Trail and Road Rules

Whether you’re a brand new cyclist or a veteran of the road and trails, knowing and observing these rules will help ensure the safety of all cyclists.


The way we ride today shapes the mountain bike trail access of tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport’s access and image by observing the following rules, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA’s mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

Trails of Walnut Creek


Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); Avoid trespassing on private land; Obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.


Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; Practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trail bed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.


Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.


Let your fellow trail users know you are coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; Don’t startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. To yield means to slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.


All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offence. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.


Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair; And carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is satisfying to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Commuter on South Congress


Respect everyone, drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists included. Ride like you're invisible – anticipating that drivers don's see you. Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Obey all traffic signs and signals. Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns to other users. Wear a properly fitting helmet, no matter how short the trip. Ride predictably and in a straight line. Don’t swerve in the road or between stopped cars. Be visible by wearing brightly colored clothing that provides contrast. In lower light conditions, use lights and reflective gear to stand out. Texas law mandates a front white light and a rear tail light be used when night riding. Make eye contact with motorists to determine if they've seen you, but even then don't expect them to do the right thing at all times. Remember, the same laws that apply to motorists also apply to cyclists.