The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport’s access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, 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.
Ride On Open Trails Only
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.
Leave No Trace
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. Do not cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
Control Your Bicycle
Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.
Always Yield Trail
Let your fellow trail users know you’re 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. Yielding means slowing down, establishing communication, and being prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.
Never Scare Animals
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 offense. 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 a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear. Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.
Spring Thaw Conditions
We strongly urge you to avoid riding the trails during the spring thaw period. Water from the melting snow cannot pass through the frozen ground, so it puddles on the trail surface. Tire ruts help channel this water and cause erosion. The rule of thumb is the ground has thawed when the earthworms come out.
If you want to ride and are unsure of the trail conditions, what should you do? Our suggestion is to call the park, or local bike shop, or check the NIMBA Facebook page.
Trails need time to dry out. Please wait a day or more depending on how much moisture is on the trail. Simple etiquette for how to handle an unexpectedly muddy spot in the trail - RIDE THROUGH IT, NOT AROUND IT. And if you are worried about getting mud on your clothes, we suggest having your mom do your laundry.
Also - talk to your local bike shop about how to keep your bike in best form when muddy or snowy. AKON might think Windin' and Grindin' is great, but guaranteed your drivetrain and bearings don't.
Please be mindful of how freeze/thaw cycles affect the trail surface. As temperatures move from multiple days of freezing to multiple days of thawing, the trail conditions get muddy, slippery, and likely rutted while riding. Use trails while the ground is frozen. Do not use trails when they are thawing and muddy. Once above freezing, wait until the trail dries out. The winter can be especially challenging to deal with ruts, because once the trail freezes back over, those ruts become semi-permanent trail features that are no fun to ride on.
If we receive adequate snow and ideal temperatures, NIMBA will groom the trails for fatbikes. Please use a minimum of 3.8 tire width. Low tire pressure is recommended. If you are leaving ruts in the trail, lower your psi.
We do everything we can to protect and preserve mountain biking opportunities and intended trail use in our Michiana Region, any reroute or work of that type is NOT PERMITTED at any trail. Trails can be shut down if not gone through the proper channels. We want to ensure that our local communities still have access to our favorite trails so if you would like a reroute or have any other suggestions, please contact us via social media, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your thoughts when you come out and volunteer for trail maintenance days!
32132 Indiana 2 New Carlisle, IN 46552 Entrance on Timothy Road
53373 County Road 131
Bristol, IN 46507
25601 State Road 4
North Liberty, IN 46554
2626 S. Gertrude Street
South Bend, IN 46614
LaPorte, IN 46350
15122 Monkey Run St
Jones, MI 49061