Let’s get ready to ride!
Since our club is growing, and more people are inevitably getting stoked on more mountain biking, we thought we would share a few tips for those new to this whole “official mountain biking trail” thing.
“[IMBA] suggest[s] that whenever possible, riders ought to avoid puddles, mud, and soggy sections with a wheelie, jump, or manual. Though this may not be a viable solution for every rider, assessing your skill level before heading out on a wet trail is always a wise idea. Rugged riding on a muddy, dirty trail can make for a great time out on the bike, but always consider the impact your riding has on your safety as well as the trail itself.”
Varying weather conditions, especially here in the Pacific Northwest can make the decision to ride certain trails difficult. Here’s a little quote from actionhub.com:
“Many new mountain bike riders aren’t aware that riding in wet, muddy conditions can cause significant damage to a mountain biking trail. On the other hand, there are plenty of seasoned mountain bike riders who argue that rain and mud don’t automatically make for a closed trail. In general, the rule for riding a muddy trail is simple: don’t do it. Natural erosion combined with scores of bike tires tearing up loose singletrack can make for major headaches not only for trail maintenance crews but also for fellow riders clambering over newly dry ruts and exposed roots.
However, general rules are just that: general. There are a number of factors to take into account when deciding when and whether or not your selected mountain biking trail is ready to ride in rainy conditions.” Read more…
It is important to note that having a professional trail builder build an appropriate and sustainable trail can help mitigate standing water and the event that a trail may get closed. Luckily region leaders such as Coos County and Coos County Forest are working with trained trail building professionals to ensure the new mountain bike trails will stand up to the inches upon inches of rain we have.
After a good season of rain and riding, the trails will inevitably need volunteers to come out and fix any that need a little extra love. So be sure to stay connected to our media.
What about multi-use trails?
Rules of the Trail
IMBA developed these “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 the appropriate 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 and the environment around 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. Don’t ride around standing water which results in widening the trail. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in. Consider improving the trail experience for those that follow by picking up and removing any litter.
- 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. Social conflicts on trails often result when riders are going too fast.
- 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. Mountain bikers should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to all users headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe, controlled and courteous one.
- Never Scare Animals: Animals such as horses 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, dismount from your bike, walk around them on the downhill side of the trail, 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.