Trail/Road Safety & Law

Mountain biking and road riding can both be dangerous.  Follow basic rules, know the law and provide yourself with fun and safe riding !

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!!! Gear: Wear a helmet, proper shoes and gloves, and carry appropriate safety equipment for the riding conditions.   Don’t think any of these items are unimportant.  They are ALL very important. 

!!! The Right Bike: Know your route’s terrain.  Make sure you’re riding the right bike. Mountain/dirt riding is different from road riding, don’t ride the right bike on the wrong route. 

!!! Know your physical abilities:  Don’t ride more than you should.  If you need to take a break and walk the bike for a few, do it.  Don’t cave to peer pressure if someone chides you for not going at the pedals long or hard enough.  It’s your life and body to ride another day.

!!! Know your Trail/Route:  Study your maps and cues.  If you’re headed out for a ride you’ve never done – beware of what’s around the next corner.  Don’t take a new road or trail too fast.  If you’re unsure of a portion of a trail, STOP and check your map.  Ask other riders who’ve taken those rides for advise and cautions. 

!!! Carry water, power snacks and basic first aid:  Don’t ride without hydration, fuel or basic first aid. 

!!! Watch you SPEED: Don’t speed on a trail you’re not familiar with, take it easy enough to adjust to any unforeseen road blocks, hair pins, signals, highway interchanges, construction, unexpected hills and/or pot holes. 

!!! Watch it on blind corners and switch backs: Always assume there may be something around the corner that could surprise or hurt you or someone else.  Slamming into something or someone could lead to tragic results.

!!! Know you’ll crash sometime: Don’t think you won’t, we all do.  Sections of rides can be more dangerous than you know till you try them without respect to them and eat it.  Listen to other riders and read reviews of routes if you can, prior to going out.  When doing stunts plan ahead, consider all the possibilities of a crash; where in the stunt it could a crash happen, what will you do if it does happen, how you should throw your bike or your body in order to minimize your injury.  Sounds strange, but you gotta plan your crashes. 

!!! If you think it so it shall be:  If you think what you’re doing, the way your behaving on your bike, trail or route is not wise, assume you’re right. Trust your instincts and don’t let peer pressure lead you astray and into the danger. 

!!! Practice Practice Practice:  Don’t go for the big gun rides out of the gate as a young rider.  Work your way up to bigger and better rides.  Train and listen to more experienced riders.  

!!! Watch for traffic:  NEVER space out or ignore your surroundings on a ride.  Always be in 5 places at once; on your bike, behind, in front and on both sides of you.  Riding bikes is a lot like driving a car where concentration and attention is concerned, only you have less protection on a bike.  Driver’s of cars and trucks often do not pay attention to us, pay attention to them first. 

!!! Follow state laws of the right of way and safety:  Adhere to road and trail signs.  Don’t break the law, unless it’s a case of life and death. 

!!! Have the back of your fellow riders:  Always have consideration for your fellow riders.  Don’t let personality conflicts creep into your riding ethics.   Intervene with warning guidance if and when someone is putting themselves, you or other riders in danger. 

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Visit our >Safety Page for a check list of gear and good riding habits

Visit our >Safe School Routes page for student riders 

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Biking can be dangerous.  WIBC promotes safe riding at all times.  Take care to ride smart and often. 

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Visit the >Washington State Department of Transportation for more information on Washington state road and bike laws, ordinances and guidelines.

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