Recreating and cruising on two wheels comes with responsibilities. Learn the etiquette, and rules of the road and trails to have the most fun while biking in the Aspen area.
How To Aspen Guides
Biking Tips & Best Practices
Basic Biking Tips from Locals:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- If there has been heavy rain, and the trail is wet, please let it completely dry before heading out. Deep tire tracks damage trails, most of which are maintained by hand.
- Keep the cell phone in your backpack, and refrain from taking calls on a trail or playing music on the speaker without a headset.
- Use an audible signal when passing others, and announce which side you will pass on.
- Who gets the right of way? Uphill bikers have the right of way of other bikers. Hikers have the right of way over bikers, and equestrians have right of way past both hikers and cyclists. So as a biker be sure to yield.
- Pack out your trash.
- Park only in designated parking areas.
- Stay on the trail to avoid damaging vegetation.
- Stay out of wildlife closure areas and other areas closed to the public.
- Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principals
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Road Biking and E-Cycling Safety Tips:
- Walk your bikes and e-bikes on the brick pedestrian malls.
- Ride with traffic (i.e.stay to the right side of the road) unless you are turning left or passing a fellow biker.
- Ride as close to the white line/shoulder as safely possible.
- Always bring a light when you're riding at night. A white light up front and a reflector behind are best.
- Let everyone know you are turning or stopping by signaling with your left or right arm which way you are turning. When you're stopping, signal with your left arm downward.
- Drivers, please give bicyclists plenty of space when passing. Up to three feet is the law.
- When riding on a multi-use path ride on the right side and give audible warnings when passing.
- You can ride side-by-side as long as you're not impeding traffic, and move to single file when appropriate so traffic can pass.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Stop at stop signs and obey traffic lights.
- E-bikes are prohibited on single-track trails
- Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on the Rio Grande Trail, where there is a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit.
- For more Colorado bike laws click here.
Before You Go:
- Know where you’re going. There are millions of acres surrounding Aspen and it’s easy to take a wrong turn towards the middle of nowhere.
- Always bring a map (a physical map is best – phone batteries die!).
- Buy an annual Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card (CORSAR) card at several locations in Aspen, including the Ute Mountaineer, Carl’s Pharmacy, or online. The purchase helps county sheriffs and SAR teams cover expenses, in case you are in need of emergency medical services or evacuation.
- Leave a note in your car with details of your destination and the date of your return.
- Take the ColoReady Test from the Colorado Tourism Office.
- Water is the key ingredient to acclimating and keeping you powered for the adventure ahead.
- Fill your water bottles to the brim even for short trips, and if you’ll be on the trail for a while, bring iodine pills or a water filter to replenish your supply.
- Along with water, bring enough food for the duration of your ride, and then some. If you find you’ve made a wrong turn, you’ll be hydrated and fed.
What to Bring:
- Dress for the worst-case scenario. Starting out for a ride on a bluebird Colorado day can quickly shift to rain, lightning, and yes, even snow at higher elevations.
- Stick extra layers and socks in your daypack and be ready to shelter overnight if needed.
- Pack a day pack with sunscreen, bandages, a cell phone, and, for longer distances, and a satellite phone that can alert Mountain Rescue Aspen to any trouble.
- If you’re biking don’t forget to bring a multi-tool, spare tires, and a small pump, if needed. Not even in Aspen will someone come out on the trail and change a flat tire for you.