Advice for MTB Facilities During Covid-19



Following the publication of the Scottish Government’s route map through and out of the Covid-19 crisis, this document provides outline advice from Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) to bike hire retailers to support a safe environment to reopen to visitors.   


Under this new guidance all bike hire retailers can open within phase 2 guidelines. All facilities should be operated in line with Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene, which can be accessed here.

Before Opening

• Contact your Local Authority and/or your Landlord to ask for their advice on opening your bike hire operations

• Contact your insurance provider to ensure your operation is insured when opening

• Risk assessments of trails should be conducted with the following in mind:

The priority should be on easy (Green) trails then through to Severe (Black) trails

If a trail has been inspected within the time frames outlined in your risk assessment then there is not the requirement to do a new risk assessment before opening (please check this with your insurer)

• Gates or entry points - where possible minimise points of contact that are likely to see multiple people needing to touch them. Try to leave them open where possible. 

• Car parking – if you manage a car park as part of your facility seek advice from your Local Authority on good practice on managing their use.

• Toilets – may be opened following guidance from the Scottish Government.

• Staff - ensure that relevant workplace guidance is followed by staff and ensure existing health and safety advice is maintained and aligned. This should be detailed in the risk assessment.

• Signage – where possible provide signs (free downloads) to encourage:
- riders to maintain 2m distance
- ride well within your own limits
- use your own hand sanitiser before and after touching anything at this facility
- no spectating (except if parents/carers supervising a child or vulnerable adult)


Please ensure the following is communicated on a regular basis using your social media accounts and website:

• Online booking only – bike hire is only permitted via online sales

• Car Parking – make it clear to customers if car parking is possible at your facility. Be clear where they should park and that they should

• Build up skill level - Many months off trails may have resulted in rusty trail skills.  Explain that emergency services are still under pressure and, if appropriate, remind riders that it is highly unlikely that mountain rescue are back to full operations – help riders consider the fact that a full rescue may not be possible and may take longer to get to you.

• Maintain social distancing – at meeting points/trail entry/pump tracks/skills areas riders should maintain a strict 2m distance. 

• Be nice – explain that we are all sharing busy local outdoor spaces. Saying hello, giving way, smiling and a friendly wave – can brighten up everyone’s day.

• Spectators: Consider signage and communications in advance to discourage spectating, particularly, if there are areas where riders (or public) congregate to watch other riders. Spectating should be discouraged to avoid groups forming. (Parents/carers supervising a child or vulnerable adult are an exception to this, but they should ensure they remain physically distanced from others.)

• Personal hygiene – tell riders they should wash their hands before and after riding. Bring hand sanitizer with them. Don’t share mobiles, equipment, food or drink.  Detailed guidance is available at;

• Who shouldn’t ride - no one who is self-isolating should undertake outdoor sports activity (as per NHS guidance, anyone symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days, household members should self-isolate for 14 days). Consider including this on websites and other advanced communication to users, and on signage at facility.


- Along with leaving gates and entry points open where possible. Facilities should consider, if at all possible, cleaning regimes for any touch points and any non-essential equipment (e.g. benches beside pump tracks, skills areas). Please read more at the official guidance (below)

Signage (Free downloadable signs – feel free to add your own logos etc)

- main poster with key messages
- riders should maintain 2m distance
- ride well within your own limits
- use your own hand sanitiser before and after touching anything at this facility


Any new hazard needs to be properly understood before it can be managed. Covid-19 is a hazard that we are all learning to manage and live with. As we receive further information to assist in the safe ongoing management of your facility, we will advise as soon as possible. Further advice will also be supplied in advance of each phase of the lockdown route map.

We hope this advice helps you open your facility in a managed and safe manner. Please don’t feel pressured to open your facility until you feel it is safe to do so.