Most mountain biking takes place on trails that are shared with hikers, equestrians and other outdoor enthusiasts. Since 1988, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has offered the rules of the trail to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails and to help everyone have enjoyable experiences.
Think of these rules as a mountain biker’s addendum to the leave no trace principles for all outdoor users. By embracing these simple guidelines, you can be sure that you’re doing your part to respect both the natural world and your fellow trail users.
Learn the rules below as well as the local rules, because conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions. You want every encounter to be a happy one.
- Always let other trail users know you're coming — give a friendly greeting.
- Anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners.
- Yield to non-bike trail users (gently enlighten them if the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel).
- Yield to riders headed uphill whenever you’re riding downhill (gently enlighten them if the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic).
- Make every pass a safe and courteous one.