Trail etiquette is a big thing when it comes to keeping our trails open and in making sure not to give out selves a bad name with the other trail users. By just following these simple guidelines we can do our part on this front.
The first and what really SHOULD be the most obvious is to not litter. If you pack it in, then you must pack it out. Plain and simple. Littering is the single biggest thing that can get our trails shut down. Just don’t do it.
It’s a good thing to do some volunteer work on the trails. This helps to keep them cleaned up and in good condition for all of us as well as to help keep a good name for us all. Ask your local bike shop when and where there are trail maintenence days going on. Just a few hours once or twice a season from each of us will do just SO MUCH for our trail system and for Boise biking in general.
Stay on marked trails. Going off trail is pretty frowned apon and is also a great way to get goat head flats. Don’t be “that guy”.
Yeild to up hill traffic. They do have the right of way. You don’t have to come to a complete stop as long as there is room for the both of you, but you do have to give them room to ride their line, and if that means to stop and pull your bike to the side, then just do it. Remember that it’s far more difficult to have to start again going up hill than it is going down. This is also why I like doing most of my riding higher in elevation where the traffic is less dense.
We all know that at times nature calls and we are are not normally near rest rooms or out house facilities. Remember that there are facilities at Camel’s Back park, on 8th street heading up at the parking just beyone where the pavement ends, at the 8th street ORV park, and where Corrals Trail hits the parking lot at Bogus Basin road. There are others too. When things do happen and you can not make it to one of these, bury your waste and your used paper. That kind of paper is made to break down quickly. DO NOT burn it. This is how the fire on Sidewinder trail got started in the summer of 2015. That gave us all a bad name and made for lots of jokes at our expense over one person who did not do the smart thing over what I assume was an intention of being green. Just bury that crap.
Riding when it’s muddy out or rainy is frowned apon for erosion reasons. Most of the trails in our area don’t hold up to this so well. Wait a few hours after it stops raining to ride them.
Show the hikers, horse riders, and slower riders a little respect when you come up on them to pass. Wait for a safe location where you can see a good line around them where up hill traffic is also clear and let them know you are passing and on what side. You aren’t at the races and those few seconds to show some decency are well worth it in the big picture.
Quite a few of our trails are shared with motorized traffic. Show the dirt bike and ATV riders some respect and they will do the same for you. It’s just that simple. I am very big on the whole shared trails concept. These trails are not just here for one kind of user. Check out www.sharetrails.org
There is more, but these are the basics and will get you started in the right direction. Now go ride and have fun.