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© The Alpine Bicycle
Bicycles by their very nature provide earth friendly
travel. Especially compared to the automobile, but even mass transportation
like buses or trains. Even so, cyclists can effect their environmental
footprint positively or negatively.
The Colorado Rough Riders have an environmental code of conduct we try
to follow. This riding style adapts the mountaineer's "leave no
trace" mentality to bicycle travel. It was developed to encourage
minimal impact while riding mixed terrain.
Rough Rider Environmental Riding Code
Riding off trail in the mountains can cause significant environmental
degradation. Just don't do it, especially in high alpine and raparian
zones that are especially fragile.
Within Your Technology's Limits
down a single track can cause serious trail erosion. On steep sections
if you can't get up or down without skidding due to brake or tire
tread limits, consider dismounting and walking.
- Ride Within
Injury in the backcountry
is not only personally serious, but search & rescue is difficult
and expensive. Current trends in calling for rescue by cell phone or
satelite messenger without a life threatening situation is also resource
wastefull. Riding in the high alpine environment should not be taken
lightly. If you don't have mountain skills, find someone (or an organization)
who does that can teach you. The Colorado Rough Riders believe outside
rescue should be the last resort. Instead Rough Riders rely on mountain
skills, self sufficiency and self rescue if at all possible.
- Know Where You
Plan ahead, know the area and where you are at all times. Practice
sound navigation skills. Never rely soly on a GPS since batteries run
out. Always carry a map and compass. Check weather reports and understand
the possible weather you might encounter.
- Ride Within
the Trail's Limits
Riding on mud or loose sand/gravel can cause serious trail erosion.
It is often best to dismount and walk around very soft areas. Or go
home and waite for the trail to dry out.
- Leave Nothing
Pack out anything you bring with. Never leave garbage behind. If camping
or bivouacking, practice low impact
& Appropriate Disposal
Recycle bicycle maintenance by-products and worn out parts as possible.
Dispose of non-recycleable products appropriately. Recycle used oil
and grease as possible. Use biodegradable and non-toxic cleaners.
- Share the fun
The Colorado Rough Riders feel bicycling should be an inclusive activity.
We actively encourage seasoned riders to mentor and encourage beginners
and less experienced cyclists. Helping get one more person healthy and
one more car off the road is a good thing. Also, get involved in trail
maintenance and other advocacy areas.
- Blend into the
Be quiet and unobtrusive
to others and wildlife. Never make loud noises that might startle and
speak softely. However, if approaching pedestrians, signal your presence
for safety. If on a road well traveled by cars, remain very visible
for safety. When approaching wildlife however, go around and give a
large clearance. Do not try to push through.
- Go Ultralight
Consider ultralight bicycle touring. Ligher
bikes and loads use
less resources, need less maintenance and have a lighter impact on trails.
- Ride More Drive
Don't drive if you can ride your bike. Just do it!
Leave No Trace Center
American Alpine Club
Colorado Mountain Club