Dirt Biking Etiquette
A Code of Conduct for Dirt Bikers
Drafted by Gary Franks / Enduro World with input from Steve Lauter and others.
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Just like golf, tennis and most other sports have an etiquette that participants adhere to, dirt biking has one too. Compliance with this code enables all participants to enjoy the sport safely whilst also promoting harmony between the sport and outside parties – i.e. land-owners, the public, environmentalists, local residents, cyclists, hikers etc. This is critically important for the longevity of our sport in terms of ensuring we still have open places to ride for many years to come.
This draft of the code goes back to 2004 but has been updated recently. The code is based largely on common sense, respect for the privilege we have to enjoy this great sport and respect for others and their property.
No-one can force you as a rider to comply with the code, but if you choose not to you could well be guilty of being “one of those few who mess it up for the rest of us”.
Wherever possible we obtain permission from landowners before riding on their land. Whatever land we ride on we do so respectfully and with appreciation for the privilege of being able to use the facility. We ride with awareness of the need to protect fauna and flora, slowing down and keeping engine revs low when near animals.
We cut our engines when people on horseback are close by, allowing them to pass before re-starting. If we pass through a gate, we leave it as we found it – i.e. open or closed. When passing close to homes we slow right down to avoid excessive dust, noise and possible injury to people or their animals. We respect the laws of the land and do not ride on beaches or in nature reserves or places where riding is prohibited.
We reduce tyre pressures where possible in soft sand or low traction areas. We ride on existing paths/ tracks wherever possible rather than making unnecessary new tracks. We avoid riding over plants we can reasonably avoid. We avoid spilling fuel or oil in rivers / waterways or on the ground and we use an environmental mat when re-fuelling.
General and Group Riding Etiquette
We Ride with All The Gear All The Time (“ATGATT”). We especially never ride without a helmet. Alcohol and riding are a dangerous and very unwise combination – we strongly discourage riders consuming alcohol until after the ride is over and the bikes are loaded. We ride slowly (1st gear) in or near pit areas, car parks, picnic or other public areas.We never do donuts or other things some quad bikers are famous for where people can see you – this could cause us to be classified as being cut from the same thread.
We always stop to help a rider who has fallen and do all we can for their comfort and medical treatment where appropriate. We are helpful and courteous to other riders, always considering their safety and enjoyment of the sport as well as our own. We always stop to assist a rider whose bike may have broken down and/ or, in a race, inform the next marshal of the breakdown as the rules for that event may require. We arrive at rides with our bikes properly prepared and ready to ride so as not to hold others up.
On out-rides we look after the person behind us, waiting for them at turns/ junctions to ensure they are ok and that they know which way we have gone.In a non-race environment – should the rider behind us not arrive after a few minutes, we slowly and carefully go back along the trail to find them. (We never go the wrong way on a race route). If we are not sure of which way to go, we wait for the rider ahead to come back and find us. We do not go off looking for them, unsure of which direction they may have taken. When riding along a wide sand track or road, we check to see which way our dust is drifting behind us and stay close to that side of the track to minimise dust for the rider/s following. We never ride in dust by falling back far enough to ensure a clear view ahead.
We allow others a turn to lead, taking our turn behind. When choosing a route we select one that all riders in the group will be able to handle, or where there are alternatives to sections that some may not be able to do.We keep our fun (roosting, splashing, jokes etc) good-humoured and non-offensive to others. We do not make light of anyone’s fears or phobia’s, but respect them and assist where possible.We never coerce or intimidate anyone to attempt something they are not comfortable with.
We take all possible measures to ride safely and responsibly to avoid incident or injury which may spoil the ride for everyone. Where we have to ride on a public road we comply with the rules of the road. Where we come across a dangerous obstacle on a route, we do all we can to mark or remove that obstacle for the safety of others.