They are multi-use paths, not "bike paths", and you will encounter all means of "transportation" and recreation. As such, pedestrian rules apply and, as the fastest users of paths, cyclists must yield to all other path users. Anticipate unexpected actions by others. Limit your speed so you can stop quickly and unexpectedly.
Colorado has no statewide statues regulating multi-use paths, but here is a list of suggested practices. Please be sure to obey any local regulations. For instance, Denver has a posted 15 mph speed limit on paths and has been known to use radar to issue warnings and tickets to cyclists.
Use common sense and courtesy
Always ride, walk, and skate on the right side
Obey traffic control signs and markings
Pass on the left, when the path is clear of traffic
Give audible warning before overtaking other trail users
- Ring your bike bell
- Loudly and clearly call out "Passing" or "On your left"
Listen up! Headphones prevent you from hearing warnings
Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops
Do not stop on the path, blocking other users
Ride single file so that other user may pass safely
Look for traffic before entering a path
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 path conditions