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The International Mountain Biking Association, IMBA has developed a list of biking rules that mountain biking enthusiasts around the world should know.
The rules were developed to reduce the environmental impact as well as to foster and promote good relations between all users of the trail by creating a safe environment for all. By following the rules, mountain bikers are doing their part to promote the growth of the sport.
The way we ride today is shaping mountain bike trails and the access to them in the future. Everyone should do their part to preserve the sports image by observing and following the rules written by the IMBA. The rules are recognized around the world as the standards for which mountain bikers should adhere to. The standard of conduct is written to help IMBA's mission to promote mountain biking that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.
The standard of conduct is as follows:
- Ride on open trails only - Respect trail and road closures, ask if not sure and avoid trespassing on private land. Obtain any permits and or any other authorization required for access to trails. Federal and State wilderness areas are off limits. Trail management decisions and policies are influenced by the way you ride.
- Leave no trace. Be sensitive to the earth below you. Practice low-impact cycling and recognize different types of trail construction and soil types. Wet and muddy trails are very susceptible to damage. When the trail is soft consider other riding options. Stay on existing trails and avoid making new ones. Always bring out what you bring in if not more.
- Control your bicycle. Obey speed regulations and recommendations, inattention for just a second can cause some real problems.
- Always yield trail. Let the fellow trail users know you are coming. A bell or a friendly greeting is being considerate and does the trick. Do not startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing down to a walking pace or even stopping to allow them to go by. Be careful at blind corners, anticipate that there will be other trail users around them. Yielding means to slow down, make communication, be prepared to stop if needed and pass safely.
- Never scare animals. All animals can be startled by a loud noise, or a sudden movements that are caused from an unannounced approach. This can be dangerous to you, others and the animals. Take special care when encountering riders on horseback. Follow the directions given to you from the rider or ask them if uncertain. It is a serious offense to disturb wildlife and running cattle. Leave gates as you found them.
- Plan ahead. Know your ability and the area where you will be riding at and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient and carry the necessary supplies for changing weather conditions. Always wear a helmet and other appropriate safety gear. A well planned trip is satisfying and not a burden to others.
Follow these rules and share them with your fellow riders. Set the example.
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