With riding season coming straight at us we thought we'd brush up on our trail etiquette. No matter how many years you've been riding, it's always a great idea to remind yourself of these simple ways to keep yourself, your friends, and other riders as safe as possible while being courteous at the same time. Take a minute to review and please share! Even though you may be experienced and knowledgeable, there are so many new riders that may need an introduction or a friendly re-fresher on trail etiquette :) The more we talk about it, the more riders it will reach <3.
Symbols: The presence of a symbol without a red slash through it or the presence of a symbol beneath the words "OPEN TO" indicates the route is open to that use. Make sure you take a look at what other vehicles (or animals) will be using this trail.
Staging: Staging is where you off-load and prepare for your ride. When staging, pull off the road at the trail head to prepare your vehicle and group. Don’t block access to the trail while staging. Be mindful of trailers and stow your ramps & other loose items. Be aware of how much space you are taking up to be courteous of other adventure seekers coming in throughout the day.
Use Hand Signals: One of the most necessary ways of keeping you and your group safe is by using hand signals to alert other riders of how many riders to expect coming up or down the trail within your group. When passing or meeting other riders on the trail, give them a hand signal to let them know how many riders are left behind you in your group. Use four fingers if you have four or more riders behind you. Riders behind you should be signaling how many are behind them as well. Below, images show (2) riders behind lead, (1) rider behind lead and when you see the closed fist, the trail is clear as the fist represents that person is the last rider in the group but remain alert, no telling when another group will be heading your way.
Letting Others Pass: When approaching another vehicle from behind, pass on the left, keeping a safe distance and speed. Once past, let them know the number of remaining vehicles in your party. This can done by speaking to them or using hand signals.
Finally, understand vehicle differences. Motorcycles have a certain minimum speed they can travel before they want to flop over, especially on rough, rocky, or uneven surfaces. When passing a full-size 4WD vehicle, be patient. It can take a while for them to maneuver to the side of the trail. Motorcycle and ATV riders need to be mindful not to roost the vehicles they just passed. Nobody likes a cracked windshield or a mouthful of dust.