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General Trail Etiquette

NoBMoB encourages sensible and sustainable riding practices. Remember the trails are there to share and need to be cared for, this means:

Do not ride in the wet

You might think it's a bit of fun but there are many good reasons not to ride in the wet. The three main reasons are:

  1. Trail erosion (caused by all activities - not just riding) is accelerated when the trails are wet.
  2. Bike wear and tear is also greatly accelerated when riding in wet conditions and can be very costly.
  3. Seeds and other contaminants are more easily picked up and carried in wet soil.

To elaborate:

There seems to be a public myth that has been doing the rounds for a long time that bike riders cause trail erosion. While all trail use does cause some disturbance there are many studies that show bike riding has no worse an impact that walking. If trails are properly cared for an maintained (which may mean some periods of closure) there is no reason why they cannot be used indefinitely.

Riding (or partaking in any other activity for that matter) on a wet trail accelerates this disturbance as the soils are already loosened by the moisture.

Plytophthora Die back is an introduced tree root fungus that kills trees and is most easily spread in wet soil. Riding in the web means such containments are more easily collected on a bike. Not cleaning the soil/mud off a bike can contribute to their spread when it is next ridden at another location. Always clean your bike thoroughly after any ride to help prevent weed spread.

Do not make new lines or 'improve' them

If you cannot climb up or get down a particular obstacle stop and think how a pro would handle this section. Many climbs and drops seem completely impossible for a lot of riders, but they may be do-able by pros or the more advanced. Don't spoil their fun by making your own 'improvements'. Plus, we all need something to aim for - leave those seemingly impossible lines intact and come back later when you've honed your skills for a nice surprise.

Do not ride badly damaged trails

After periods of heavy rain, or other incidents (bush fire for example) it's best to stay away and either let nature rejuvenate and recover or find authorised help and give nature a hand.

This could be done by contacting the land owner where you see damage and offer to help put things right.

Eg. you see some broken boards on part of Manly Dam - call the rangers and alert them to this and offer your help fixing it.

Do not ride illegal trails

There are many people campaigning hard for fair and legal access to many trails all over Australia. When you ride an illegal trail you are doing the whole mountain bike community a disservice and giving cycling opponents ammunition in their fight against riders. Sadly it only takes one or two riders to be seen (or for their tracks to be seen) before everyone is tarred with the same brush.

That aside, there may be heavy fines for riding on trails depending on the land tenure they are in so you are not only damaging the image of mountain bikers but may well be damaging your wallet too!

Be courteous and tolerant of other trail users

Common sense really. As stated above, the trails are there to share. Always treat others with courtesy and in a way that you would like to be treated in return.

Always be aware of the types of trail users you may meet while riding. Eg. check to see if this trail is authorised for walking, running, horse riding, etc. Even after checking, be prepared to meet unforeseen users as despite best efforts, sometimes the wrong type of user ends up on the wrong type of trail.

Be especially careful when approaching walkers and joggers on shared trails. Call out giving plenty of notice of your intentions and slow to pass. Stop and talk to horse riders to reassure them and their rider that you are not a threat.

Best Mountain Bike