General trail etiquette rules include bikers yielding to all horse users and hikers as well as a biker going downhill yielding to a biker who is climbing uphill. It is especially important to give horse users plenty of advanced notice and ask them what they prefer that you do, which could include remaining significantly off the trail while they ride by for their safety and yours.
Please remember that our team is representing our school and school district with distinct jerseys being worn for everyone to see. We want the public to have a positive experience whenever seeing our team out on the trail.
The easiest way to think about rider safety is that we should only be doing things at practice that replicate the skills and behaviors to be expected at an ACA league cross-country race course. Per league rule changes this year, this can now include getting the wheels slightly off the ground for trail features such as rock drops no greater than 12″ in height, assuming the rider has the necessary skillset for such a feature and has both pre-inspected and pre-rode that feature under coach supervision. We are having fun with this new allowance.
Behaviors like those listed below are still prohibited by league rules because they introduce unnecessary risk for the sport of cross-country biking:
- Jumping features that exceed 12″ in height and/or anything that a coach has deemed excessive/prohibited.
- Tricks that are not associated with cross-country biking, such as tail whips or handlebar rotations.
- Unnecessary removal of hands from handlebars.
- Intentional skidding. If a biker is skidding, then they are not in control.
Actions like these while checked in as part of practice could result in a student being suspended from continuing that ride, suspended from a certain number of upcoming practices, and/or prohibited from racing. These actions could also deny a student-athlete from an insurance claim with the league as a result of performing prohibited and uninsured activities.
Parents: please review these trail etiquette and rider safety concepts with your students to help us coaches maintain a fun but safe team environment.