posted on his blog some awesome gravel road riding etiquette thoughts and pointers. I hope Ari doesn't mind, but here are his bullet points. (You still should follow the link to read the rest.)
1: People live out there and need to be respected.
2: Do not leave your garbage out there. pack it in your jersey pocket or on bike and dispose of properly
3: If nature calls, find a spot where you are not visible.
4: Ride on the right side of the road so you don't get killed by a truck coming over a hill.
5: Be an ambassador and don't make the
rest of us look like idiots. Wave and say hi. Maybe one day a rider
will be stranded and a farmer will offer a ride.
6: If you have an encounter with a
dog, for your own safety don't harm the dog as you will be harmed by a
farmer that has the dog to protect his property. Most dogs will let up
once you pass the property line. If they don't, get off the bike and use
the bike as a shield until you can get away. Refrain from spraying the
poor animal with any chemicals. We had an accident where a repair bike
had an unlocked canister of pepper spray and when one of our mechanics
went to put the bike on the stand that thing went out and sprayed us. It
was terrible and it took me all day to feel better.
7: If you gravel grind at night please
use a blinker in back and a bright white light in front. A cyclist just
got killed in my old neighborhood while a pickup truck was passing a
slow moving vehicle. It had a head on collision with a cyclist that was
riding in the dark with no lights. The unfortunate cyclist was a family
man on his way to work. It bums me out tremendously.
Great tips! These are super important things to me as well. If you ride in Trans Iowa, you are an ambassador for cycling, gravel road riding, and lastly- for Trans Iowa. Now normally we don't ever have an issue with these things, but I stress these points, as does Ari, because we care about riding and how cyclists are perceived by the public. But more than this- we care about your safety, and the freedom we have to be able to do this activity.
Besides, most of this is just plain smart.
Special thanks to Ari for his brilliant post. I hope you do not mind my borrowing some of it!