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Riding at Trail Centres

Trail centres are purpose-built facilities with paths and trails that have been specifically designed and are managed for mountain biking. Access rights and the Code still apply on purpose-built trails – follow the guidance below and you will have a great time.

Trail centres Credit Frog Bikes


The promotion and management of purpose built mountain bike trail centres means that walkers should be aware of the presence of bikers and be ready to give way on these trails.

Mountain bikers should however still be in control and if approaching walkers (and their dogs):

  1. Slow down.
  2. Make sure they have seen you (give a friendly ‘Hello’)
  3. If safe to do so continue on your way.
  4. If not, wait for them to move out the way and then carry on.
  5. Keep smiling.

If you get a chance it may be useful to chat to walkers explaining that the onus is on them to be ready to give way at purpose-built mountain bike trail centres.

Trail centres riders Credit Frog Bikes

Other mountain bikers

When you encounter other mountain bikers on the trail you should:

  1. Be in control
  2. When approaching a slower rider, keep your distance until they are aware of you, call left or right to let them know which side you are overtaking, and overtake when it is safe to do so.
  3. When a faster rider comes up behind you – don’t be intimidated, relax and look for a convenient spot where you can move to the side of the trail and they can overtake. Listen for a shout of left or right which lets you know what side they are overtaking on.
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Trail features

At trail centres you will encounter lots of fun features (berms, drops, jumps, skinnies) designed to put a smile on your face and test your balance and skill. Types and difficulty of feature will differ depending on the grade of trail (see Trail Grading below).

Key things to remember when approaching any feature:

  1. Ride within your own ability - understand the grading system and how it relates to your own abilities.
  2. For some, possibly more difficult features, that you may not have ridden before, it can help to check them out before riding them.
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Land management operations

Remember that trail centres are also often working environments (eg commercial forests), so it is important to:

  1. Respect all reasonable advice/signage - you may want to alter your route.
  2. Check relevant websites beforehand for land management operations.

Caring for your trails

LITTER Take your litter away with you –let's face it, rubbish really does make us and our trails look, well, rubbish! #trashfreetrails

SKIDDING Locking up your brake means more trail maintenance, and more maintenance means less money for improved trails – what would you prefer?

PARKING On many sites, a charge for parking may be the only income source available to reinvest in trail maintenance and development. Visiting a trail centre is really, really good value, so do your bit by sticking a few pounds in the machines.

TRAIL FAIRIES & TRAILS ASSOCIATIONS Many trail centres encourage volunteers to help with trail maintenance. You might want to speak to the land manager to see how you could get involved.

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