Preparations For 6th Annual Loop The Lake Underway
Every year, the Loop the Lake Festival brings in a large crowd of bicyclists. Organizers say over 900 participants have already registered for the 17-mile bike ride. Muriel Gilman, a member of the steering committee with Loop the Lake, says the festival was started a few years ago to celebrate Bemidji being a designated bike-friendly community.
“We have good facilities, we have good trails, parking places, educational events that make Bemidji bike friendly to bicycles,” Gilman said.
The route will be the same as previous years, which will start at the west end of the Sanford Center, and participants can start showing up at 7:30 a.m. Gilman says that route will go clockwise into town and that there will be a detour on the north end of the lake.
“We have a lane closure which will make it very pleasant for bicyclists, but it will impact people driving east on County Road 20, but we’ll have a detour there and we’ll have it signed,” Gilman said.
Gilman says they’re hoping for sunshine but to also come prepared.
“After last year when there was a lot of rain, heavy rain at the end of the event, it’s a good idea if they pack a rain jacket or even a garbage bag to keep them somewhat dry. We would love them to wear a helmet, we don’t require it so bring a helmet, bring a water bottle if you have it and sunscreen,” Gilman said.
Gilman said the bike festival is not about the ride but about the experience.
“You’re riding right along the lake and so many places,” Gilman said. “So it’s a chance to show off our great town.”
Gilman said there will be no same day registration.