IMBA rules of the road also apply in Ecuador.
IMBA rules of the road also apply in Ecuador.

An IMBA guide on proper driving and behaviour when touring Ecuador's cities, villages, reserves and national parks.

Reglas de IMBA.

Texto: Patricio Añazco / Fotos: Jairo Cabrera.

IMBA launched its Rules of the Trail in 1988 to educate mountain bikers and serve as a pro-bike advocacy tool. These guidelines for responsible riding have been adopted by land-management agencies nationwide. Your actions have critical impacts on the landscape, the trails, the animals, and other trail users. Pledge to ride friendly; ride prepared; ride responsibly; ride lightly.

Respect the Landscape.

Respect local trail builders and be a good steward of the natural environment. Keep trails simple by staying on them. Practice the principle of “leave no trace”. Do not drive on muddy paths as this causes ruts, widening and maintenance problems. Walk through standing water, not around it. Cross (or walk) over technical areas, do not go around them.

Share the road.

Most of the trails we use are multi-use trails. Mountain bikers must yield the right of way to horses and pedestrians, and downhill cyclists must yield the right of way to uphill cyclists. This compliance triangle has been formally adopted by land managers since the late 1970s and is one of the main reasons we have the access we have. There are some regional differences and special rules for one-way and directional mountain bike trails: Find out the rules where you live. Be courteous. Say hello.

It runs on open and legal trails.

Most of the trails we use are multi-use trails. Mountain bikers give way to horses and poachers, illegal trail construction or the installation of unauthorised facilities affect access. In addition, poorly constructed elements can seriously injure other hikers. If you feel there are not enough trails or diversions in your area, now is the time to get involved. We welcome your involvement because it takes a whole village to create, improve and protect the best places to cycle.

Plan ahead.

Be prepared and self-sufficient. Every mountain biker should have the essentials for the route at hand and know how to fix a puncture and make minor repairs. Download a GPS route app on your phone to navigate or take a map with you in unfamiliar places. Ride with a partner or share an itinerary with someone if you are travelling alone.

Be careful of animals

When it comes to wildlife, the rule is live and let live. In some places, walking livestock and disturbing wildlife are serious offences. If you want to take your dog for a walk, first find out if it is allowed on the leash and the restrictions on the trails. Be prepared to look after your dog. Make sure your companion is obedient enough not to cause problems for you, other walkers or wildlife.


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