Mountain Biker's Off Road Code

(from the book - Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides by the Kennett Brothers)

Respect Others

  1. Always give way to others. Even if it seems inconvenient, being considerate will foster a positive attitude towards bikers. Stop and move aside if you encounter walkers or horses. Allow others to pass before proceeding.
  2. Pass with care. Let others know of your presence well in advance. A greeting will suffice. Being startled will upset even the most tolerant walker.
  3. Get permission. Check if permission is required from landowners before heading out. When asking, use the word "bicycle" rather than "mountain bike" to avoid confusion with motorbikes. Access to private land is a privilege, not a right. The local mountain bike club, regional council, city council, or Department of Conservation probably know who owns land in their area.
  4. Do not run livestock. Give animals a chance to get out of your way. Always leave farm gates as you find them. If you are riding in a strung out group, do not assume that riders following you will know to close a gate that you left open for them. Steer clear of farmland during lambing - August to October.

Respect the Land

  1. Observe the minimum impact code: take only photographs, leave only tyre prints.
  2. Track conditions: Avoid skidding, it lessens your control and damages the track.
    - Avoid delicate vegetation and soft surfaces when wet.
    - Stay on the track.
  3. Do not litter. If you have room, improve mountain bikers' image by picking up someone else’s rubbish.

Respect Yourself

  1. Control your speed. Your speed should be determined by the terrain and your skill. Remember, there could be a fallen tree, walker, or another rider round any corner.
  2. Plan ahead : Check your intended ride before you ride to make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew.
    - Let others know where you are heading and when you'll be back.
    - Do not travel long distances alone.
    - Take a first aid kit (including sunblock) and know how to use it.
    - Take warm clothing - be prepared for weather changes.
    - Maintain your bicycle to avoid breakdowns.
    - Take a repair kit, food and water.
    - Always take a good map on new rides.