Preserving the Environment When Mountain Biking
Mountain biking has grown in popularity in recent years. While cycling is an environmentally-friendly and fun way to get where you need to go, when you head out on the trails, you don’t want to have a negative environmental impact, but instead, you want to focus on preserving the environment, so cyclists can enjoy the trails for years to come. The International Mountain Biking Association has done extensive research on the subject and have determined that biking doesn’t have any more of an environmental impact than hiking just so long as cyclists are responsible. Here are some tips for preserving the environment when mountain biking.
Stay on The Trail
You should ride only on open trails. If a trail is closed, don’t attempt to ride on it. Don’t get off the designated path because you would be crushing flora and destroying plant life. Many of the plants are food for other creatures, so you would be affecting much more than just the plants that you destroy. By destroying plants, you are also contributing to erosion.
Don’t Leave A Trace
You should never leave a trace of your presence behind. This means that you should pick up all trash and properly dispose of it. If possible, use water bottles that can be reused and use food and snack containers that are either reusable or recyclable. If you have trash, such as food packages or bottles, take them with you in your backpack until you find a safe place to dispose of them properly. Many parks have bear-proof trashcans so the animals won’t rummage through the garbage.
Properly Control Your Bicycle
Practice makes perfect. You need to be able to control your bicycle and ride safely. Don’t cut ruts into the ground because ruts are dangerous for other cyclists as they fill with water and cause muddy situations. Ruts also damage plant roots and plant life. Don’t “ride your brakes” downhill. Know whether you need to use one brake or both brakes, but don’t hold the brakes all the way downhill. Know how to control your speed before you end up in a situation riding your brakes.
Share the Trail
Always watch for others and be aware that you can encounter other cyclists or hikers along the way. Yield to others. You want to be a courteous cyclist. Don’t get off the trail. Stop and wait for others to pass when necessary.
Watch for Wildlife
Remember, animals make their home there. Watch out for animals that might wander onto the trail and be prepared to stop. Maintain a safe speed, so you can avoid getting too close to creatures in their habitat. You never know, it could be anything from a raccoon or opossum to something bigger. Don’t scare animals, but wait, and be patient. They will move on their way.
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