(Editor’s note: Dear Pedalheads is a weekly feature that will run through the summer with members of the local Team Whistler cycling crew answering your questions about all things biking. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This week’s question:
Is it important that trails be ridden in one direction? Should it be a concern for other riders, or for erosion?
Signed, One-way rider
Dear One-way rider,
This is a tough question.
It really depends on the trail and where you are riding in North America. Most trails can be ridden in both directions with little or no adverse effect to the trail in terms of erosion.
However, a lot of trails are built so they flow better in one direction compared to the other. You will enjoy them more going with the flow, thus avoiding walking up the steeper spots that were designed to go down.
Then, of course, if you are going up a longer, steep trail, you better keep your eyes and ears alert for people coming down. This is dangerous because they will be concentrating on the trail and not expecting someone coming up.
I have seen some trails that are one-way only but they are always marked well. You would have to be blind not to see this.
Now you have the 'people factor' and by this I mean people that think something should be done a certain way. This is the person that is not giving you friendly advice but telling you, sometimes aggressively, how it is. It is best to just say: “I just want to test the trail in this direction to see how it flows,” and move on.
I find it fun to change directions sometimes. It is like finding a whole new trail. You see different scenery and the terrain rides completely differently. Become a two-way rider and broaden your horizons.
Happy two-way trails,