Bike Etiquette

Regardless of where or what type of biking you’re doing you will be sharing the trail or road with other users. Here are some tips to help foster positive attitudes between different users.

Mountain Bikers Code

Mountain Bikers CodeThe following MTB code has been developed by the Mountain Bike Association of New Zealand (MTBNZ) in liaison with key stakeholders and has been adapted for use by the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Respect others

  • Stay in control, so you can safely avoid other users and keep yourself intact.
  • Give way to walkers and you will help foster a positive attitude towards bikers.
  • Use a bell or friendly greeting when approaching other users, to let them know you’re there.
  • Ride shared-use tracks in small groups (6-8 or less) so as not to displace other users.
  • Be patient behind slower riders and pull over where practical to let faster riders pass.

Respect the rules

  • Ride only where permitted – keep off closed tracks, including those that are seasonally closed to protect the surface or minimise conflict with other users.
  • Check whether you need to obtain permission from private landowners before you set out.
  • Be prepared (take food, water, tools, first aid and warm clothes) and plan for the unexpected (a change in the weather, an accident or getting lost).
  • Leave gates as you find them – either open or closed to keep stock where they are intended to be.

Respect the track

  • Don’t skid, cut corners or make new lines. Skidding creates water channels that cause erosion (use both brakes to slow down as you approach corners). Cutting corners is cheating and damages fragile ecosystems.
  • Avoid riding in the mud and rain. Both bikes and walkers damage soft, wet tracks.
  • Take your rubbish home – leave only tyre prints.
  • Clean your bike to prevent spreading weeds like gorse and didymo.

Sharing the Road

  • Follow the road rules – stop for red lights and at pedestrian crossings.
  • Ride predictably, in a straight line and signal your intentions clearly in advance.
  • Ride no more than two abreast and only where safe and appropriate.
  • Try not to slow the flow of traffic – where practical pull over to let vehicles pass.
  • Courtesy works – a wave and a smile to other road users will help foster a more positive attitude to cyclists.