Rules & Etiquette

Rules & Etiquette

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Bicycling on Colorado's Roads

  • Bicyclists have all the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle and can be penalized for violating traffic laws
  • Ride on the right, never ride against traffic
  • Ride in the right lane, except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn or avoiding hazards
  • Ride on paved shoulders and bike lanes when present and free of hazards
  • Obey traffic laws, signs, and signals
  • Ride no more than two abreast, returning to single-file if riding two abreast would impede the flow of traffic
  • On curving canyon roads without bike lanes or shoulders, play it safe and ride single file
  • Use hand signals to indicate left or right turns, slowing or stopping
  • Use a headlight, taillight, and reflectors at night
  • Act like a vehicle on the roads, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities
  • Never assume motorists see you or that you have the right-of-way
  • Wear safety equipment to protect yourself: helmet, glasses, and gloves
  • Expect the unexpected; your first responsibility is to be safe
E-Bike FAQ

  • What is an E-Bike? (From the Colorado Revised Statutes: Section 42-4-1412)
    • “Electrical assisted bicycle” means a vehicle having two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and an electric motor not exceeding seven hundred fifty watts of power. Electrical assisted bicycles are further required to conform to one of three classes as follows:
      • “Class 1 electrical assisted bicycle” means an electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.
      • “Class 2 electrical assisted bicycle” means an electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling but ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.
      • “Class 3 electrical assisted bicycle” means an electrical assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of twenty-eight miles per hour.
    • Are E-Bikes Legal on Trails Designated as Non-motorized in Colorado?
      • Yes and No. In Colorado, Class 1 and Class 2 E-bikes are not considered motor vehicles; rather they are like regular bikes: they are allowed on roads and multi-use paths. E-bikes, however, are still considered a motor vehicle on Federal lands such as BLM and National Forest. Furthermore, local jurisdictions may further restrict or prohibit the use of E-bikes.
    • Are E-Bikes Legal on Trails Designated as Non-motorized in Eagle County?
      • Yes and No. In Eagle County jurisdiction, E-Bikes are legal on non-motorized trails because the State laws apply as described above. However, E-bikes are not currently allowed on National Forest Service Land, which includes the upper sections of the Vail Pass Trail. Despite BLM Secretary’s Order 3376 in 2019, E-Bikes are still not allowed on BLM lands in Eagle County on non-motorized trails (as of February 2020).

Multi-Use Trails

  • While Colorado has no statewide statutes regulating multi-use trails, here is a list of suggested practices. Please be sure to obey any local regulations when using a multi-use trail, and use common sense and courtesy on the trail
  • Always ride, walk, and skate on the right side of the trail
  • Obey traffic control signs and markings on trail
  • Pass on the left, when the trail is clear of traffic
  • Give audible warning before overtaking other trail users
    • Ring your bike bell
    • Loudly and clearly call out "Passing"
  • Listen up! Headphones prevent you from hearing warnings
  • Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops
  • Do not stop on the trail, blocking other users
  • Ride single file so that other users may pass safely
  • Look for traffic before entering trail
  • Watch for the unexpected, especially with kids or dogs
  • Slow down when the trail is crowded, and travel at speeds that are safe and appropriate to trail conditions

International Mountain Bicycling Association Rule of the Trail

The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport's access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA's mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

  • Ride On Open Trails Only - Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.
  • Leave No Trace- Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
  • Control Your Bicycle- Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.
  • Always Yield Trail- Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.
  • Never Scare Animals- Animals can be startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.
  • Plan Ahead- Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding - and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.
Adapted from the Colorado Bicycling Statutes and the Bicycle Colorado website.

Trails Management

The regional trail system is managed and maintained cooperatively by individual communities. Each community is responsible for the portion of the trail that travels through their jurisdiction.
Please leash and clean up after your dog. Respect others using the trail system. For more information on Animal Laws, please see the Animal Control page.
Special Events Permit for the Eagle Valley Trail System and Special Event Release Form

Trail Section , Responsible Agency, Contact

  • Top of Vail Pass to gate in East Vail, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Frisco Maintenance Office, 970-668-3770
  • East Vail to Highway 6 at Dowd Junction, Town of Vail, Public Works, 970-479-2159
  • Dowd Junction West, Eagle County, ECO Trails, 970-328-3520
  • Avon to Edwards
  • Horn Ranch Open Space to Eagle
  • Eagle to Gypsum
  • Gypsum to Dotsero
  • Post Blvd. through Avon to Arrowhead limits, Town of Avon, Public Works, 970-748-4100
  • Town of Eagle, Town of Eagle, Public Works, 970-328-6678
  • Town of Gypsum to BLM Campground, Town of Gypsum, Public Works, 970-524-5024
  • Highway 6 Road Shoulders, CDOT, Gypsum Office, 970-524-0627
  • Glenwood Canyon Trail, CDOT, Glenwood Canyon Maintenance, 970-947-3481

For general maintenance comments or to clarify who manages a specific section of trail, please contact Kevin Sharkey at 970-328-3523.
If you have a trail maintenance question, comment or concern, please contact the agency responsible for the particular section of trail. The trail maps linked to this site include town boundary lines for reference. For specific information about Dowd Junction Trail management and seasonal closures, please see the Management of the Dowd Junction Trail or Deer Underpass Study documents.

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