Protect yourself! Protect others! Protect the environment!
Rule 1 - Wear a Helmet! If you are in the camp of I'm too cool to wear a lid like I used to be and survive a bad crash hopefully you are smart enough to start wearing a bucket like I did. If not, then we will not be cleaning up your brains off the trail. If your old lid is banged up from a hard hit, then buy a shiny new bucket that matches your rig preferably.
Rule 2 – Be safe! Wear safety glasses or impact resistant glasses, wear synthetic clothes to prevent dehydration and hypothermia, carry rain gear, cell phone, emergency blanket, first aid kit, prescription medication, sun block, bug spray, and pepper/bear spray if needed. If you need it to protect yourself from the environment, then bring it.
Rule 3 – Be prepared! Bring bicycle tools, spare tubes, patch kit, pump or CO2 inflator, water, electrolytes, and food. Make sure if you are going out that you can make it back.
Rule 4 – Don’t wear headphones! Leave them at home and enjoy the outdoors and the sounds of nature. You will also be able to hear your fellow riders. Save the headphones for your trainer or rollers.
Rule 5 – Announce! Since you can’t remove your hands from the bars to signal, then you have to use your voice. Announce “on your left” when passing from behind. Whether passing from behind or passing head on tell others how many are behind you in your group.
Rule 6 – Know when to yield! Yield to hikers, runners, horses, and racers. Downhill riders should yield to uphill and slower traffic should yield when being overtaken.
Rule 7 – Pass safely! Pass on the left when overtaking any traffic in the same direction, pass on the right when passing head to head. Make sure there is enough room to not make others crash.
Rule 8 – Offer Assistance! If you see someone broke down, then offer assistance. Guess what…your turn is next and you know what they say about Karma.
Rule 9 – Don’t litter! Pack it in, Pack it out! Leave only tire tracks and foot prints! Animals live where we ride so respect their habitat. If you see someone litter call them out on it and pick it up. Be an example. Mountain bikers should be known as the protectors of the forest.
Rule 10 – Don’t ride muddy trails! Riding muddy trails causes erosion and destroys the trail. When it rains hard find a rock based trail or break out that dusty road bike, but don’t become a roadie. Pass the roadies with your muddy mountain bike, back pack, cargo shorts, and your hairy legs (men only)…Roadies hate that. You can always go for a run too, the cardio will make you a better hill climber.