Mammoth Lakes is surrounded by incredible wilderness in every direction, and there are miles and miles of trails ready for mountain biking. All the scenic beauty and perfect trails attract mountain bikers from all over the world though, and it’s common for the most popular trails in the area to get crowded.
When the trail gets crowded, it’s best to know your mountain biking etiquette like the back of your hand. To help keep you and everyone riding near you happy and ready to ride again tomorrow, the ASO Mammoth team has created a list of the basics of mountain biking etiquette. Check it out below before you hit the trail!
Communicate with Other Riders
Some people head to the trail in order to get away and enjoy private time. Others get in the zone while riding. No matter what kind of rider you are it’s vital that you communicate with other riders on the trail.
Passing is a great example of a situation where communication is key. Everyone rides at their own pace, so eventually you’ll be in a situation where you need to pass or be passed. When you catch up to a slower rider and need to pass them, it’s important that you vocally call out when and where you’re passing them. If you’re the slow rider then you need to be aware of riders behind you so that you don’t stop suddenly and cause an accident. Slow riders can even signal that they’re pulling off the trail. A quick thank you from the passing rider will also go a long way!
Passing isn’t the only example where communication is key on the trail. Downhill riders should always give uphill riders the right of way. If you’re on a trail where there are people who are not biking such as hikers, then you should make yourself and which direction you’re passing them on known.
Respect the Trail
One of the best parts of Mammoth Lakes’ incredible mountain biking trails is the stunning natural beauty. The best way to preserve the natural beauty for yourself and future riders is by respecting the trail.
One of the simplest ways to respect the trail is by always riding on it and not taking your own shortcuts. The trails are where there are for a reason and there is rarely ever a good reason to leave them while riding, and if you have to then you should always be aware that doing so will damage the natural environment. Sometimes respecting the trail means not riding at all. For example, riding a muddy part of a trail will damage it so if you come across a wet and muddy section of the trail then you should try to avoid it.
Then there are also the simple ways to respect the trail like always packing out what you pack in. If you plan appropriately, as you always should, then there’s no reason to litter on the trail!
Follow Trail Signs
There are more signs to follow than just trail markers. For example, some trails will narrow or have features that require it to be a one-way trail. If you see a one-way trail sign, then always follow its instructions. If you see a rider riding in the wrong direction politely let them know in case they missed the signs.
You should also pay attention to trail signs so you don’t ride on a trail where mountain bikes are not allowed.
Make Smart Stops
Lastly, when stopping on the trail always make sure you’re not blocking the path and are visible to other riders. No matter how much you want a picture with a feature or a view, you should not put yourself or other riders in danger to get it!