After an encounter with a couple of descending Neanderthals in the Sturt Gorge yesterday, I felt it timely to use this forum to publicise a few oft forgotten golden rules of off-road trail etiquette:

1) A downhill rider yields (gives way) to an uphill rider.

2) An uphill rider may choose to yield to a downhill rider, but it is entirely the uphill rider's choice.

3) The same rules apply to hikers encountering hikers, motorists encountering motorists, etc.

4) If there is any doubt, refer to rule #1

I believe this etiquette to be universal, and to predate mountain biking.  Chasing downhill Strava segments is not a valid exclusion.  Please feel free to comment here if you disagree, but be prepared to explain how your exception may be safely communicated to, and exercised by, the myriad trail users that have already adopted the above mentioned etiquette.

Happy riding,


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By "downhill rider" do you mean the person riding down the hill or the person further down the hill?

I trust your tongue is planted firmly in your cheek.  I hope you bite it :-)

A downhill rider is one descending a hill. An uphill rider is one ascending a hill.

No, having never ridden trails before I actually don't know. I could use context, reasoning and skiing experience and be 99% sure, but I thought it would be worth clarifying so I asked for the sake of it

Let me guess you were going up derose southside? Some sketchy corners with some line os site issues. Riders who preffer riding downhills seem to have really adopted the age of entitlement attitude IMHO.

Yep. Wife and I, both going up at different rates, both had similar experience. One even argued that the downhill rider deserves right-of-way.

You should post something here instead.

I thought "trail etiquette" was pronounced "get outta mah ****ing way" amongst the entitled youngster set? Around the more mature DHers, sure, they're also looking after more fragile bones.

Agreed the etiquette is pretty straight forward and common sense (?).

Alas we're sounding like a bunch of ol' farts whinging about the young punks lack of respect...

I try to do most of my riding early (530am starts), the narcissists are still in bed :-)

I hear ya, Simon.

I was thinking of this tonight coming down the stairs in the Exeter. A lady was coming up so i moved over to let her through. Seems like a no brainer. Now lets get people walking on the left side of a bike path.

Not on point (my MTB has never seen a Mountain - I should change that).

I thought this guy broke my unwritten rule not to barge to the front of a group of cyclists waiting at the red light.

Ha.  That vid made my laugh for a couple of reasons.


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