Riding Etiquette and Safety Tips
- Wear a helmet
- Recognize your physical and technical limits
- Carry twice as much water as you think you'll need
- Make sure your bike is functioning properly
- Carry repair and first aid kits and know how to use them
- Use a map, guidebook and/or guide
- Ride with others and re-group often
- Reserve enough daylight to retrace your route if you encounter problems.
Bikes are great tools for exploring the Uinta Basin when used responsibly. The most important guideline is to stay on approved roads, trails and slickrock. Fragile biological soil crusts and vegetation can take decades to recover if damaged by careless riders.
Ride only on open roads and trails
Riding cross-country, taking shortcuts, and play riding around campsites damages plants and soils. Don't be a trail pioneer by leaving a poorly chosen path for others to follow. Help land managers keep areas open to biking by staying on established routes.
Learn to recognize and preserve biological soil crusts
This delicate, often black, crusty-looking, complex of soil and slowly growing algae, mosses, bacteria, and lichens retains water, reduces erosion, and provides a stable base from which higher plants can flourish. It takes many years for biological soil crust to recover from the ruts created by one bike. If you don't know what it looks like, ask someone to point it out!
Avoid skidding your tires
Locking your wheels needlessly damages trails and leaves ugly tire marks on slickrock. Stay in control by "feathering your brakes".
Ride rocky, slickrock, and sandy areas when it's wet
Soils with high clay content turn into slippery, chain-clogging mud when wet. Riding through these areas under wet conditions leaves deep ruts that accelerate erosion and leads to trail deterioration.
Refrain from riding through riparian areas
Riparian areas, the communities of water-loving plants along streams, are precious to wildlife. Wildlife concentrate in these areas and can be displaced by recreation use.
When encountering slower-moving trail users, slow to their speed and wait for acknowledgement to pass or be passed. Always yield to horses and hikers. Also remember that some mountain bike areas are also open to motorized use.
Riding in Remote Areas
If you have an accident in a remote area, it may take medical help hours to arrive. Travel with a group so that someone can be sent to obtain help and another rider can administer first aid. On a hot day, you will need to carry extra water. If your bike breaks down, it can be a long push back to town. Carry appropriate tools and know how to repair your bike.