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Loop the Lake Festival

Approximately one thousand bicyclists are expected to participate in the Bike Bemidji Loop the Lake Festival on Saturday, June 15. This is a family friendly ride, not a race and the course includes local roadways as well as trails. The route will share the roadway from Birchmont Drive near BSU to Northwoods landing, Bemidji Ave from Northwoods Landing to Birchmont Beach Rd, Birchmont Beach Rd to the Lake Bemidji State Park Entrance.

Birchmont Beach Rd (CSAH) 20 will have a detour in place from 8am-noon on Saturday, June 15. Eastbound vehicle traffic will travel in the westbound lane from Bemidji Ave to Country Club Rd with the eastbound traffic lane reserved for bicycles. Westbound traffic will detour northbound on Country Club Rd back to Bemidji Ave. Residents who live in the detoured area of Birchmont Beach Rd should only turn eastbound.

On the east side of Lake Bemidji, bicyclists will be using the Paul Bunyan Trail. They are required to stop at each road crossing but motorists are urged to drive with heightened caution when crossing the trail. 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 .

When driving

• 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

When bicycling

• 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.

 

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