Ride Etiquette Rules
IMBA developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.
- Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures – ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.
- Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail 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
- Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits
- Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming, a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one
- Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough 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 are serious offenses
- Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
Be Courteous & Communicate!
Jefferson County Open Space Rules of the Trail:
- You are required to yield to all other trail users. Downhill riders should yield to uphill traffic. Anticipate other trail users around corners and blind spots and be prepared to stop and pass safely.
- Pass with care and alert other users in advance with a vocal warning.
- Keep your bike under control and travel at a safe speed.
- Always wear a safety helmet.
- Don’t ride in the mud or on trails where ruts can be created. Try to use an alternate trail. Skidding and sliding around turns damages the trail.
- County law requires that dogs be on a leash. Responsible bicyclists will not ride with dogs, since this can be dangerous.
- Listen for and be aware of other trail users and yield with care to equestrians. Pass equestrians with care.
- Keep your dog on a leash and under control at all times.
- Avoid stepping off trails.
- Travel at a safe speed. Be especially careful when visibility is limited.
- Communicate with other trail users. Let others know if your horse is safe to pass.
- Don’t ride in the mud. If the trail is muddy, try to use an alternate trail. Deep hoof prints make it difficult for others to use the trail.