Drivers & Bicyclists Urged To Be Cautious Ahead Of Loop The Lake Festival
The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public to be safe on the roads, as the annual Loop The Lake Festival takes place around Lake Bemidji this Saturday. Loop the Lake is a popular family-friendly ride, not a race, with as many as 1,200 bicyclists participating. The rolling start takes place from 7:30 AM until 10 AM.
Motorists should exercise extra caution along the route, especially where the route shares public roadways. The route includes sharing the following roadways: Birchmont Drive from BSU to Northwoods Access, Bemidji Ave/Rd from Selma Drive to Birchmont Beach Rd NE, Birchmont Beach Rd NE from Bemidji Rd to the Lake Bemidji State Park Entrance.
To accommodate a safe event for motorists and bicyclists, Birchmont Beach Rd (County Road 20) will be closed for eastbound traffic between Bemidji Rd (County Road 21) and Country Club Rd NE. The detour for eastbound traffic is north on Bemidji Rd to Sumac Rd NE then south on Country Club Rd NE to Birchmont Beach Rd NE where traffic can resume normally. Westbound traffic will not be detoured. The route includes the Paul Bunyan Trail on the east side of Lake Bemidji and bicyclists are required to stop at each road crossing, but motorists are urged to exercise heightened caution with the extra trail traffic. The road closures are expected to last from 8AM until noon on Saturday.
The following laws and safety tips can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
- Bicyclists may ride on all Minnesota roads, except where restricted.
- Bicyclists should ride on the road, and must ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Motorists must at all times maintain a three-foot clearance when passing a bicyclist.
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic control signs and signals, just as motorists.
- Motorists and bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to each other.
- Bicyclists must signal their turns and should ride in a predictable manner.
- Bicyclists must use a headlight and rear reflectors when it’s dark. To increase visibility, add a rear flashing light.
- Bicyclists should always wear helmets.
More information can be found at: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/.