Mountain Biking - Things to know before you are out on the trail

Mountain Biking - Things to know before you are out on the trail

Stay on open forest roads


mountain bike-wallowa

Some roads could be closed temporarily or permanently to protect against further damage to wetland and aquatic resources and halt damage to soil, water and vegetation resources. The intent of road closures is to balance popular public use with the sustainability of natural resources.

  • Closed roads will be posted. Not all bicycle trails are open to off-highway vehicle use. Go to your forest or grassland website for a map of bike trails.
  • Wilderness areas are off-limits to all vehicles, including bicycles.
  • Comply with signs and barriers, and leave gates as you found them.
  • Some trails cross private property and are subject to deed restrictions, which prohibit vehicular travel of any kind.
  • Respect public and private property by practicing minimum impact cycling.

Protect the environment

  • Stay on trails and roads designated for use. Cutting switchbacks, creating hill climbs and riding in undesignated areas cause erosion, loss of wildlife habitat and other natural resource damage. Repairs cost tax dollars, and citations cost you dollars.
  • Minimize erosion by staying on trails and not cutting switchbacks.
  • Avoid wet, muddy areas as they are more susceptible to erosion. Meadows, lake shores, stream banks and vegetation are easily damaged.
  • Do not ride on snow-covered roads!
  • Do not disturb wildlife or livestock.
  • Teach new riders trail etiquette—lead by example.
  • Don’t litter. Pack out more than your share.

Ride safely, stay in control

  • family biking
    The forest is for everyone. Be considerate of hikers and equestrians.
  • Always wear a protective helmet and other gear. 
  • Ride single file in the middle of the trail to avoid widening the trail.
  • Yield right-of-way to other trail users. Horses spook when they see an unfamiliar object, especially one that moves quickly and quietly.
  • Slow down and use caution when passing others. If necessary, dismount your vehicle or bicycle on the downhill side and wait for horses and hikers to pass.
  • Control your speed at all times and approach turns in anticipation of someone around the bend. Reckless riding and high downhill speeds are not appropriate.

Be prepared

  • Be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
  • Don’t ride alone. Tell someone where you plan to ride and then stick to your plans.
  • Don’t take unnecessary chances—help for emergencies may be miles away.
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit and other safety gear with you when riding in the forest.


Leave a comment