Cycling is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of transportation. While you will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint if you commute via bicycle, you still run the risk of damaging nature’s natural flora and fauna while cycling through nature preserves and parks. Here are some top tips to help you maintain the trails for generations to come:
Tip #1: Wash Off Your Bike
It’s likely that you’ll be covered in dirt when you cycle through a muddy trail. If this is the case for you, always be sure to completely wash off your bike as well as change your clothes before moving to a new location. Seeds from local plant life can be found in mud, so if you don’t wash off your bicycle you may accidentally transfer an invasive species to a new area.
Tip #2: Pack it in, Pack it Out
Whatever you bring with you into the woods should always come back with you, even if it’s something that’s compostable like an apple core or a banana peel. While you’re tidying up after yourself, consider paying it forward and pulling broken branches off the trail while you’re at it!
Tip #3: Mind the Wildlife
While it’s likely you won’t see much more than a squirrel, you may see larger wildlife like deer, fox, and even bears in Massachusetts. It’s best to leave the wildlife alone when you see something on the trail. Feel free to take photos with your phone, but do not approach for the welfare and safety of the animal. Above all, never feed animals if you see them on the trail!
Tip #4: Yield to Hikers
Always give hikers, walkers, and people with dogs the right of way when you approach on a bicycle. It’s the courteous thing to do! You can alert people of your approach by either giving a quick yell or simply ringing your bicycle’s bell. You should always ride at a safe speed so you’re able to slow down as soon as you see someone else on the trail.
Tip #5: Brake Softly
You’ll want to cycle slowly not only to avoid any incidents with hikers or other cyclists, but when you hit the brakes too hard you run the risk of damaging the ground underneath you. Those who are heavy-handed with the brakes may create large cuts and divots in the trail, which will not only make it more challenging for future cyclists to travel, but could damage local flora and cause erosion when it rains.
This article was created by Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally!