Ibis Trail Etiquette Recommendations

Mar 25, 2020

Ibis Trail Etiquette Recommendations


With peo­ple around the world asked to shel­ter in place, our parks have become more pop­u­lar than usu­al. Whether you’re a casu­al cruis­er or a hard­core enthu­si­ast, now is the time to pri­or­i­tize safe trail use and inter­ac­tions above thrill-seek­ing fun with friends. 

As a com­mu­ni­ty of out­door enthu­si­asts, we have a tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty in front of us – to help stop a glob­al pan­dem­ic and be mod­el trail cit­i­zens dur­ing this dif­fi­cult, scary time. 

It’s on all of us to know and fol­low our local guide­lines, but here are some sug­ges­tions cre­at­ed by our friends at Moun­tain Bik­ers of San­ta Cruz:

  • Stay home as much as possible! 
    • Exer­cise and san­i­ty are absolute­ly impor­tant, how­ev­er, we rec­om­mend that every­one stay at home as much as pos­si­ble until this sit­u­a­tion pass­es. Coun­tries that have fig­ured out how to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 have all enact­ed much stricter social dis­tanc­ing mea­sures than we are expe­ri­enc­ing here in California.
  • If you do go out, act as if you and every­one you encounter out on the trails has the virus. 
    • Give plen­ty of room (at least 6 feet when stand­ing, many times that when rid­ing), wash your hands fre­quent­ly, and bring hand san­i­tiz­er with you on rides just in case you need it. 
    • Wear a face mask every­where except in your own house or while actu­al­ly rid­ing (we’ve found it’s hard to wear one while rid­ing, oth­er­wise we would!). Show cour­tesy to oth­ers by wear­ing your mask when­ev­er possible.
  • Do not dri­ve to a rid­ing location
    • Fol­low­ing Cal­i­for­nia guide­lines, only dri­ve across town for the absolute essen­tials! Car crash­es are no joke, and dri­ving to the trail­head is unac­cept­able right now, as auto­mo­tive trans­port facil­i­tates virus spread between com­mu­ni­ties. Get to know your local park, or explore new areas near­by home.
  • Please, do not ride/​hike/​do any­thing in large groups, aim for solo activ­i­ties as much as possible!
    • Gath­er­ing in a large group and hit­ting the trails increas­es the chance of virus trans­mis­sion between mem­bers of your group as well as trans­mis­sion to oth­er trail users. As a large group, you cre­ate a big­ger obsta­cle for oth­er users and set a bad exam­ple for the out­door community. 
    • Tell your loved ones our house­mate your route, share your loca­tion with them on your phone and pro­vide them with an expect­ed return time if you are con­cerned for your safe­ty when head­ing out for a solo ride. 
  • Build­ing on the pre­vi­ous warn­ing, do not shut­tle under any cir­cum­stances!
    • Gath­er­ing togeth­er in a car, dri­ving to a new area, and rid­ing in a group is a dan­ger­ous and unnec­es­sary risk to put on your­self and the com­mu­ni­ty you are vis­it­ing. Main­tain­ing the rec­om­mend­ed 6’ between your­self and oth­ers is not pos­si­ble in a car with all your buds. 
  • In the event that parks shut down, please respect closures
    • If clo­sures do occur, they are for the best of our community’s health. Respect the experts here, and avoid closed areas at all times. 
  • Pick off-hours to ride, and avoid times of heavy traffic
    • If you do choose to enjoy the out­doors, pick a time when you believe there will be low traf­fic on the trails. 
    • For exam­ple, rid­ing at 4:00 p.m. on a Sat­ur­day is like­ly bet­ter than rid­ing at 10:00 a.m.
  • Keep rides short and con­ser­v­a­tive if you do choose to enjoy the trails
    • We know that injur­ing your­self is nev­er the goal when enjoy­ing the out­doors. That said, stay in your com­fort zone and do not put unnec­es­sary pres­sure on emer­gency ser­vices or our trails. 
    • Our health sys­tem can­not sup­port addi­tion­al emer­gen­cies right now, and no one wants to be the one to dis­tract med­ical resources from an ongo­ing pandemic. 
    • Keep your rides short and sweet for the time being. Give oth­ers ample oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy the trails!
  • Use the bath­room before your ride, and avoid snot rock­ets while on the trail
    • Many pub­lic restrooms are closed (they’re a huge vec­tor for dis­ease!), so do your busi­ness before hit­ting the trail.
    • No one wants to encounter your snot dur­ing their park vis­it, espe­cial­ly if it could cause transmission. 
  • Keep your dog on a leash
    • Dogs can be a vec­tor for COVID-19, so keep your pup on a leash while enjoy­ing the trails! 
  • Stock up on water before you hit the trails, do not share food or tools
    • Avoid using pub­lic water foun­tains (they’re anoth­er vec­tor), and make sure your bot­tles are filled before head­ing out the door.
    • This isn’t the time to swap snacks or share gear. Keep your tools to your­self, and if you absolute­ly must help some­one out, san­i­tize tools before and after use. 
  • Give peo­ple the space and time they need to use the trail safely
    • Slow down more than usu­al, and give fel­low trail users more room than you may nor­mal­ly give should you need to pass.
    • Now is a time to pri­or­i­tize the expe­ri­ence of oth­ers. Keep trail inter­ac­tions safe, kind and respectful. 
  • Speak up if oth­ers are not fol­low­ing these rec­om­men­da­tions! Share this knowledge. 
    • If you encounter a group of folks shut­tling or dis­re­spect­ing social dis­tances, say some­thing to them in a respect­ful and infor­ma­tive way. 
    • We’re in this togeth­er and need to hold one anoth­er accountable. 
Covid flatten Curve
Please remember - your choices have consequences!

CA State Parks also has some great guide­lines to con­sid­er dur­ing this stress­ful time. 

What’s at risk if trails aren’t respect­ed dur­ing this time: 

  • Access to pub­lic spaces
    • Our access to out­door spaces is a priv­i­lege, not a right. 
    • LA and Marin parks have been shut down due to over­crowd­ing, and com­mu­ni­ties in San­ta Cruz and near­by areas could face the same thing if trail use guide­lines are not respected. 
  • Health of you and your loved ones
    • This virus trav­els in clus­ters, mean­ing once one a mem­ber of a house­hold is infect­ed, it is like­ly to infect oth­er mem­bers. The best way to stay healthy is to stay home or ride/​hike alone. 

Please remem­ber — your choic­es have con­se­quences! Any of the choic­es in the below gif could eas­i­ly apply to going out for a group ride on our trails. We know that times are hard right now, but please take the time to slow down and think through the way you use trails and inter­act with oth­ers dur­ing this time.