7. The Use of Information
7.1 Information will be a key part of mountain biking management. The ability of agencies to convey relevant information to track users will be critical. Several media and types of information may be needed, including:
On-site information: - access policy
- off road code
- track conditions/classes
- safety information
- track signs and markers/"milestones"
Off-site information: - pamphlets, maps, guides.
- off road code
- information of general interest
- publicity or promotions through bike shops, advertising,
7.2 The Off Road Code is probably the single most important piece of information. If adhered to by all riders, many of the social impacts and some of the physical impacts of mountain bike riding would disappear. A version of the Off Road Code is included for reference.
7.3 The use of standard signage and symbols where possible increases the chance of recognition and acceptance of track rules by track users. A classification system which provides riders with immediate information on the nature of the track and its general difficulty will help riders to choose rides appropriate to their needs and abilities. Pictograms or symbols which provide important track information at a glance are likely to be more effective than words which convey the same information. An example of a well conceived symbol is shown in Figure 3. It shows a very important part of the code - the yield rule.
7.4 Every effort should be made to avoid repetition in the provision of information. For instance a code for every activity would be repetitive in much of what was contained. A code is needed for mountain biking because it is relatively new yet is at a scale where inappropriate rider behaviours can have very significant effects.
7.5 Co-operation between agencies is particularly important in the use and provision of information.
Information is provided in appropriate places for the benefit of riders and other track users, and is integrated within general information programmes.
Develop an information programme for mountain biking to convey important information to riders and other track users (General).
Involve retail outlets in the distribution of information where appropriate (General).
` Promote the development and application of standardised information systems which have national or international recognition (General).
Seek input and agreement from the New Zealand Mountain Bike Association on the mountain bike code to be used in information programmes (WRC).
Encourage the development and application of a suitable track grading system (WRC).
Mountain Biker's Off Road Code
(from Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides by the Kennett Brothers)
1. Always give way to others. Even if it seems inconvenient, being considerate will foster a positive attitude towards bikers. Stop and move aside if you encounter walkers or horses. Allow others to pass before proceeding.
2. Pass with care. Let others know of your presence well in advance. A greeting will suffice. Being startled will upset even the most tolerant walker.
3. Get permission. Check if permission is required from landowners before heading out. When asking, use the word "bicycle" rather than "mountain bike" to avoid confusion with motorbikes. Access to private land is a privilege, not a right. The local mountain bike club, regional council, city council, or Department of Conservation probably know who owns land in their area.
4. Do not run livestock. Give animals a chance to get out of your way. Always leave farm gates as you find them. If you are riding in a strung out group, do not assume that riders following you will know to close a gate that you left open for them. Steer clear of farmland during lambing - August to October.
Respect the Land
5. Observe the minimum impact code: take only photographs, leave only tyre prints.
6. Track conditions:
Avoid skidding, it lessens your control and damages the track.
Avoid delicate vegetation and soft surfaces when wet.
Stay on the track.
7. Do not litter. If you have room, improve mountain bikers' image by picking up someone elses rubbish.
8. Control your speed. Your speed should be determined by the terrain and your skill. Remember, there could be a fallen tree, walker, or another rider round any corner.
9. Plan ahead:
Check your intended ride before you ride to make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew.
Let others know where you are heading and when you'll be back.
Do not travel long distances alone.
Take a first aid kit (including sunblock) and know how to use it.
Take warm clothing - be prepared for weather changes.
Maintain your bicycle to avoid breakdowns.
Take a repair kit.
Take food and water.
Always take a good map on new rides.