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Learning the rules of the road for city biking is one thing, but trail etiquette is a different ballgame. You’re likely to encounter hikers, horse riders, and other cyclists along the way. Complicating matters more is the fact that many mountain trails are narrow and going off the path means either encroaching on protected nature or sliding down a hill. So, how should you behave when you run into other people during your ride? Here are some basic rules for how and when to stop for hikers and other riders – also called yielding.
Many cities with a lot of biking trails will include a helpful guide to yielding (take, for example, this breakdown of the yield rules in Boulder, CO). But there are some hiking trail etiquette tips that tend to remain true across the board. As a cyclist, you are expected to yield to anyone on foot or riding a horse when you can’t safely pass them. Because you’re typically going faster, it’s your responsibility to avoid a collision by yielding.
When it comes to two bikers going up and down a narrow trail, the downhill biker should yield. Stopping progress during a rigorous uphill trek could mean the biker can’t regain momentum to continue the journey, so be cool to uphill goers and let them pass while you wait (and throw in a few words of encouragement if you can).
The safest way to yield is often to do what is sometimes called the “Fruita Lean.” Essentially, this means you’ll pull off to one side of the trail, put one foot down, and then lean both their bike and body away from the path. This gives the widest possible berth to the other rider or hiker as they pass.
One of the surest ways to stay safe while on a trail is by remaining alert about who else is approaching. While it’s legal to use earphones at full blast on a mountain trail, it may not be the smartest thing to do. Consider leaving one earbud out so you can better hear people talking ahead or the crunch of another bike’s tires over leaves just around the bend. You’ll have more time to stop when you are aware of others on the trail sooner.
Now that you’re squared up on biking and hiking etiquette, it’s time to find a new bike to explore local trails and paths. Sixthreezero has the best comfort bikes for men & women, as well as 21-speed bikes that can handle more rigorous mountain trails. Check out our sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s 26" 3-Speed to get started!Do you want to find new and exciting places to take your bike on an adventure? You won’t be a beginner forever. Sixthreezero is here to help you keep exploring as your skills grow. Join our Journey Club to uncover new locations around the globe for all types of cyclists.
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