Mountain biking is quite a unique sport, so it’s no surprise that mountain bike racing attracts its own unique mountain bike racing etiquette. Here’s a guide to mountain bike racing etiquette to help us all enjoy the race as much as possible.
1. Lapped riders must yield to leaders.
2. In the event multiple riders are vying for the same position, the leading rider does not have to yield his position to the challenging rider. A leading rider may not bodily interfere with the intent to impede another rider’s progress. Traditional rules of racing apply: The leading rider owns the track. The overtaking rider is responsible for passing. If you are being lapped, you are not the leading rider!
3. A rider overtaking another with the intent to pass should voice “On Your Left”, “On Your Right”, or “When you get time” loud enough to be heard by the slower rider. The slower rider should respond loud enough to be heard. **Be aware that if the slower rider does not voice a response loud enough for the encroaching rider to hear, then the slower rider just challenged the faster rider!** If a rider catches another rider and does not voice for a pass the caught rider may presume the rider behind is comfortable where they are for the time being.
4. Riders being passed should give as much room to the passer as is safe for their skill level.
5. Riders passing should be aware of the potential for danger if the slower rider has a lesser skill level.
6. Racers riding a bicycle have the right of way over racers pushing bicycles. When practical, racers pushing should stay on the least rideable portion of the path when being passed. A racer pushing or carrying their bicycle can overtake a racer riding their bicycle, provided they do not interfere with the rider’s progress.
7. If you have a mechanical failure, move off the trail as soon as possible. If there is another racer behind you, you should move out of his or her way immediately.
8. If you fail to negotiate an obstacle or hill, get out of the other racers way immediately. Do not stop at the top of a hill or at the very end of an obstacle if it will cause the riders behind you to bottle up.
9. In the event a rider crashes in front of you:
- You may go around if you can do so safely.
- If the rider is in need of medical attention, provide it if possible.
- You are not required to provide assistance: If you are unwilling or unable, please alert the next staff member or volunteer you see.
10. Keep your sense of humor. It’s only a race after all!