Mountain Biking - Follow the Rules

As an off-road cyclist, it is your responsibility to ride safely and considerately. Get to know your local parks, the park staff and bike trails before your adventure. Every trail user should exercise common courtesy; making sure to check trail signs and use park maps. According to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) bicycling opportunities remain threatened in many locations due to land management issues, rude or dangerous cyclists, trail-use conflicts, and damage to trails or ecosystems caused by cycling. Resolving these issues will depend to a large extent on the level of responsibility demonstrated by bicyclists.

Follow these guidelines to ensure your cycling adventures are safe and enjoyable:

Ride on open trails only. Check park map brochures for approved trails. Watch for trail signposts with trail names and informational discs.
Stay on approved trails. Riding off trails or skidding down slopes damages park resources, creates erosion and threatens other park users and wildlife.
Always yield. Pass with care and keep your speed to a slow, safe pace. Do not exceed the 15mph speed limit. Approach each bend as if someone were around the corner. Hikers and particularly horses are easily startled. Calling or ringing a bicycle bell to get the attention of other trail users can prevent accidents. Anticipate that other trail users may be around corners in blind spots.
Control your bicycle. Inattention for even a second can cause disaster. Excessive speed frightens and injures people, gives mountain biking a bad name, and results in trail courses.
Leave no trace. Don't ride when the ground is marred, for instance, on certain soils after rain. Never ride off the trail, skid your tires or discard any object.
Protect the environment. Care for natural resources by honoring restrictions placed on areas that are environmentally fragile.
Never scare animals. Give them extra room and time to adjust to you. Running livestock and disturbing wild animals are serious offenses. Leave ranch and farm gates as you find them or as marked.
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 bike in good repair, and carry necessary supplies.
Dress appropriately. Always wear a helmet. In cold weather, experts suggest wearing a wool or polypropylene base layer against your skin. Polyester clothing worn closest to your skin will trap warm air next to the skin and transfer body moisture away. Continue to layer as needed finishing with a lightweight, windproof shell. This method allows you to take layers off especially during changes in weather.
Carry necessary equipment. According to many mountain biking experts, there is certain equipment you must plan on carrying. The further from civilization you plan to venture; your supplies ought to be more inclusive. They are a first aid kit (for minor scrapes and cuts), pump, pocketknife, tire patch kit, chain tool, small crescent wrench, pliers, sunscreen, drinking water, and food.
Be prepared for you trip. The key to a successful and enjoyable ride requires knowledge of regulations, proper equipment, preparedness for the unexpected and an understanding of one's personal ability.