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  1. What are the rewards of climbing? One of the best answers: DH flowy fun!

    In general… I always yield to a DH rider. 1) If I am climbing, I want to take my time. Why would I make the DH rider wait for me? 2) Yielding to a DH rider won’t take too much time, vs. my point #1. 3) DH rider already paid the price of climbing, DH rider deserves the reward of DH fun! 4) And finally, a DH rider… 80% of the time, is wrapping up his/her ride, ready to go back home. Let him/her be!

  2. “Uphill always has the right of way” may have worked in older times, but in modern times, with modern trail design and equipment, it makes way more sense that downhill riders should typically have the right of way. Also, I’d imagine that this balance can vary region to region, especially when sight lines are more obstructed by dense flora or steep pitches.

    Climbers can detect the downhill riders way sooner, and can more easily and safely get to the side. Sometimes, downhill riders have a split second to spot and adjust to the climbers, and collisions can occur if the climber is stubborn. I personally always yield when I am climbing, and while I in no way expect climbers to yield to me while descending due to the old-school IMBA rule of thumb, it is the safest and best practice in today’s age IMO. Thankfully, I see this practice 90% of the time in New England, at least over the past 2 seasons – uphill riders almost always are now yielding.

    1. Great points! I typically pull off the trail if I hear someone coming down as well. It’s dangerous to have the mindset that uphill traffic “always” has the right of way.

  3. All your conditional reasonings seem to be a moot point.
    Like who is gonna remember all that?

    The person going uphill should ALWAYS have the right of way. Just keep it simple.
    It’s a rarity you will come across a perfect storm, where both riders coming in opposite directions at the same time. Also, it is less of struggle for you, the downhill person, to slow down, and allow the other rider to pass while there’s a greater difficulty for the person going uphill. And you having common courtesy is not by any means a difficult thing to do.

    though honestly, the best trails are one way only.

    1. When I see you riding DH, I will yield to you. I want you to have fun and enjoy the fun of DH. This is your reward! You already conquered a tough climb, now you deserve the DH part.

      In Vegas, most of the time, like 90% of the time, we yield to DH riders.

  4. Every place I’ve biked, downhill reigns supreme. Sorry for the XC folks. Sullivan Canyon in So Cal has a fire service road right next to the single track – super flowy, super fast, all obstacles built with downhill berms ONLY. And yet there are a few old farts who still ride uphill on the blind cornered single track. Sad

  5. A lot of enduro-types seem incredulous about this, but XC is still enormously popular (I’d wager the majority of riders globally, if not the US), and for us XCers, the uphill is a huge part of the fun.

    A lot of the time, if I’m climbing a technical steep, putting a foot down is not an option. At best, it will be impossible to get restarted, at worst, I will fall. That’s why the old IMBA rule exists.

    Unfortunately, ebikes have made this conflict worse, since ebikers often have no concept of what it takes to get up a 15% section of rooty singletrack on muscle power alone.

    But, of course, common sense rules supreme. Once, a rider yelled at me and forced me off the trail on the last 30 meters of a singletrack descent, where it was very difficult to stop. She could have easily waited 5 seconds before starting the trail, and there would have been no problem, but she decided to righteously assert “the rule” instead. Super frustrating.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately “right of way” isn’t so cut and dry anymore. I definitely agree that uphill traffic has the right way the majority of the time, but as you mentioned, some people take that to the extreme.

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