On what side of the trail am I supposed to stop? Don’t we drive on the right?!
Most bikers are aware that they should yield to all other traffic on the trail (hikers, horseback riders, etc.) – if not, now you know! In the case of two bicycles on the trail, the downhill mountain biker should yield to the uphill traffic. “I know thaaattt, but even when I do, people seem annoyed!” you say. As it turns out, you might be pulling over to the wrong side of the trail. Unlike driving a car, the “drive on the right, pass on the left” thing is essentially non-existent.
When yielding to uphill traffic on a mountain bike, you want to pull over and stop completely on the upsloping side of the trail! Many mountain bike trails are bench cut across mountains; so on one side the hill will be going up, and on the other side it’ll be sloping down. Stopping on the downhill side because it’s on your right, is a tempting idea, but not the appropriate method. This can put you at greater risk for tipping off the trail. It also makes it more difficult for the person passing to get by, since they’re now sandwiched between you and the uphill slope of the mountain.
Reference: Our friends Jen Hudak from Liv Cycling