How to Host

Group Rides

Grant Wieler

One of the many things that makes Vermont’s mountain bike community so great is the Group Rides that various organizations hold out on the trails.

With the increase of organized rides throughout the State, the following guidelines on hosting a Group Ride help ensure that trails and trailheads don’t become overcrowded and minimize conflicts with other users or activities such as trail work or events.

What is a Group Ride, exactly?

A Group Ride is one that is publicized and open to the public, typically organized by a for profit or non profit organization. We wholeheartedly endorse casually linking up with friends to go for a ride. If you are planning on hosting a public Group Ride, please follow these guidelines.

Chapters

Once you have a Group Ride in mind, the number one most important thing to do is contact the local trail stewardship organization - in most cases a VMBA Chapter - at least 2 weeks prior to and before advertising your ride, especially if you anticipate more than 10 riders.

Check out the full list of our Chapters through the link below. There may be conflicting events, permits required, or other restrictions to be aware of.

Trail Etiquette

Trail Etiquette

Please respect trail etiquette when on a Group Ride. Practice proper trail manners including stopping to uphill traffic on multi-directional trails, not blocking trails, and being respectful to other trail users. Check out our full Responsibility Code on our website. Additionally, review Ride with Gratitude and Trails are Common Ground for additional resources on trail etiquette.
Learn More Grant Wieler

Trail Closures

Trail Closures

It extremely important to monitor trail conditions before departing for your Group Ride. Trails may be closed to weather or maintenance - another great reason to connect with your local Chapter!
Trail Conditions Three Peaks Media

Additional Questions

Here are common questions to assist hosting an amazing group ride.

If you have further questions, please contact us.

Do I need a permit to host a group ride?

Depends! This is why we highly encourage all individuals, groups, and organizations that are wanting to host a Group Ride to reach out to the local trail organization, most likely a VMBA Chapter, to determine what rules, permits, etc., are required. Some Chapters maintain networks that have formal approval or permit processes for group rides. If you plan on riding on state land, there are several triggers that would require a permit and coordinating with the Chapter would be required.

Can anybody host a group ride?

Pretty much! It highly depends on the Chapter. If you are a for-profit or non-profit organization looking to host a ride, please connect with the local Chapter to ensure that there are not any additional requirements.

If you are an individual looking to connect with an organization to host a Group Ride, reach out to your local Chapter.

We highly encourage that all Group Rides are free to the public. Rides that involve a fee to participate are considered events, may or may not be permissible on individual trail systems, and absolutely require coordination with the local trail manager.

What if I just want to go ride with a group of friends?

Casually linking up with friends to go ride is at the core of mountain biking and something we wholeheartedly support. What we are encouraging is that anyone organizing a group ride that is publicized and open to the public to follow the guidelines we’ve laid out above.

What about insurance?

Anyone acting officially on a Chapter’s behalf out on the trail is covered underneath VMBA’s insurance policy – another great reason to connect with your local Chapter before organizing a ride and consider partnering with them.

Where can I host a group ride?

Vermont has some of the best singletrack for many reasons, including the wide variety of terrain and networks that are great locations for all rider abilities. Remember, it is vital that we respect our access to trails and ride on sanctioned trails only. Chapters can help assist you with suggested routes or you can find plenty of networks on mobile apps such as Trailforks.