Today’s riders will shape the trails of the future and the image of mountain biking. The International Mountain Biking Association UK’s Trail Essentials will help you to enjoy your ride responsibly, whilst showing respect for others and care for the environment. It’s all good.
Keep it Legal
• You can ride on bridleways, byways and designated cycle tracks.
• On Forestry Commission land you can ride on forest roads. You can also ride on any single-track which is promoted for mountain bikes.
Leave No Trace
• Think about how you ride and the impact this has on the trail. Practise to improve your skill at low-impact cycling.
• Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage, so adjust your riding and consider using alternative trails where appropriate.
• Keep to existing trails; avoid widening the trail or creating new lines.
• Always take your litter home with you and other people’s too, if you can. Inner tubes and cycle litter reflect badly on all riders.
Control Your Bike
• Stay focused; even a second’s inattention can cause problems for you and other trail users.
• Check your speed. Ride responsibly and think about when the conditions are right for riding fast. This awareness will avoid incidents with others.
• Remember – there are inherent risks associated with mountain biking. Be realistic about your riding ability.
Always Give Way
• Let your fellow trail users know you are coming. A friendly ‘hello’ or bell ring is considerate and alerts others to your presence.
• Pass slow and wide, slowing to a walking pace or stopping if necessary. This is particularly important when approaching or passing horse riders.
• Say ‘thank you’ if other trail users give way to you. It is polite and helps to build good relationships with others.
• When approaching corners or at blind spots, anticipate other trail users, particularly at junctions and crossing points.
• If cycling in a group, pass horses on the same side and in single file and advise riders how many are in your group.
Avoid Disturbing Animals
• Animals can be startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. This can upset dogs, startle horses, scatter cattle and sheep and disturb wildlife. Be aware of your potential impact on animals and take care to avoid disturbing them.
Always Plan Ahead
• Know your bike, your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are going to ride and prepare accordingly.
• Be self-sufficient. Keep your equipment in good order and carry necessary supplies for trailside repairs and any changes in the weather or other conditions.
• Wear the appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, for the trails you are riding.
Thank you for riding responsibly in the Surrey Hills.
For further information on The International Mountain Biking Association please visit www.imba-europe.org/about