Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

How to Mountain Bike and Rules of the Trail

Posted on July 22, 2016
Filed Under Bike Culture

Sierra Ski and Cycle Works Monument PeakRide It. Don’t Slide. Use both brakes.  Go over snow, not around it.

Yield to Hikers and Horses, and uphill riders, and learn how to use both brakes.  And, if you leave a skid, please stop and fix it.

Contact the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) for their Rider Education Program and to help work on trails. Respect.

Become part of Tahoe Bike Culture and join other bikers to promote good trail etiquette that will keep our trails open that TAMBA members worked desperately hard to secure since 1988.

Check out for trail conditions, news, and to see the impressive list of projects.


Rules of the Trail

TAMBA Respect Rider EducationIMBA developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.

  1. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.
  2. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. 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 moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
  4. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
  5. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough 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 are serious offenses.
  6. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

TAMBA was created by Gary Bell of Sierra Ski and Cycle Works in 1988, along with Kathlee Martin and Jessee from North Lake Tahoe.  After Gary Bell ran it until 1995, Dave Hamilton & Dave Cooper from South Lake Tahoe, along with Greg Betonte & Greg Forsyth of CyclePaths lead the club and made great strides working with USFS, local land managers, and the Tahoe Rim Trail.  Dave Hamilton was on the Tahoe Rim Trail board of directors and helped develop Rider Education and build relationships with all users.

Now, there’s a new crew continuing the great work of the early leaders, and they’ll be focusing even harder on Rider Education.

For more information about TAMBA, click here.

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