Log in

Trail Talk: Cyclists Unite for Safer and Fairer Shared Trails

Monday, May 15, 2023 11:11 AM | Kevin Korenthal (Administrator)

Greetings, fellow cyclists! As we embark on our two-wheeled adventures, let's take a moment to reflect on the importance of making our shared trails safer and fairer for everyone involved. In this column, we'll delve into the world of trail etiquette, sharing some chuckle-worthy anecdotes and practical tips to ensure a harmonious experience for all trail users. So, buckle up (or rather, clip in), and let's pedal towards a safer and more enjoyable trail journey.

Picture this: you're cruising along the trail, wind in your helmet, when suddenly a pedestrian pops up, oblivious to your presence. Cue the panic brake! To prevent such mishaps, let's talk about the art of trail etiquette and how we can bridge the pedestrian-cyclist divide.

First and foremost, remember that pedestrians have the right of way. Yes, they're the kings and queens of the trail. So, give them a wide berth, ring your bell (or bust out your best dolphin impression), and offer a friendly "excuse me" when passing. Remember, a smile goes a long way!

Now, let's talk about sticking to the designated paths. We get it—you're an adventurous soul yearning to explore uncharted territory. But trust us, the trail gods frown upon those who veer off the beaten path. So, resist the temptation to go off-trail like an explorer on a quest. Stick to the script, folks!

And please, for the love of all things bike-related, observe the posted rules. Those signs aren't just pretty decorations; they're there to keep us all safe and sound. Ignoring them won't make you a trail rebel; it'll just make you the person others grumble about in hushed tones. Let's not be that person, shall we?

Now, let's move on to communication—because let's face it, cyclists aren't exactly known for their vocal prowess. But fear not! We have some tips to help you navigate the trail with style and grace.

Let your bike do the talking. Install a trusty bell or horn to announce your arrival in style. Ding ding! Suddenly, you'll be the Pied Piper of the trail, spreading cheer and giving fair warning to all in your path. Plus, it's a great way to express your inner child.

But what about passing? Ah, the delicate art of overtaking. Here's the golden rule: communicate your intentions. Politely holler, "On your left!" or "On your right!" as you approach your fellow trail enthusiasts. It's a simple yet effective way to let them know you're coming, avoiding any unexpected swerves or startled jumps.

Remember, when interacting with pedestrians or other trail users, a little eye contact can go a long way. Establish that connection, and you'll find a mutual understanding that ensures a smoother trail experience for everyone.

Finally, let's not forget the need for responsible speed management. We all love the exhilaration of a fast ride, but we must adapt our speed to the trail conditions, congestion, and visibility. Slow down in crowded areas or when visibility is limited. Uphill climbers and individuals with limited mobility will appreciate your considerate attitude.

As we wrap up this trail talk, let's remember that we have the power to make a difference. By embracing trail etiquette, communicating effectively, and being mindful of our speed, we can create a safer and fairer environment for all trail users. Let's pedal together towards a future where the trails are filled with laughter, camaraderie, and an unwavering commitment to mutual respect.

So, fellow cyclists, let's lead by example and embark on our trail adventures with a dash of humor, a sprinkle of kindness, and a whole lot of consideration for others. Together, we can transform our shared trails into spaces where safety, fairness, and enjoyment coexist harmoniously. Let's make every pedal stroke count and create a legacy of trail camaraderie that will inspire future generations of cyclists. Happy trails, everyone!

Pedestrian trail users have responsibilities towards creating a harmonious trails system too! Read all about it in our companion blogpost, "Promoting Safety and Harmony on Shared Trails".


  • Monday, May 15, 2023 12:29 PM | Mark Young
    I like the way you have presented cycling etiquette. Every cyclist and trail walker should read this even if they know (or think they know) the rules and common courtesy when traveling on non-motorized multi-use trails. Courtesy, communication and respect for each other's space...sounds so simple.
    Link  •  Reply

National Association of Park Foundations
4100 Eldorado Pkwy, Suite 361
McKinney, TX 75070


©2019-2022, NAPF. 
All Rights Reserved. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software