Mountain biking is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating sports around. One fantastic location for mountain biking is the Lake Tahoe region in El Dorado County. It boasts endless trails to explore. You get to experience both mellow scenic paths and hair-raising downhills. If you plan to try one of the Lake Tahoe mountain biking trails, do make it a point to ride responsibly. Following safety tips and travel etiquette will enhance your mountain biking experience.

Woman mountain biking rocky trail in El Dorado County

Gear up properly

Helmets are to mountain bikers what seat belts are to four-wheeler riders. Mountain biking at Lake Tahoe, or anywhere else for that matter, without wearing a helmet is akin to inviting trouble. You need to protect your head from injuries! Other safety gear you should consider are knee and elbow pads and body armor. Gearing up properly mitigates the crash damage.

woman on one of Tahoe's mountain bike trails

Besides a helmet, knee and elbow pads are useful when mountain biking Lake Tahoe’s trails.

Protect your eyes

You need to see the trail clearly at all times as well as protect your eyes from flying insects, dust, and rocks. Wearing sunglasses is highly recommended. Opt for a pair that comes with interchangeable lens features.

Research the trail

It’s always a wise idea to research the trail beforehand rather than being surprised around blind corners. Pushing your limits may give you that adrenaline rush but if you are not an experienced mountain biker, look for beginner and intermediate trails to avoid potential mishaps. If you are coming to El Dorado County for mountain biking at Lake Tahoe, check out The Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association’s (TAMBA) website or Trailforks.

Mountain biker on meadow trail in Lake Tahoe

You’ll find trails for all abilities at Lake Tahoe. Photo: Merick Rickman

Ride your bike responsibly

It’ll ensure you avoid accidents, don’t upset other trail users, and help keep trails open for everyone. Control your speed at all times and ride within your limits. Be sure to yield appropriately. Did you know that uphill riders have the right of way? That means if you’re riding downhill, you should slow and pull over to let them pass. Also, give fellow trail users a heads up on your presence. Use a bike bell, say hello, and be nice. Slow down for hikers and always yield to equestrians.

Ride open trails

Respecting trail closures is essential. If you are uncertain about a trail’s status, ask for clarification. Avoid trespassing on private land and obtain authorizations if required. There are some areas in Lake Tahoe where bikers are not permitted as they are protected as federal or state wilderness.

Ensure your bike is in good condition

Don’t ride a poorly maintained bike. The first thing you should do when you rent a bike is to check the breaks and the tires. Look for any loose or broken parts. If you’re riding your own bike, make sure to either take it in for regular maintenance or learn to do it yourself. Mountain biking is always more fun on properly cared for equipment!

Intrigued to try the sport? Plan a trip to El Dorado County and explore Lake Tahoe mountain biking trails. To ensure your safety and that of fellow travelers follow COVID-19 protocols like wearing a mask when you travel.