Trail Riding Dos and Don’ts – Do you enjoy dirt bike riding? Then you should know there are different types of dirt bike riding and racing you can enjoy. For those unfamiliar, dirt bike trail riding is an outdoor activity that combines off-road exploration with skilled motorcycle maneuvering. Riders navigate diverse terrains, from dense forests to challenging courses, encountering obstacles and jumps along the way. It is a completely different concept compared to something like motocross and there are plenty of tips and tricks to the activity. However, are you aware of the etiquette of dirt bike riding?
Dirt bike trail riding etiquette is essential for maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for all riders and preserving the environment. Good trail riding etiquette fosters a positive atmosphere, promotes sustainability, and ensures that everyone can enjoy the thrill of dirt bike riding responsibly.
The Dos and Don’ts
There are a variety of dos and don’ts when it comes to trail riding and some of the important points to keep in mind are as follows:
Watch Out for Blind Spots
When navigating trails, it is important to be aware of potential blind spots. Vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, as well as sharp corners can obstruct the view of hikers or other riders approaching from the opposite direction. It is crucial not to speed around corners as if on a Motocross track. When approaching a section of the trail where visibility is limited beyond a safe distance, it is advisable to slow down.
This applies to both uneven terrain and small hills where you cannot see what lies on the other side. Visualize a scenario where two dirt bikers accelerate towards the same hill from opposite directions to understand the potential risks involved.
Remember to Slow Down
Slowing down is crucial when riding a dirt bike, even though the thrill of speed can be tempting. It’s not safe to go fast on narrow, crowded, or obstacle-filled trails, as accidents can happen and cause harm to you and others. When you see other riders coming towards you, lower your speed and let solo riders or faster groups pass if they want to.
This is especially important when riding with kids since they may not be as skilled or quick. For more tips on riding with kids, check out our Fall Off-Road and Trail Riding With Kids guide. Also, remember to follow a “no wake” rule near campgrounds, similar to how boaters behave near marinas. Avoid creating dust, throwing debris, or disturbing others by going too fast in a busy campground.
Respect and consider horseback riders when sharing trails. Loud dirt bikers and ATV riders can bother horses and their owners. Always give them the right-of-way and, if possible, stop and turn off your engine to prevent startling the horses. If there’s enough space, clear the way and let the horseback riders pass safely. Remember, many trails open for off-road vehicles were originally meant for horses. Without them, these trails might not exist. Being rude to horseback riders may result in trail closures for dirt bikes and ATVs. Avoid horseplay altogether and save tricks and stunts for appropriate places like backyards or Motocross tracks.
The above points are just a few of the many dos and don’ts involved with dirt bike trail riding. Some of the other simple points to keep in mind are as follows:
- Know the Trails
- Remember Your Spark Arrestor
- Be Prepared with the Right Tools
- Keep to the group
To put it simply, try and remember the rules of trail riding and make sure to be prepared with the right items to ensure your safety. If you want to explore more about trail riding, you should check out our Best 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For Trail Riding and our guide to riding your first trail.