The Transylvania Times -

Let's Keep The Single In Singletrack - Brevard, NC


May 15, 2017

We are seeing more folks out in our local forests this time of year. We get asked all the time how mountain bikers should interact with other trail user groups. Trail etiquette is one thing that we all have to practice so that everyone can safely enjoy the woods.

Treat everyone as you would want to be treated. Be nice, say hello, ask them how it is going, and so on. We are all out there to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. If you are riding a bike you need to yield to all other users. Yield is different to different people. Saying "on your left" and blasting by is not yielding. When I encounter another user I like to make them aware of my presence once I see them. Don't wait till you get right up on them will scare them, and no matter how nice you are from that point forward they will not be pleased with you. Yield means that you are allowing someone to keep on without you hindering their movement.

Yielding to horses is one of those situations where I take extra caution. My dad instilled in me that you do not want to get kicked by a horse. So he taught me to dismount when you come up on a horse, and put your bike in-between you and the horse. Talk to the horseback rider and see how they would like you to proceed. Once past the horse, keep walking till you are a safe distance away and then you may remount.

With all the folks riding bikes these days you will definitely encounter other cyclists on the trails. Remember, the uphill rider has the right away. Slow down and ask them how they are doing. Tell them they are doing great!

Stay on the trail. Let's keep the single in single-track! We all see that trails are getting wider and wider so please stay on the trail. Riding in the bushes to try to find an easier or more creative line will not keep the trail singletrack and could possibly cause trail erosion.

If you can't see far enough ahead of you, slow down! We are not at a bike park. All of our trails our muti-use and muti-directional. Please slow down around blind corners. If you can't see other trail users you won't be able to slow down in time. You should be able to stop in the amount of distance that you can see. Different types of soils will have different amounts of braking traction. I have found the sandier soils do not allow me to slow down as quickly as the darker soil in Pisgah.

Only ride on trails that are open to bikes. We have a ton of open trails and we want to keep it that way. We are so lucky to have such robust trail networks. If one rides a trail that is closed to bikes you could possibly be jeopardizing our access.

We are in the middle of the forest service revision plan so we need to be grateful for the trail access that we have. If we want more trails open, we need to show that we respect other users, the forest, and the rules they have in place.

(Dickson is the owner of Sycamore Cycles and is actively involved in trail maintenance and mountain bike advocacy. He likes riding with his family and friends.)


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