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Members of the cycling public can use cycle routes, bridleways, permissive bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic. All of these are marked on Ordnance Survey maps. Please remember that cyclists should give way to other users on bridleways.

Today's riders will shape the trails of the future, and the image of mountain biking. Have a look at IMBA UK's website IMBA UK - we have adopted their code, shown below, which will help you enjoy your ride in the South Pennines responsibly, while showing respect for others, and care for the environment. It's all good.

Keep It Legal

• You can ride on bridleways, byways and restricted byways.
• On Forestry Commission land you can ride on forest roads, except in the New Forest, where you need to follow local guidance. You can also ride any single-track which is promoted for mountain bikes.
• You can use some canal towpaths: check out You can also ride on designated cycle routes.
• Scotland has its own access legislation, and you can ride in most locations providing you do so responsibly. Check out to see what this means for you.

Leave No Trace

• Think about how you ride and the impact this has on the trail. Practice to improve your skill at low-impact cycling.
• Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. So adjust your riding, and consider using alternative trails where appropriate.
• Keep to existing trails; avoid widening the trail, or creating new lines.
• Always take your litter home with you. And other peoples' too if you can - inner tubes and cycle litter reflect badly on all riders.

Control Your Bike

• Stay focussed; even a second's inattention can cause problems for you and other trail users.
• Check your speed. Ride responsibly, and think about when the conditions are right for riding fast. This awareness will avoid incidents with others.
• Remember, there are inherent risks associated with mountain biking. Be realistic about your riding ability.

Always Give Way

• Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly 'Hello', or bell-ring, is considerate, and alerts others to your presence.
• Pass slow and wide. Slowing to a walking pace or stopping if necessary. This is particularly important when approaching or passing horse-riders.
• Saying 'Thank-you', if other trail users give way to you is polite, and helps build good relationships with others.
• When approaching corners or at blind spots, anticipate other trail users.

Avoid Disturbing Animals

• Animals can be startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can upset dogs, startle horses, scatter cattle and sheep, or disturb wildlife. Be aware of your potential impact on animals, and take care to avoid disturbing them.

Always Plan Ahead

• Know your bike, your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are going to ride, and prepare accordingly.
• Be self-sufficient. Keep your equipment in good order, and carry necessary supplies for trailside repairs, and any changes in the weather or other conditions.
• Wear the appropriate safety gear for the trails you are riding.
© Pennine Prospects 2012.
Routes compiled by Walk England.
© Photography by Steven Morgan,
all images © Pennine Prospects.
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