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Earth Friendly Bicycle Travel
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

  • Stay on Trail
    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.
  • Ride Within Your Technology's Limits
    Skidding 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 Your Limits
    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 Are
    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 Behind
    Pack out anything you bring with. Never leave garbage behind. If camping or bivouacking, practice low impact camping techniques.

  • Recycle & 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 Surroundings
    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 Less
    Don't drive if you can ride your bike. Just do it!

Web Resources

Carbon Footprint Calculator
Leave No Trace Center
American Alpine Club
Colorado Mountain Club