Many of my formative off-road riding years were spent in a climate of heavy-handed regulation and restrictions. As such, I developed a deep appreciation for all things singletrack, and I consider myself very fortunate that my daily commute includes legal, narrow trails.
Good trails don’t come for free. It can take years of meetings, lobbying, and back-breaking work to get a trail approved and built. But the work doesn’t end when the opening-day ribbon is cut. Applying common sense and following a few simple rules goes a long way towards keeping trails in good shape, and even gaining access to new trails.
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a just starting out, familiarize yourself with IMBA’s Rules of the Trail. These six rules do a great job of explaining the basic do’s and don’ts of responsible and courteous off-road riding. And if you’re one of the TL;DR crowd, you can just think of it as, “be excellent to each other.”