—Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director
The safest possible choice is to enjoy fresh air and sunshine in your own neighborhood. Depending on where you live, this may mean foregoing time on trails in order to protect communities. Check with your state and local governments for information about stay-at-home orders and facility closures, and with your nearest IMBA Local partner for the most relevant riding information in your community. Refer to the CDC for best practices on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Are trails open? Are trails closed?
Check with the park, land manager and/or local government regularly for updates. This information is changing rapidly. Some governments have identified parks and trails as essential facilities, others have closed parks and trails due to overcrowding. When in doubt: stay home.
Is it safe to ride trails?
Do you live in a densely populated area? If so, it will likely be hard to consistently practice safe social distancing on local trails. You may hate this, but consider riding roads, gravel, paths, or even riding indoors as safer alternatives for social distancing. Remember, it's only temporary! If you are considering going to a local trail, try off-peak hours and take cues from the trailhead to assess whether the trail is crowded. Always be ready to abandon your plans for safety. When in doubt: stay home.
What if I don’t have trails close to home?
Get fresh air and stay healthy through other recreation options in your neighborhood. The trails aren't going anywhere and the most important thing to do today is slow the spread of COVID-19.
Please, ride cautiously.
No crashing allowed!If you do choose to ride, it is imperative to ride within your skill level. This will minimize the strain on healthcare facilities and avoid exposure risks for yourself and for medical staff.
What if I had a trip planned?
Postpone any trips for now, and wait to reschedule until the safe timeline to do so becomes clear. We know this is difficult and disappointing. But to protect small towns and gateway communities, mountain bikers and all recreationists have a responsibility to stay home. In fact, your favorite destination might be requesting it. When in doubt: stay home.
Should mountain bikers host group rides or trail work days?
Please cancel, postpone or reschedule upcoming events including races, trail work, and group rides until there are new government directives.
How can trail users pass responsibly with social distance?
Stay alert, slow down, and communicate with each other from a distance about how to proceed. Better yet, take the initiative to yield and offer space. With gyms and rec centers closing, there may be new users on the trails. It’s a great time for community education on responsible riding and for being patient, exemplary stewards.
Do I need to practice social distance with my family?On local trails and at traiIheads, model social distance with everyone, at all times, in order to set the example for other trail users. Social distance is at least two bike lengths.
CLICK HERE to see the original article and photos on the International Mountain Bicyclist Assn.