Guidelines for Mountain Bikers when riding and/or attending ZEP MTB CAMPS programs, during COVID-19

(These guidelines are subject to change as legislation and situations continue to evolve)



ZEP and the PMBIA have developed a set of guidelines and practical advice, to help the mountain biking public safely enjoy the outdoors, while managing risk for themselves and others, during COVID-19.

Mountain biking provides many health and mental benefits, so it’s important in areas where riding is permitted, people get outdoors to stay active and healthy.

The purpose of this document is to therefore assist mountain bikers in adapting their routine and behaviours before, during and after a ride, so they can avoid the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Furthermore, these guidelines are proposed under the context that in the coming weeks, many trail networks begin to reopen, if they are not already. While some countries, states or regions are looking into easing some restrictions, mountain bikers should only ride when it is permitted by their local authorities and their local trail networks and parks, are officially open.

COVID-19 has put the world on hold, and forced many of us to stay indoors or within our close, local communities. By keeping a distance from other people, we not only decrease the risk of infecting ourselves, but also decrease the risk of unintentionally infecting others. It is therefore imperative these guidelines be strongly considered before heading out on your next ride.

This document has been prepared by the PMBIA Technical Director (Owner of ZEP MTB CAMPS), PMBIA Board of Directors and Technical Committee.



  • Before leaving your home, practice a daily self-assessment check, like the one below. If you answer “yes” to any question, seek medical attention immediately and avoid going on a ride.

COVID 19 Self Assessment Check
(Government of Canada)

  1. Are you experiencing any of the following:
    • Severe difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling to breathe or speaking in single words)
    • Severe chest pain
    • Having a very hard time waking up
    • Feeling confused
    • Losing consciousness
  2. Are you experiencing any of the following:
    • Mild to moderate shortness of breath
    • Inability to lie down because of difficulty breathing
    • Chronic health conditions that you are having difficulty managing because of difficulty breathing
  3. Have you traveled to any countries outside Canada (including the United States) within the last 14 days?
  • Do not go on a ride or attend a clinic if you:
    • feel ill or have COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how minor.
    • have been in contact with a sick person within the last 14 days.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 25 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay informed and follow the advice from your local healthcare authorities.



  • Only ride within your local community. Do not travel to another community to ride, especially small ones, since they will have fewer health resources to manage patients.
  • Only travel with people within your own household, when traveling to and from trails.
  • Do not congregate in large groups at the trailhead at the beginning or end of each ride or clinic.
  • Avoid riding in large groups. This will reduce the chance of transmitting or catching the virus, while helping to maintain social distancing measures.
  • If driving and when possible, find a way to park your vehicle somewhere else than the trailhead parking lot. Ride your bike and meet your friends at a meeting point on the trail (trail intersection or special trail feature), where you expect no traffic and where no one else is gathering.



  • Take it easy and ride within your limits! This is not the time to have an accident and expose anyone riding with you to contracting COVID19 while providing you with first aid, and bring further stress to the capacity of the medical system.
  • Only ride when and where it is permitted by your local authorities and on trails that are officially open. Respect any and all trail and/or park closures.
  • Try to organize a day and time to ride when trails will be quiet and more free from other members of the public.
  • Do not shake hands, high five or hug! It’s tempting but keep that distance!
  • Be prepared! Be self-sufficient! Carry a decent tool kit, water, snacks and first aid kit, so you can look after yourself or the few members in your group, should you need. It would be wise to carry a face mask, hand sanitizer and rubber gloves in your First Aid kit, on every ride.
  • Do to not touch another person’s bike, equipment, food, or water! Keep your hands to yourself and maintain social distancing measures at all times.
  • Perform a thorough bike and equipment check before the ride. This will reduce the chance of mechanicals and incidents during the ride, that may require help from other people.
  • Wash your bike and equipment thoroughly after each ride!



  • RIDE AT YOUR OWN PACE! Stay in Control! Fun, no pressure environments are key for safe, effective learning, while reducing the probability of a hospital visit! Stay calm and ride smart.
  • LEAVE EACH OTHER SPACE! Distance between each rider on the trails is crucial for safety and learning and is measured in seconds. While we typically recommend a distance of 3-6 seconds between riders, a distance of 6-10 seconds would be wise during COVID-19 to help reduce the
    transmission of the virus through heavy breathing from preceding or adjacent rider.
  • STOP IN A SAFE PLACE! When stopping, all riders must stop to the side, so the trail is free for other users to continue through. When stopped, maintain at least 6ft (2m) space between yourself and others, at all times.
  • IT’S NOT A RACE! Only pass a rider when there is at least 6ft (2m) space. Signal your intention, slow down, and wait for the other rider to provide sufficient space, before passing. Be kind and take it easy.



  • Choose easy trails and make conservative decisions.
  • Avoid high-risk situations (technical trails, jumps, drops, etc.) and focus on the simple act of being outside and getting some exercise, rather than pushing your skills.
  • Warm-up gradually… take it easy both physically and technically. Choose routes in areas that support emergency access.
  • Risk management is about knowing and understanding the risks involved with any activity you choose to do. Following these four steps will help your decision-making process:
    • Identification: know what potential and actual risks exist.
    • Assessment: how much of a risk each factor represents.
    • Prioritization: prioritize your risks based on the probability they might occur and the consequence should they do. If it’s unlikely and the consequence is low, you’re probably good to go!
    • Plan of action: manage the identified risks with informed decisionmaking. Be sensible. Plan ahead for a safe ride but be prepared to back down and change the plan if things change. Now isn’t the time to be exploring new trails in new places or attempting trail features for the first time!


ZEP MTB CAMPS committed to providing our clients and the industry, with regular updates that pertain to the ongoing success and safety of the global mountain biking industry.

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us via email at


Sincerely yours,

Paul Howard
Owner/Director/Head Coach