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Rules of the Trail

The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport’s access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA’s mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

1. Ride On Open Trails Only.

Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorisation as may be required. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

2. Leave No Trace.

Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognise different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

3. Control Your Bicycle!

Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

4. Always Yield Trail.

Let your fellow trail users know you’re coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don’t startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.

5. Never Scare Animals.

All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and sheep and disturbing wildlife is a serious offence. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.

6. Plan Ahead.

Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding – and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Respect – Protect – Enjoy

  • Be Safe – plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people

“Follow the Countryside Code wherever you go. You will get the best out of the countryside and help to maintain it now and for the future.”

Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.

The following explains the National Code for waymarking public rights of way, recommended by Natural Resources Wales: –

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    Footpaths are for walkers only.

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    You are allowed to walk, ride a horse and cycle on a bridleway. Cyclists must give way to walkers and horse riders.

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    Usually unsurfaced tracks. These are open to walkers, horse riders, cyclists and some motor vehicles.

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    Permissive Routes

    Not a legal right of way, but the landowner has given permission for the route to be used for the time being.

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    National Trail

    Also known as Long Distance Path. Part of the Offas Dyke iNational Trail walking path runs through Denbighshire.

Footpaths, bridleways and byways are shown on Ordnance Survey maps. These are usually accurate but they do not provide proof of a public right of way. Conclusive proof can be found on the definitive map which is kept up to date by the Highway Authority. The definitive map can be consulted at County and District offices. Some Libraries and Community Councils also have copies available for inspection.

If you have any queries about rights of way, please contact the Rights of Way Officer, Highway Department, Denbighshire County Council, Caledfryn, Smithfield Road Denbigh, LL16 3RJ, Tel:01824 706800.

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