previous page: 6.2 League of American Bicyclists
page up: Bicycles FAQ
next page: 6.4 Commuting - Is it possible for me to commute by bike?

6.3 Rules for trail riding


This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.

6.3 Rules for trail riding

From: Roland L. Behunin <behunin@oodis01.hill.af.mil>

The Salt Lake Ranger District of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest has
some guidelines for trail riding in their district. Here they are:

1. Yield the right of way to other non-motorized recreationists.
People judge all cyclists by your actions. Move off the trail to
allow horse to pass and stop to allow hikers adequate room to share
the trail.

2. Slow down and use caution when approaching another and make your
presence known well in advance. Simply yelling bicycle is not

3. Maintain control of your speed at all times and approach turns
anticipation of someone around the bend. Be able to stop safely within
the distance you can see down the trail.

4. Stay on designated trails to avoid trampling native vegetation, and
minimize potential erosion by not using wet or muddy trails or
shortcutting switchbacks. Avoid wheel lockup. If a trail is steep
enough to require locking wheels and skidding, dismount and walk your
bike. Locking brakes contributes to needless trail damage. Do not
ride cross-country. Water bars are placed across to direct water off
the trail and prevent erosion. Ride directly over the top, or
dismount and walk your bike.

5. Do not disturb wildlife or livestock.

6. Do not litter. Pack out what you pack in and carry out more than
your share whenever possible.

7. Respect public and private property, including trail use signs, no
trespassing signs, and leave gates as you found them. If your route
crosses private property, it is your responsibility to obtain
permission from the landowner. Bicycles are excluded from designated
Wilderness Areas.

8. Always be self sufficient. Your destination and travel speed will
be determined by your ability, your equipment, the terrain, and the
present and potential weather conditions.

9. Do not travel solo in remote areas. Leave word of your destination
and when you plan to return.

10. Observe the practice of minimum impact bicycling. "Take only
pictures and leave only waffle prints."

11. Always wear a helmet.

12. If you abuse it-you lose it!. Since mountain bikers are
newcomers to the forests, they must prove to be responsible trail

From personal experience, you may also want to add the following

13. In National Parks and National Monuments bicycles are considered
vehicles and restricted to roads.

14. On BLM land - ride only on roadways, trails, and slickrock. The
desert crust (microbiotic crust) is fragile and takes up to 50 years
to recover from footprints, waffle tracks, etc.

15. When camping out of improved campsites camp at least 500 feet
off the road or trail. Try to leave no trace of your campsite.

16. Toilets in unimproved areas - move off trail, and dig a 1 foot
deep pit, cover after use.


Continue to:

previous page: 6.2 League of American Bicyclists
page up: Bicycles FAQ
next page: 6.4 Commuting - Is it possible for me to commute by bike?