. We are fortunate to live in a country littered with the world's best mountain biking. However, some trails are shared with other outdoor enthusiasts or other bikers. Everyone rides at their own speed and not everyone cares about a PR or Strava segmement. There are easy-to-follow basic trail etiquette that mountain bikers should follow for safe and happy riding. 

1. Greetings Are Essential
Start your trail experience with a smile and a friendly "hello" to fellow bikers and hikers. A warm greeting sets a positive tone for the ride. There is nothing wrong with saying Hi and being friendly we all have the same hobby. 

2. Overtaking 
When overtaking pedestrians or fellow cyclists, announce your presence with a polite "on your left." It's a simple and easy courtesy that goes a long way. Letting people know you are there is key. 

3. Hikers are allowed to be there
Uphill or downhill, hikers have the right to use the path. Slow down, give a friendly nod, and ensure they feel comfortable as you pass. Or get off and walk we share the outdoors. 

4. Horses 
 Horse riders often use fire roads and can't always see you coming. Be patient and let the rider know you are there. It is not safe for you or them to scare a horse. 

5. Leave No Trace
Mother Nature deserves our utmost respect. Do not leave a trace if you took it with you take it back. 

6. Mind Your Speed
It's not a race, well, not always. Adjust your speed to the trail conditions and fellow riders. A friendly 'Rider may be helpful if someone doesn't know you are coming up behind them. 

7. Traildog and dogs in general
Trail dog are the best. But make sure you are respectful when out with your furry friend. making sure they have good recall and listen to you is a must. 
Also when exiting trails remember there may be dog walks and dogs of lead. 

8. Repair and Prepare
Be self-sufficient. Carry essentials like a pump, tools, and a spare tube. If you see a fellow biker in distress, offer a hand. Trail camaraderie is a beautiful thing.

9. Maps
Always have access to the map if you don't know the trail. Trailfork and Strava are good for navigating your way around trails. 

10. Respect Trail Closures
Sometimes trails need a breather too. Respect closures and diversions – it's a small sacrifice for the greater good of the trail system. You don't know why they are closed there could be a tree down or an unsafe feature. The trial builders put in a lot of work so respect them. 

11. Embrace Group Harmony
Riding in a group? Ensure everyone is on board with the chosen route and pace. Communication is key to a fun group ride. ride at a good pace for everyone,. No one wants beasted up a hill. 

12. Celebrate Achievements
 Congratulate fellow riders on conquering a tough climb, a hard feature or a new route. 

We are so lucky to have a great network of trails and bike parks in the UK being nice to fellow riders out enjoying them is just a good thing to do for the bigger mountain biking communities.