BEING GOOD BIKE CITIZENS WHEN RIDING ON PUBLIC TRAILS
- Be prepared - you should know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding. Know what to expect.
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet and appropriate gear.
- Make sure you stay in control, therefore safely avoiding others and keeping yourself intact. Inattention even for a second can cause problems.
- It’s good practice to give way to walkers, runners or horse riders. Often walkers or runners will give way to cyclists.
- Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots.
- Acknowledge fellow trail users. A wave, smile or quick ‘g’day’ are usually well received.
- Use a verbal greeting (or bell if you have one) when approaching others. Most negative feedback from walkers or other riders on shared-use tracks relates to being surprised by bikers approaching without warning.
- A polite call - “coming right/left” or “on your right/left” should warn other users when you ride up from behind. Then “thank you” as you pass.
- Try to be consistent and pass on the right. This is dependent on the trail environment.
- Ride shared-use tracks in small groups. A ‘bike-train’ with a dozen riders displaces other users. 6-8, or less, is a better number. Maybe consider breaking larger groups into smaller pods along the same route.
- When riding with others, in a line on a narrow trail, try to allow approx. 4 to 5m between each rider. This will allow more reaction time to cope with hazards or changes on the trail.
- If you are riding with others remember to point out hazards to the riders behind.
- When approaching an oncoming rider, particularly on narrower trails, back your speed off and try to keep left. I often see riders who don’t have full control, or are less confident with their bike handling, holding the centre of the track. A tip here is to look passed the oncoming rider to the point where you want to be – looking directly at the rider may cause you to ride towards them (REMEMBER: ‘where your eyes go the bike goes’).
- There are no hard and fast rules for giving way on a hill section; however, a rider coming up hill will have a harder time starting again, so it’s usual courtesy that you give way to riders coming up the hill.
- On wider trails or tracks try to stay left, particularly if you know the trail is well used.
- Earn the respect of others by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.
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