The golden rules of mountain biking are far less strict than those of road biking for one reason in particular — it’s more of a solitary sport. It’s just you and the bike and if it is more than just you, it’s relaxed with everyone there for a good time.
Cycling on public roadways is governed by strict rules. It’s because of road cycling’s heritage, and the fact that the roads are shared with motorists and other cyclists. Mountain biking, with its devil-may-care freewheeling attitude, is more like the unwritten code of the west, the last of the cowboys, or throw caution to the wind.
It’s one thing to say that there are no rules in mountain biking, but those who do it on a regular basis know that to stay safe, certain principals apply that help keep the rubber side down.
Test Of Time
The golden rules of mountain biking are not written in stone but rather in mud that may get washed over a bit with the next rain. Instead of thinking of them as rules that you must follow, think of them as dos and don’ts, or suggestions that have withstood that last rain storm.
Of course, if you’re riding a mountain bike on pavement, the same rules of the road that apply to road bikes, cars or other motorized vehicles also apply to mountain bikes. But when you’re out there, careening down the side of a hill, the golden rules of mountain biking are there, for the most part, to keep you safe, and to provide you with the most fun.