March 4, 2017

Golden Rules of Cycling

1. A bike and body in perfect condition – always be safe when cycling

Use only a technically flawless bicycle and appropriate safety gear (clothes, shoes, gloves and helmet, and appropriate accessories for longer rides). Be realistic regarding your own capabilities, and always make sure you remain focused while cycling. Do not go cycling while under the influence of intoxicating substances.

2. Do not race – slow and steady wins the race

Heed and respect all speed limits and recommendations for cyclists.  If you feel the need for speed, participate in mountain biking competitions, or use mountain biking routes. Slow down before you reach blind corners. Do not block your tyres when braking, as that leaves tracks and reduces your braking efficiency.

3. Use only open trails – not every way is the right way

Heed and respect traffic signs. Cycling through protected areas (e.g. marshes, habitats of protected plants), on meadows, and on skiing slopes is strictly prohibited! Respect private property.

4. Do not leave permanent tracks – take your trash with you

Watch the ground in front of you. Wet and muddy trails are more sensitive than dry ones. Stay on existing trails and do not make new ones. Also, do not cut sharp corners. Take faulty tubes and other trash back to the valley. Use biodegradable oils and lubricants.  Be a mountain biker and an environmentalist sportsman at the same time.  The fragile natural balance is easy to destroy and much harder to restore.

5. Do not scare wildlife or domestic animals

Avoid making unnecessary noise. A sudden encounter, movement, or loud sound can easily startle animals. Give the animals enough time and space so they can get used to you. When you pass horse riders, be very careful and respect their instructions (if you are not sure about something, ask them). Intentional startling of cattle and wildlife is a serious offence.

6. Respect others and they will respect you

Do everything in your power to let other people on the trail know you are there – A friendly greeting or a bell are good methods. When you ride through corners, take into account that other people may be using the same trail. Try to foresee potential encounters. Cyclists must respect and give way to all other users of the trail, unless it is explicitely marked as a trail for cycling. Cyclists going downhill must give way to those going uphill, unless the trail is clearly marked as one-way, i.e. only downhill. Try to make every encounter safe and decent.

7. You use all trails at your own risk

Take the responsibility for your life into your own hands. Respect the Golden Rules of Cycling in Nature.

A FEW MORE GENERAL CYCLING RULES AND ADVICE

  • If there is no trail specifically for cycling, ride at the right side of the trail in the direction you are going, as close to the edge of the trail as possible (not more than one metre away).
  • When in groups, cyclists must ride single file. If the trail is wide enough, riding double file is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.
  • The mandatory bicycle equipment consists of a bell, front light to light the road and rear red light, rear retroreflector, yellow retroreflectors in the pedals, side retroreflectors, and front and rear brakes in perfect condition. At night and in poor visibility, we also recommend use of various retroreflectors that can be pinned on your clothes.
  • Helmet: A cyclist of less than 14 years and a child who is riding as a passenger must wear a helmet while riding. Even though it is not obligatory, we recommend that adult cyclists also wear helmets.

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