Be a conscientious, prepared trail user on Vail Mountain this summer (letter) | VailDaily.com

Be a conscientious, prepared trail user on Vail Mountain this summer (letter)

Vail Daily Letter to the Editor

Well, the snow has melted and the trails will soon be open. With summer barbeques and trail use come safety reminders for all trail users.

Be aware that trails and roads on Vail Mountain are used for many purposes during the summer. Mountain bikes, hikers, horses, motorized vehicles, construction equipment and others may be encountered at any time. Please be courteous to each other and remember that uphill riders, horses and hikers always have the right of way.

Our Mountain Bike Trail and Maintenance teams have been diligently signing and checking trails for your enjoyment. Please always ride on designated trails only and obey all posted signs and warnings. Failure to do so may result in lift ticket and/or pass revocation.

We recommend all riders wear helmets, which this is a good habit for us all to get in. In addition, make sure you have the correct bike shoes, whether using clipless pedals or flat shoes. We want our families to enjoy riding on the mountain, but child carriers or tow-behind bikes are not allowed on the lifts or trails. In addition, all loose clothing, bags or packs should be firmly secured so they do not interfere with the bicycle's moving parts. It is always a good reminder to bring your bike in to have a quick tune-up at a number of shops in the valley to ensure it is in good working order before you hit the trails.

On Vail Mountain, we respect the wild and scenic nature of the area and we want you to do the same. Please do not litter or feed wildlife, and although hikers and bikers rarely encounter bears or moose, if you do, please remain calm and back away slowly. Vail asks that everyone is cautious and respectful of all wildlife.

We live in a mountain environment, and the weather can turn very quickly. Before you head out the door be sure to check a site like NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for the forecast and if afternoon thunderstorms and/or rain is expected. Getting caught at 11,000 feet unprepared is never a great way to spend the day!

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With the low snowpack this past winter, we are all worried about wildfire danger. Although we cannot control the weather, we can be diligent with our safety and the safety of others. Please only smoke in designated areas and keep your eye to the sky. If you do see smoke, call 911 immediately and work your way off the mountain.

Lastly, please review the Mountain Bike Responsibility Code from our friends at NSAA (National Ski Areas Association):

1. I will yield the right-of-way to other non-motorized trail users.

2. I will use caution when overtaking another and will make my presence known well in advance.

3. I will maintain control of my speed at all times.

4. I will stay on designated bike trails.

5. I will not disturb wildlife or livestock.

6. I will not litter.

7. I will respect public and private property.

8. I will always be self-sufficient.

9. I will not travel solo in remote areas.

10. I will observe the practice of minimum impact bicycling.

11. I will always wear a helmet whenever I ride.

Have a safe summer, and don't forget your sunscreen!

Happy trail riding and hiking,

Steve Johnson

Director of activities, Vail Mountain