HMBA Trail Information > Town Run

Trail etiquette regarding faster/slower riders

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Loretta:
We are entering the high season for mountain biking and Town Run is swarmed with riders on every nice day.  Given the volume of riders, and significant dispersion in rider skill and fitness on the trail at the same time, it is very likely that you will approach slower riders or be approached by faster riders.

Let us review the proper etiquette about what to do when a faster rider comes up on a slower rider.  Can anyone tell me what the faster rider should do?  How about the slower rider?  Anyone care to take a guess?  Anyone?  OK, screw it, I will just give you the answer but pay attention becuase this will be on the midterm.  And it is NOT open book.  

Faster rider:  Announce you are approaching in a friendly and no-threatening fashion.  Avoid phrases like, "Move dammit!", "Step aside fat boy!", "Much faster and better looking rider overtaking your slow ass!", etc.  Remember, this is not a race.  Let the slower rider know you are back there and try not to spook anyone and send them carreening into the trees.  Politely ask them if you can come around when the trail is wide enough to allow you to pass safely.  The slower rider is not obligated to immediately pull off the trail just because you are trying to do a hot lap.  Do not be the guy/gal that tries to pull some stupid circus move simply to get around a slower rider.  If you as a faster rider force a slower rider off the trail and a crash ensues, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE.  Do not be the d**khead racer that pushes a 12 year-old girl into woods because you are trying to crack a 29 minute lap.

Slower rider:  If a faster rider approaches you from behind, move to the side of the trail at the next opportunity to allow the faster rider by.  You are not obligated to immediately stop and pull off into the trees just to let some uber-fit jackrabbit to scream by.  But, if a rider comes up on you chances are he/she is faster than you.  Do not use this as an opportunity to try and drop the hammer and make it a race.  Save that crap for race day.  Purposely not letting someone by because it somehow bruises your ego is bush league and has no place at TRTP.  

The moral of the story here folks is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of riders out at TRTP on nice days.  They will range from the sub 28 minute hot-lappers to the chain smoking dad in jean cut-offs and a styrofoam cooler for a helmet.  We can all get along and play together nicely.  

Faster folks: Don't be a hero.
Slower folks: Don't be a jerk.

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