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Trail Etiquette

MVI

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Post up tips and tricks to tricks for a better Trail ride Experience

I'll Start.

I've led and swept several of the DualSportUniverse.com rides in Texas.
One rule we had was that when the leader took a turn, or there was a fork in the road, he stopped and waited for the next rider to arrive before heading out again.
That second rider waited for the third, and so forth.
This was repeated until the sweep rider (who had the route chart and /or GPS) met back up with the whole group once an hour.
 
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MVI

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When passing on a trail ride make an effort to not to roost the new guy/gal who may not be able to keep the same pace as the vet riders.

While racing - well all bets are off.
 

Stormdog

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Our group trail rides are on a private system that is generally known to the group.
The trail etiquette I see broken by new guys is jumping in front of a rider more capable, then not moving over.
It’s a lot like training a puppy,eventually everyone learns their place in the pack, but not till the new rider gets his nose rubbed in some poop.
And no not by me I’m an old mid pack guy and know it.
 

MVI

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Be Prepared.

Bring enough water, fuel, snacks, first aid, tools, tubes to be self sufficient , especially on multi day rides, think BDR's.

Don't be that guy/gal that shows up for a 180 mi day with a stock 2.1 gallon tank and have to mooch gas off of three riders to make it back
 
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Punkinhead

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We all know that shit happens, but shit happens less when you do proactive maintenance. Do it at home so we don't have to all stop and help you do it on a muddy trail. And a corollary: bring a reasonable assortment of tools and spares, even if you leave them in your vehicle at the trailhead. Don't be that guy that doesn't bring anything because he assumes someone else will. When someone tells me they didn't bring a spare tube because they knew I'd have one I reevaluate whether I want to ride with them.
 

Stormdog

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A regular riding buddy and I were on a group ride with some guys we knew but hadn’t ridden with before, and at a stop one rider noticed his front tire was almost flat. The group was prepared to bail on the ride and go get a truck for the bike…
None of them even thought to carry tools or tubes Since they all took their bikes to a shop for things like tire changes, it never occurred to anyone it could be done in the field.
 

MVI

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A regular riding buddy and I were on a group ride with some guys we knew but hadn’t ridden with before, and at a stop one rider noticed his front tire was almost flat. The group was prepared to bail on the ride and go get a truck for the bike…
None of them even thought to carry tools or tubes Since they all took their bikes to a shop for things like tire changes, it never occurred to anyone it could be done in the field.

So I own MVI Moto, and Sell Tires to a lot of the guys I ride with. When these things happen I use the opportunity to assist, educate and fix the problem so we can can get back on the road and out of the heat.

At the end of the day I do some coaching one:one and see if that newbie has some interest in getting more prepared.

I also do one free tire install (with tire purchase) in the shop for customers if they are willing to learn and pull levers themselves.
 
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DSquared

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Don't follow too close to the rider in front of you.
It took a 950SE with a Teraflex slinging rocks at my face to learn that lesson.

My contribution to this thread is be really really respectful to non motorized recreators on shared use trails. They will judge all riders based on the actions of a few.
 

Yooper_Bob

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It took a 950SE with a Teraflex slinging rocks at my face to learn that lesson.

My contribution to this thread is be really really respectful to non motorized recreators on shared use trails. They will judge all riders based on the actions of a few.
It's more about having time to react if the rider in front of you gets into trouble, or goes down. I've seen bunched up riders pile into one another when someone goes down.

Avoiding roost is just an added bonus!
 

JohnQ

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I spend a ton of time on “shared use” trail.
ORV, ATV, SxS, BIKE.

Everyone should understand basic trail hand signals and make some attempt when trail conditions permit. ESPECIALLY when part of a group !

I was surprised and happy to see this was typical at H&M like it is with MI snowmobiles.
Even the locals at H&M signal.


Beyond that I just try to make the best ride I can for those I’m with. My assumption is that some folks will always be less prepared. Not everyone thinks to carry all the shit I do.
Most folks don’t even carry a multitool...

It’s about “being there” for me. Any bullshit is just part of the there. Some of the days with bullshit become the fondest memories.

Whenever I’m with others it’s not just about me. Alone, I make my own rules.
 

ZoomerP

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I have more experience as a hiker than a rider, but many of the same rules apply to all trail users in some respect.

One rule we had was that when the leader took a turn, or there was a fork in the road, he stopped and waited for the next rider to arrive before heading out again.
That second rider waited for the third, and so forth.
This was repeated until the sweep rider (who had the route chart and /or GPS) met back up with the whole group once an hour.

I like the 60 minute rule. Everyone can expect to take a group break at the top of the hour, etc.

On a longer route, I also like making sure everyone knows that the entire group will stop at locations that are designated before starting - major intersections or other landmarks work best. Knowing where the group will stop helps anyone with a problem know how far it is to at least one option for help, and it makes it easier to organize people to assist, and to send people for additional help.

Don't follow too close to the rider in front of you.

Ride your own pace! Don't try to keep up and ride above your skill/comfort level. It takes less time for everyone to just go a bit slower, than it does to help someone recover from a crash.

It can also be more enjoyable to have some isolation on the trail. Less dust, more solitude, easier to pass opposing traffic.

Be Prepared.

No doubt. And drink your milk, too. :photog

The corollary to the above is to choose your riding partners carefully.
I‘ve learned the hard way it’s better to hurt some feelings before the ride then during the ride.

I've been on backcountry trips where things got interesting, and I was glad to know I could count on my friends. An excellent book that discusses picking your partners carefully is K2: The Savage Mountain - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/112033.K2_The_Savage_Mountain

After spending several days trapped together very high on the mountain, in the middle of a horrendous storm, nearly everyone's life depended on one man. Not many people will ever be in a situation like that, but I found it interesting to read about how the team was selected long before any of the rest of the work was done. That process made a significant difference throughout the trip.

When someone tells me they didn't bring a spare tube because they knew I'd have one I reevaluate whether I want to ride with them.

That's nicer than reevaluating whether you're going to tell them you left your spare at home, too. :photog

How about don't plow through water holes if it can be avoided with riders behind you?

Posted that on another forum and got called a little bitch.........:lol3

It also reduces trail damage. Not a big deal in some areas, but on mixed use trails that experience a lot of erosion, blasting through water gives others another excuse to ban bikes from trails.

It took a 950SE with a Teraflex slinging rocks at my face to learn that lesson.

My contribution to this thread is be really really respectful to non motorized recreators on shared use trails. They will judge all riders based on the actions of a few.

Exactly. If you have a loud bike, shutting down around horse riders is good form. Even with a quiet bike, it's appreciated. Try not to ghost hikers with a face full of dust, too. People remember the jackass that rips by in a SxS or bike more than the 20 that passed with care.

I think this applies to bikes, but I know it applies to hiking: the person ascending has the right of way.

This applies to most any kind of traveling group: expect every break to take a few minutes longer for each person added to the group. The other side of that is to do your part to prevent turning a 10 minute break into a 30 minute drag.
 
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MVI

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Rule of thumb: Once a rider comes to a stop and removes their helmet, it becomes a minimum of a 15 minute rest stop.

not Saying that is a bad thing, just the reality of adding an hour or more to a loop if happens often with newer riders
 
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Shinyribs

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Trail etiquette is really no different than general day to day life etiquette. Don't be a prick and think about others first. The small details will sort themselves out automatically then.

That's not intended to belittle this thread. Always good to share tips, like considering to be more prepared. The vast majority of my riding is on my own property so I've gotten complacent about carrying a few tools. When I ride away from home I'm "That Guy"😁

Luckily, I traded the Honda for a KTM, so I don't break down like I used to....
 

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