We had the chance this week to take on the trails at DuPont State Forest on top one of Trek’s new whips. You’ve probably seen some of the pictures on Facebook by now. If not, we’ll wait right here while you do. Suffice it to say, the air was hot, the water was cold, and the day was practically perfect. Just one of the perks of working at a bike shop.
At DuPont, like at many trail systems around here, mountain bikes share the space with hikers, horses, backpackers and other folks out trying to enjoy the outdoors. We just happen to be going a lot faster than most all of them. And as awesome as it is to shred that sweet single track or bomb that downhill like we’re getting paid, we’ve got to keep in mind that every one of us is an ambassador for the next mountain biker these other trail users will encounter. If their experience with us is positive, that’s what they’ll expect the next time.
Not that you need reminding, but everyone likes a list. We thought we’d go on ahead and make a short, sweet one you can call on when it comes time to take it outside and on to the trails.
Respect: This is the biggie. Respect the trails and stay on marked ones to keep the single track just that. Respect other trail users; remember we’re all sharing this space. Respect the wildlife; this is their home.
Yield: Other trail users get the right of way. Pull over and let ‘em pass. Be extra careful around horses who can get seriously spooked. When overtaking another trail user, slow it down and let them know you’re coming.
Keep it clean: Do one better than the backpackers’ credo, “Leave no Trace.” Along with packing out what you packed in, how about taking out some of the trash you find along the trail.
We think that about sums up even the longest list of how to handle yourself on the trail. Summer is a great time to get out of the beating sun and onto the trails. You’ll improve your climbing and your bike handling skills, too. And if you’re wondering what we thought of those Trek bikes we took on the test ride, pop on in to the shop and we’ll tell you all about them!