© 2019 Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

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Mountain Bike Etiquette

These recommendations were developed in partnership with EBMUD and the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Help us gain access to more trails by being a good trail citizen! ​

  1. Safety First: Mountain bikers shall be mindful of their own safety and that of other trail users.  Ride in control and within your own skill level.  Remember, the way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

  2. Always Wear a Helmet: Helmets should be properly sized and fitted with the chin strap fastened.

  3. Yield to Other Trail Users: Respect and yield to all other trail users. Yield means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop, and pass in a safe and friendly manner.  Always be prepared to stop if needed. Ride with your eyes up and always expect to see other trail users around corners. Make your interactions with other trail users positive. Always call-out or put a handlebar bell on your bike and use it!

  4. Pass with Care: Communicate! Make sure other trail users acknowledge your presence before you attempt to pass. When approaching horses speak to the equestrians so that neither are startled and greet the equestrian. Ask how or when to pass safely. Offer to get off your bike. Pass slowly and steadily, but only after the equestrian gives you the go-ahead. Where possible, pass on the downhill side of the animal.

  5. Stay on Trails: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options.  Never cut switchbacks - it accelerates erosion. 

  6. Ride Only Authorized Trails & Respect Closures: Do not ride trails closed to bicycles. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Riding off the designated trail damages fragile ecosystems.

  7. Respect Wildlife and Livestock: Give livestock plenty of space and never approach wild animals. Always close gates behind you.

  8. Do Not Litter: Pack out what you pack in.

  9. Be Prepared: Carry and know how to use basic tools, including tire levers, a spare tube, a pump and a multi-tool. Check weather forecasts before you ride and dress for the conditions.

  10. Plan Ahead: Leave word where you plan to go, when you plan to return, and follow your plan. Carry a light if you expect to finish a ride close to dark.

  11. Purchase and carry the EBMUD trail use permit (if riding EBMUD lands): Permits are available for purchase at the EBMUD offices and online.