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Lori Paris, president of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, takes a spin Sunday on a bike set up so the person pedaling it powers the blender, which was used to make fruit smoothies as part of the festivities in Bemidji leading up to Monday's start of the MS TRAM, a 250-mile bike ride across Minnesota which helps raise funds to fight multiple sclerosis. Photo by Noemi Aylesworth | Special to the Pioneer

Minnesota bicycle tour kicks off in Bemidji

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BEMIDJI - A black flag, adorned with a skull and crossbones, stood out among the hundreds of cyclists gathering Sunday at Bemidji's waterfront.

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It is a trademark for the "Pirates in Tight Pants," a group of riders that affectionately named itself for reasons unknown to even themselves.

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