El Paso Trails
Right of way
1. Mountain bikers- Downhill always yield to uphill riders. It is far easier to stop a downhill descent. Make room for the uphill rider and continue after they have passed. Watch out for beginners on the trail who might not know the right-of-way etiquette. Try and make room so they can keep their concentration and not fall. Give a friendly reminder of the uphill right-of-way. If you come up on a slower rider, make sure they know you and call out "trail" or "on your left," which means the faster rider is passing on the left.
2. Hikers-Mountain bikers always yield to hikers. Do NOT fly by and scare hikers. If you see hikers, slowly come to a controlled stop (no skid), put your outside foot down off the trail, and lean away so the hikers can pass. Nine times out of ten, hikers will see you coming and step off the trail to let you pass. A good rule of thumb is to say "hello" and tell them how many bikers are behind you. Let's keep everyone happy on our trails. We don't want a bad reputation for crazy mountain bikers.
3. Equestrian (horse)- Mountain bikers yield to equestrian riders as well. You might encounter a Bowen Ranch hand on horseback on our trails. Be very cautious and courteous with horseback riders. You can spook the animal, causing it to try and throw the rider off and hurt them-self. As soon as you see a horse, make a controlled stop at a distance and proceed to get off of your bike and communicate with the rider. If there is room, step off the trail with your bike and allow the rider to pass. If there is no room, you must search for a spot that will enable safe passage to the riders.
4. Wildlife (cattle mainly)- Treat cattle just as you would a horse. Get off of your bike and stroll. Do not spook the animals, as this can cause them to hurt themselves. We have a great relationship with Bowen Ranch, and our top priority is the safety of our riders and all the animals. (note: the picture above was taken in Sotol forest.)