Enjoy Autumn Rides with Excellent Trail Etiquette

We’re in the midst of some of the most incredible fall riding conditions of the year here in the DC area - the humidity has finally abated, the air is crisp and refreshing, and the leaves have started to turn the brilliant yellows and oranges of autumn.

Fall is one of the best times for cycling, which also means that it is one of the busiest times for our local trails. Before you plan your next ride, review these trail etiquette tips. When we share our trails responsibly, everyone can enjoy the awesome autumn weather together.

• Stay to the right except when passing.
• Pass slower traffic on the left; always yield to oncoming traffic when passing.
• Always look ahead of you and behind you before passing.
• Before passing on the left, give a clear warning signal (ring your bell and loudly say “passing on the left”).
• If the trail is crowded, ride single file, making it easier and safer to pass and be passed.
• Travel at a reasonable speed (many local trails have posted speed limits) in a consistent and predictable manner.
• If you need to stop, move safely off of the trail and allow others room to pass.
• Yield to other cyclists, joggers and other trail users when entering and crossing the trail.
• Use proper front and rear lights as well as reflectors after dusk and before dawn; most local trails provide little or no overhead lighting.
• Wherever the trail crosses a road, always come to a complete stop and look for traffic. Even if you have the right of way, be cautious when entering an intersection and protect yourself as a cyclist.

And now, get out and go for a spin! These days of pumpkins, delicious apple cider, and ideal riding weather don’t last long, so enjoy your autumn bike rides and stay safe on the trails and on the roads this fall!