Biking Safety Tips
California State Parks provides a variety of opportunities for bicyclists to experience the natural wonders of the state. More state parks’ trails are becoming available each year, expanding chances to discover California’s parks on two wheels.
Where mountain biking is allowed, there are usually signs posted to advise who yields to whom—mountain bikes to horses to hikers. “Yield” means “slow down, be prepared to stop, establish communication and pass safely.” In some areas, there are volunteer mountain bike patrols to help enforce the rules.
Before starting the ride, visitors are encouraged to find out from park staff or other riders the difficulty of the ride, if there is water available and the types and numbers of other trail users they are likely to encounter. It is also a good idea to get a copy of the trail map.
Visitors should remember that, in most cases, they will be sharing the trail with other users and should be sensitive to others' needs on the trails. Visitors are advised that it is always a good idea to call ahead because conditions can change. For example, some parks are closed to riding for 24 to 48 hours after heavy rainfall.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association encourages the following accepted “Rules of the Trail” etiquette tips:
- Ride on open trails only.
- Leave no trace.
- Always yield on the trail.
- Control your bicycle.
- Never scare animals.
- Plan ahead.
State Parks suggestions include:
- Know and follow individual public park rules and regulations.
- Stay on designated trails.
- Be alert and courteous.
- Avoid muddy trails.
- Safe interaction leads to all recreational users having continuous access to trails.
- Respect park neighbors and the rights and privacy of private property owners.
- Pack out your litter.
- Approach each bend or blind spot as if someone were coming.
- Safety first—control your speed.
- Pass with caution at "walking" speed.
- Downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic.
- When riding, always wear a helmet.
If you own an e-bike, learn where e-bikes are allowed and our department policy.