Bike Parks, Passing slow riders etiquette


Jul 4, 2006
Just curious about peoples thoughts about passing etiquette.

At the end of 2007 season at Diablo I found myself getting stuck behind slower riders who would not pull over and let me pass. In some cases I would overtake these slower riders after giving them some time to pull over. Once or twice I caused a slower rider to crash as I startled them as I passed.

When I started Downhilling I would always pull over if I heard a faster rider behind me. It seems that there are many riders, particularly at the bike parks who will not pull over when a faster rider is behind them. If there was a faster rider behind me I would still pull over and let them pass even though I am an experienced DHer and go reasonably fast all the time.

I think the bike parks (Whistler, Diablo ... etc) should put signs up advising riders to pull over and let faster riders pass.



Turbo Monkey
Dec 12, 2006
I had a ton of problems with this at Diablo. During my one practice run for one race I got stuck behind a kid who was pulling nascar moves to try to stop me from passing. When we got to the bottom of the course he wouldn't look at me. It was pretty weird.


May 6, 2007
When I was at mammoth I had a huge problem with begginers that rented downhill bikes and thought they could ride the downhill trails. I'd round a corner hauling a$$ and find someone walking down the trail or riding one footed and I'd have to bail off the trail usually resulting in a crash.


Jun 4, 2007
i try to be as courteous as possible to other riders of all skills but sometimes you gotta just give them a "heads up" or something
i always let faster riders go past when i was learning

Dangerous E

May 24, 2006
Coorstown, CO
yeah, sometimes beginners are so focused on not eating sh*t that they can't hear you. however, that doesn't entitle the individual to hold up traffic, gotta be aware of what's happenin'. i always seem to get stuck behind dudes at Keystone that pedaled up and then think that since they didn't take the lift up they have the right to go slow on the descent. that aint cool.

but yeah, common sense dictates that if you're going slow, put your ego aside and let people pass.


site moron
Jul 5, 2006
Vernon, NJ
if you see there is someone slow ride behind them and dont worry about it... places like diablo the trails are pretty broken up and its easy to pass them in open sections when i would ride if i had a slow rider stuck infront of me i would let it be. you take another run and have better luck.


May 26, 2006
NH / Mass (ugh)
If I run up on someone on an open section Ill give a friendly on "your right!" or other warning. If I'm in the woods and there is enough space to pass Ill give a friendly shout out and if they don't or cant move for me to pass ill pull over for a minute or two and let them get far enough ahead where I won't immediately run up on them once I start up. Just like skiing or snowboarding, the rider in front of you has the right of way IMO. Expert/pro practice, qualifying or a race is a different story, but for freeriding I don't like to be run up on so I wont run up on anyone else if I can help it. The last thing a beginner rider needs is to be intimidated by feeling like they are always in the way.


Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2006
mill creek, WA (now in Surrey UK)
yea, i usually yell rider, and if they dont move, im generally nice and wait till a spot where its safe to pass.

even though when i was new i would pull over for faster people, there is the unsual case that still happens though, and i still move over, because i know i hate being stuck behind people

first good topic ive read on here in a few days! :clapping::monkeydance:
rep added!


Nov 14, 2007
Maryland, east coast.
It's forums like this that should be used to establish rules on the trail and only if everyone follows it will it work. For instance, in the U.S. people ride on the right in their car and pass on the left. I always yell out, "On your left!" and go around the person on their left. I know there are some that feel it isn't fair when they have a good grove going and come bombing down their favorite run and some dumba$$ is in your way ruining your run through your favorite part but look at it this way, we are all mountainbikers and all have a right to be on the trail no matter what level. As a rule, if someone yells on your left, the person in front should realize it is then their duty to let you go by. If someone purposely does not, then like on the road, you can stop and fight or let it go. I pick to let it go. It's not worth it. You'll be down that run again so it's not a life or death issue. There is also a problem hearing someone from behind with wind blowing over your ears, so sometimes it may not be they are being rude. Now in racing, I've never raced bikes, but if you were in my way, that's racing and all parties know the risk. While racing, it's money on the line. On the trail, it's just riding for fun. Not to mention, if you do take someone out on a trail just for them blocking your fast decent, remember the world we live in. That person can file a civil suit against you for failing to show proper care in passing them going down hill thus causing them bodily injury. People sue over spilt coffee in drive thru windows.

The rules on the slopes when skiing are, the person above hill coming down can see the person below in front of them, not the opposite So, the responsibility falls on the uphill skier to navigate around the person in front of them in a safe speed and manner that does not startle that person into going off the trail, crashing or running into them. So too should it be with the uphill biker. Hollar loud, "on your left," and take caution when passing around the lower hill rider. And lower riders should heed the warning.

Now, as to up hill riders, the uphill rider has the right of way. Reason is the downhill rider can stop and easily gain momentum going down hill. It is more difficult to start up again going up hill once you stop as it is hard to gain momentum. I can't stand when someone gets in my way when I go up hill. However, I know what it's like flying downhill too. In my case, to be polite, if it's not a steep hill and I see three guys flying down hill, I pull over and let them fly by. I know they're having fun. But on a very steep hill, hell no.., I stand my ground.

The moral really is, there are rude people all over the world. And the downhill rider who is in the right of way, would say, "jerk" if you don't ride with respect to him, and the uphill rider will say, "jerk" if you don't get out of his way. It comes down to what kind of person you really are, fair and understanding of other people, or a rude jerk.

I'd rather make friends than have enemies.