Riding in the mountains or hills or forest might sound really fun for some people. But some other folks who are non-cyclists think that mountain bikers are a nuisance!
This is because the tires of the mountain bikes will indefinitely leave trails. These trails can cause a few problems. Therefore, you will see places which have signs saying indicating open and closed trails.
The rule of thumb is you should only cycle in open trails. These are the public trails that are used by hikers and other people. Closed trails usually lead to a private property that is owned by a person. Generally, mountain bikers who break the rule (by cycling in the closed trails) give bad rep for mountain biking.
It is actually trespassing into private properties. As for the case of cycling in open trails, you should never leave deep tire trails. Some might argue that cyclists help maintain the trail marks on the ground, making it more visible. But the majority of people do not agree with us. They think that mountain bikers are irritating.
For the past years, ignorant mountain bikers are known to litter and leave deep ruts when they corner. This is why the general public tends to despise mountain bikers. Beginners also tend to skid their bikes, leaving even more unnecessary trails.
Another reason people do not like us cyclists in the woods or mountains is that we are perceived as dangerous motorcycles in the woods. They think that cyclists often invade their personal space with little warning. Again, this is a public misconception. Professional and experienced mountain bikers will always let their presence to be known to other people as well as maintaining steady control of their bicycles, giving a steady impression.
A good advice is to slow down whenever people or horse riders pass by. There is even a rule from 'IMBA' (International Mountain Bicycling Association) that says bikers should always give in to hikers. This is done by letting them cross their respective paths first because the bicycle rider could always pedal away anytime.
Another important rule is to never scare animals. Other folks might refer this to spooking animals. Some hikers are known to be bring their dogs along. Horse riders will also be present in the trails too. Try not to make sudden or unexpected movements at these animals. You could inadvertently cause them to behave aggressively. The same goes to cattle that are around certain mountain areas. They are known to injure themselves if they are afraid. This could be bad ethic as the cattle might belong to a cattle farmer.
You also do not want to purposely scare animals like wild turkeys, deer and wild bears. Chances are, these animals might attack you. When mountain biking, be sure to bring all necessary equipments. It can be more tedious than a road bike ride. A bicycle helmet is essential and the second most important thing is your repair kit. Thirdly, you would always want to have an extra layer of clothing or jacket. This extra layer can keep you warm. Mountain weathers can change unpredictably and quickly too. You might even get stuck in the jungle and spend a night there.