As with any outdoor activity, as a mountain biker you should be aware of the impact of your riding on both the surrounding environment and other users of the trail. A few key points to keep in mind are:
- Stay on the trail: Irresponsible riding and riding off-trail damages erodes the soil and damages the flora and fauna habitat and micro ecosystems that are formed and depend on this soil for survival. For example, in the Wadi Degla area the fragile top soil that took thousands (maybe millions? I am not a geologist) of years to develop is very easily damaged by uninformed and irresponsible actions of MTBrs and off-roaders (Also, some companies abused the Wadi to obtain “cheap” raw materials for their industries. In the late 1990s, a company in the road building and maintainance business grated the topsoil on the Wadi plateaus by the truckload to use the gravel in asphalt production. I am informed that such actions are illegal now and that limestone mining is limited to areas on the edges of the Wadi. Hopefully this is true). Staying on trail requires good pre-ride planning and riding within your ability. The wadi is a desert, but it is also home to many a species of wildlife the habitat of which is severly affected by careless human intrusion.
- When riding in groups, ride inline on single tracks rather than side-by-side: Again, this will ensure tracks remain defined and limit destruction to the topsoil.
- Do not litter: This goes without saying, but just in case…the only thing you should leave nehind is your tire tracks. The wadi is plagued enough by the wind blowing trash from the adjacent dumps. If you truely care, you should write to the Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs about the problem.
- Yield to hikers/runners: There isn’t much traffic in the wadi most of the time, but this goes for any trail: You should always yield a narrow trail to fellow “unmounted” trail users or other riders going uphill (if you’re going in the opposite direction)