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Loop the Lake Bike Festival to impact local traffic Saturday

BEMIDJI—With the annual Loop the Lake Bike Festival in Bemidji on Saturday, June 15, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office is reminding the public to be cautious of bicyclists sharing the road.

The Loop the Lake Bike Festival will be taking place on trails and roads around Lake Bemidji. This year's route includes sharing the following roadways: Birchmont Drive from Bemidji State University to Northwoods Access, Bemidji Avenue from Selma Drive to Birchmont Beach Road and Bemidji Road to the Lake Bemidji State Park Entrance.

To ensure the safety of bicyclists and motorists during the event, Birchmont Beach Road will be closed to eastbound traffic between Bemidji Road and Country Club Road Northeast. Traffic will be rerouted north to Bemidji Road to Sumac Road Northeast, then south on Country Club Road Northeast to Birchmont Beach Road Northeast where traffic will resume normally.

Loop the Lake is a popular family friendly ride, with as many as 1,200 bicyclists participating. A rolling start takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The road closure is expected to last from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Bicyclists will be riding with the traffic flow along the 17-mile ride. Motorists are encouraged to leave a 3-foot clearance when passing riders, a release said.

The Sheriff's Office urges the public to keep safety a priority throughout the day. To find more bike laws and riding safety tips, visit " target="_blank">www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/.