International Mountain Bicycling Association's


Thousands of miles of dirt trails have been closed to mountain bicyclists. The irresponsible riding habits of a few riders have been a factor. Do your part to maintain trail access by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. IMBA's mission is to promote environmentally sound and socially responsible mountain bicycling.

1. RIDE ON OPEN TRAILS ONLY. Respect trail and road closures (ask if not sure), avoid possible trespass on private land, obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

2. LEAVE NO TRACE. Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Even on open (legal) trails, you should not ride under conditions where you will leave evidence of your passing, such as on certain soils after a rain. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

3. CONTROL YOUR BICYCLE! Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

4. ALWAYS YIELD TRAIL. Make known your approach well in advance. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. (Eric's additions -> Downhill bikers should yield to uphill bikers as it's much harder to get started going uphill and you should always stop when you see a horse coming in the other direction unless the horse rider gives you the okay to proceed.)

5. NEVER SPOOK ANIMALS. All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.

6. PLAN AHEAD. Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden or offense to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.


If you have any questions or comments, you can contact IMBA at:
P.O. Box 7578
Boulder, CO 80306-7578 USA
Tel: 303/545-9011 | Fax: 303/545-9026