CORBA Home Page
The voice of off-road bicyclists  


IMBA’S 10 Responsible Riding Tips

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Don’t Ride on Closed Trails
  3. Say No to Mud
  4. Respect the Trail, Wildlife and Environment
  5. Stay on the Trail
  6. Ride Slowly on Crowded Trails
  7. Pass With Courtesy and Care
  8. Share the Trail With Other Trail Users
  9. Don’t Do Unauthorized Trail Work
  10. Get Involved

Rules of the Trail & Etiquette

Our conduct on the trails is key to maintaining mountain bike access.  We encourage you to ride with these points in mind for a pleasant and safe trail experience for all trail users and animals. Utilizing these tips can also help us open more trails to mountain bikes.


1) Ride on Open Trails Only.

Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); avoid trespassing on private land.  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. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options.  This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Appreciate the parkland that we have and pack out what you pack in, and pick up random litter.

3) Control Your Bicycle!

Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

4) Always Yield the Trail to Other Trail Users.

Cyclists yield to equestrians and hikers.  On trails, stop and step aside if necessary to let them pass.  

  • Ring your bell before you approach so as to not startle them.
  • Scan the trail ahead for other trails users.
  • Anticipate other trail users and ring your bell around corners or in blind spots.

Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.

For horses, stop and ask equestrians if it is ok to pass.  Horses are easily startled.  Horses recognize the human voice more so than bells.  In general, if you meet an equestrian on a trail,

  • Stop and move to the downhill side to let them pass.  
  • Talk to the rider and respect how they prefer to pass with their horse.  

The rider will appreciate your courtesy.

When approaching other cyclists, the biker going uphill has the right-of-way.  This courtesy is extended to not break the climber’s momentum and because it is easier to restart when going downhill if there is a need for someone to stop for a safe pass.  Note that the person with the right-of-way can choose their path. They may not follow the convention of staying to the right if that is not their best path, even on fire roads!

How are you perceived by other trail users?  Even if you are a caring and friendly individual, with your helmet, sunglasses and a facial expression concentrating on the trail, you may appear intimidating to other trail users.  Smile, say "Hi!" and ring your bell if you have one.  It will promote goodwill on the trail and happiness to the trails community that we are a part of.

5) Never Scare Animals.

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.  Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense.  Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.  For information about rattlesnakes, click here.

6) Be Prepared and Plan Ahead.

Having a successful ride depends on your preparation and knowledge. Know your ability, skill level and equipment, and choose your trail accordingly.  Always wear a helmet, prepare your bike, take a map of the area where you will be riding and check the weather.  Bring enough water, snacks, and tools to repair your bike, and take any necessary clothing.  Be self-sufficient so your ride is satisfying to you and not a burden to others.

7) Take the Opportunity to Give Back to the Trails - The CORBA Trail Crew.

The local trails are valuable resources for you and the community.  The trails give us so much pleasure, but they also need some TLC from time to time.  When we see a rain-rutted or overgrown trail, we may think that “they” will take care of it. But who are “they” anyway?  The park agencies don’t have the resources to maintain the trails, so they rely on volunteer groups such as the CORBA Trail Crew to come out and get our hands dirty.  And you know what, we have a great time doing so! We invite you to come out and donate some time and muscle helping the CORBA Trail Crew in building, repairing, and maintaining the trails you enjoy so much.  The CORBA Trail Crew works each month on trails in LA and the surrounding area. For more information, check the CORBA Trail Crew schedule on the calendar or the Trail Crew page.






  Visit CORBA on Twitter!   Visit CORBA on Facebook!

 Site Map


Blog & News


Buy Stuff

Copyright 1987-2015 CORBA. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy