Some basic tips for riding the Trout Run Trail safely!
1. Simple trail etiquette is important, even if it isn’t appreciated or well received. You can at least take heart that you did the right thing. Always announce when passing: “Passing on your left!” and if you are uncomfortable with saying anything aloud-get a bell and ding it. Pedestrians at times seem to be oblivious to the announcement, but if we are consistent-eventually people will get it!
2. Ride double if you wish, but be aware of traffic behind you and ahead. There are times and places where it’s more appropriate to ride double. Busy trail times along the Dug Road area or down by the river would not be best. As long as you are mindful of others and can move quickly ahead or behind your riding partner, there shouldn’t be much of an issue. (It would also be nice if those wanting to pass from behind would announce with plenty of time given for the rider to move ahead or back.)
3. Be aware of blind spots! Going down hills and switchbacks are fun, but you can also easily run into someone if you aren’t careful. It’s also nice if people who like to ride double ride in more of a single-file formation when hill-climbing, to prevent any accidents of someone coming down hill and smacking right into them. I’ve had a couple close encounters-I’ll start to build up my momentum only to slow down so I didn’t run into a fellow rider.
4. If riding on the trail in the rain or while it’s still wet-be cautious of wet leaves and debris. If you are not careful, your bike could slip out from under you due to wet surfaces. Especially if you are going downhill, brake too hard, or turn too sharp. It’s good protocol whether rain or shine, to watch out for sticks, gravel/rocks, and whatever else that may find its way on the trail.
5. Helmets and water! Regardless of how seasoned a ride you are-you may find yourself having a great fall. Protect that noggin! As cumbersome as you feel helmets are-they could save your life. Water is also important; you especially need it on hot days! I can work up an immense amount of sweat going up those switchbacks. Drink up!
These are a few basic tips for safe riding on Trout Run Trail (TRT), granted, there may always be a slight hazard here and there. As long as we pay attention to our surroundings and the trail in front of us, we can have fun and enjoy the ride!