Bike Bemidji Loop the Lake Festival – June 18, 2022
June 7, 2022
Beltrami County, Bemidji, MN – June 2, 2022: Loop the Lake Festival will be held on Saturday, June 18 with as many as 1,000 bicyclists on the course in the morning and early afternoon. This is a family friendly ride, not a race and the course includes local roads as well as trails. The course includes the East/West trail along Paul Bunyan Drive and crosses Lakeshore Dr and 2nd Street near Paul Bunyan Park, Birchmont Drive from BSU to the Northwoods Landing, Bemidji Avenue North (County Road 21) north from Northwoods Landing to Birchmont Beach Road (County Road 20 to the Lake Bemidji State Park entrance.
TEMPORARY DETOUR: Birchmont Beach Road will have a detour routing west bound traffic north on Country Club Dr to Sumac and south on Bemidji Avenue (County road 21) from 8 am to noon. East bound automobiles will use the north side of Birchmont Beach Road (County road 20) as they travel to Country Club Dr. On the East side of Lake Bemidji, the bicyclists will be using the Paul Bunyan Trail and they are required to stop at each road crossing but motorists are urged to drive with heightened caution when crossing the trail. The detour will be removed after riders clear the detoured area.
The following laws and safety tips can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. More information can be found at https://www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/safety-education.html .
• Be patient when passing a bicyclist - slow down and pass only when it’s safe. Allow clearance of at least three feet.
• Look before you merge - check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
• Be on the lookout - watch for and yield to bicyclists before making a turn.
• Use extra caution around young bicyclists - children’s movements can be unpredictable.
• Be respectful - don’t speed past a bicyclist to make an upcoming right turn. It’s easy to misjudge how fast bicyclists are traveling.
• Exit your vehicle safely - look for bicyclists before opening your car door.
• Think before you honk - honking may startle a bicyclist and cause a crash.
• Stay alert and avoid distracted driving
• Follow the law - obey all traffic signs and signals. Ride in the same direction as traffic.
• Ride predictable - maintain a straight course and avoid weaving between parked cars.
• Communicate your intent - look, yield to traffic and signal before turning or changing lanes.
• Use extreme caution near commercial vehicles - pass only on the left and recognize drivers’ blind spots.
• See and be seen - wear bright colors, reflective gear and use head and tail lights.
• Protect yourself - wear a helmet.
• Stick to roads and trails - sidewalk riding puts you at risk for crashes at driveways and intersections. Always yield to pedestrians.
• Avoid distracted bicycling - put away mobile devices and headphones.
Ernie Beitel, Beltrami County Sheriff
Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office