Off-Road Turn Shock Into Aww! Let’s crank the courtesy up to the max.
Slow down, share the trail, ride responsibly—you’ve heard us say it all before. But it’s not just lip service, we’re told again and again that our education efforts are having a positive impact. AND IT’S HELPING OUR WORK TO EXPAND AND ENHANCE TRAIL OPPORTUNITIES FOR OFF-ROAD CYCLING IN MARIN
In the past 12 months we’ve added seven miles of new trail riding experiences with the opening of Bill’s Trail, Bob Middagh Trail and Ponti Ridge Trail. One of our 3 Gaps projects is underway on Azalea Hill and another, Easy Grade Trail, is shovel ready with a possible funding announcement in coming weeks.
The future looks bright as well, with projects at Rush Creek and Terra Linda Ridge under review and new opportunities in North Marin at Stafford Lake and Mount Burdell. And later this year the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) will begin the development of a Watershed Recreation Plan that has the potential to better distribute recreation across 17,000 acres of Mount Tamalpais.
NOW MORE THAN EVER WE NEED YOU TO BE MODEL TRAIL RIDERS
While the future is bright, we still have work to do. An equestrian was injured last winter when a horse was spooked by a bike. Just last week we received a report of young mountain bikers in the wilderness area of Point Reyes National Shore who spooked horses while speeding down a narrow trail. While there were no injuries in that instance, and the apologetic bicyclists took actions to calm the horses, it’s a reminder that we can do more to reduce conflict and demonstrate respect.
Here are some things to consider when you roll out to your favorite park for a ride:
RIDE ON OPEN TRAILS ONLY
While we work to create a trail network that meets the needs and diversity of our growing community, we currently enjoy access to over 60 miles of multi-use and single-track trails, and over 150 miles of spectacular fire roads with world-class views. Please ride on open trails only, as your actions influence trail management decisions.
SLOW DOWN EVEN MORE!
The maximum speed limit in our parks is 15 mph and the passing speed is 5 mph. That means you should slow your speed by as much as 66% when passing other people on foot, horse or bike. While you may not be putting others at risk, the joy of being outdoors can be diminished if one is startled by a fast moving bike. This one gesture of respect is the easiest way to promote a more bike-friendly outdoor community.
STOP AND SMELL THE MONARDELLA VILLOSA (COYOTE MINT)
Discover Marin’s biodiversity and demonstrate your appreciation for resource protection by taking breaks and enjoying nature. There are so many benefits to your health and productivity when you get outdoors, why not learn more about the wonders of the places you ride?
STAY ON THE SCENE
If you are involved in an incident, or witness one, it’s best to stay on the scene and assist if needed. Help any injured parties, wait until emergency responders arrive, and give your contact information before leaving.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Did you notice fresh horse poop on the trail? That’s a sign that you may encounter an equestrian ahead, so take extra precautions around blind corners and other situations where your reaction time may be shortened.
HUMAN VOICE SOOTHES THE HORSE
The human voice is the best tool to prevent spooking a horse. Speak clearly and in a friendly tone as you approach all horses. Speak as early as possible and communicate with the rider until you are sure all is good. Example: Howdy! Is your horse comfortable with bikes? What would you like me to do? That’s a beautiful steed, have a great ride!
NEVER SPOOK ANIMALS
An unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise startles animals. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is not cool. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Trails are most vulnerable when they are wet. If your tire is leaving a mark in the tread, you shouldn’t be riding it. This is when 90% of trail erosion occurs. Wait two days for every day of rain before you venture out on singletrack. This will reduce maintenance and ensure your favorite trails are around for future generations. Also, please pick up trash when you see it and pack out what you brung.
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE COAST MIWOK
As you enjoy the trails in Marin, please remember that you are riding within the traditional territory of the Coast Miwok, many of whom are now citizens of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. Please help us acknowledge the Tribe and their continuing legacy as caretakers of their ancestral territory, and do your part to not disrupt the landscape by staying on the trail.
We recognize most people are already observing these simple gestures of respect on the trails, and we thank you for it. We also know that the most courteous park visitor may stumble now and then. But as we’ve said before, one bad encounter wipes out 10 good ones, so let’s amplify those positive interactions out on the trail!
Thank you for your support!
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