Colorado bike laws

Colorado Bicycle Laws

In Colorado, bicyclists and motorists have equal rights and responsibilities while using the roads. A big part of the Bicycle Colorado mission is to make bicycling in our state as safe as possible. We’ve made great inroads by working with state legislators and regulations staff to change and improve laws.

Rules of the Road, Path and Trail

  • Wherever you’re riding, be courteous and share the road. Act like a vehicle.
  • Ride as far right as is safe on the road, and obey traffic laws, signs and signals. That means stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, and yielding to pedestrians.
  • Ride to the right on multi-use paths and warn other cyclists, walkers, runners and path users before overtaking and passing them. Call out “passing” or ring your bike bell.
  • Ride only on open mountain bike trails and leave no trace. Yield or slow down for other users, and don’t scare the animals.
  • If a motorist behaves aggressively or dangerously, dial *CSP (*277) from your cell phone (just remember Colorado State Patrol). You’ll need to provide the vehicle license plate number (mandatory), location and direction of travel, vehicle and driver description, and a description of the aggressive behavior.

Our friends at 9News produced this brief video that gives you an easy overview of Colorado’s rules of the road.

3 Feet to Pass

Bicyclists get at least 3 feet of space when vehicles pass. To pass you safely, motorists can cross a center line when oncoming traffic is clear.

The Colorado State Patrol shows you more in this brief video.

Riding 2 Abreast

Two bicyclists may ride side by side when doing so does not impede vehicle traffic. Ride single file to allow vehicles to pass. When you’re riding curving canyon roads without bike lanes or shoulders, play it safe and ride single file.

Ride to the Right on a Two-Way Road

Ride as far right as is safe. You don’t have to ride in the gutter, and it’s good practice to ride a door’s width away from parked cars to avoid an unexpected open door. Riding in the right half of the lane is often the safest and most visible spot.

Ride on Either Side on a One-Way Street

You can ride on the far right or far left on a one-way street. But don’t ride upstream. Ride in the same direction as traffic.

Point the Direction You’re Going

You must signal your turns for 100 feet before you turn, but you can use either hand to turn right to keep control of your bicycle. Simply point where you’re going.

Ride in the Traffic Lane When Appropriate

You can take the travel lane if traffic is slow and the lane is narrow, if there is no shoulder or bike lane, when you’re approaching an intersection or if you’re moving with the flow of traffic. When you move to the center of the lane, you establish your position and prevent motorists from passing until there’s room.