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Flood Run to draw thousands of motorcyclists to St. Croix River this Saturday

Morning headlines from April 19, 2024
Morning headlines from April 19, 2024 01:50

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The 59th annual Flood Run motorcycle ride is this Saturday, and the Minnesota State Patrol is asking bikers and motorists alike to be extra careful while cruising beside the St. Croix River.

The event starts in Lake St. Croix Beach on the St. Croix Trail. Thousands of riders will then take Highway 61 and travel southeast along the river through Winona, before crossing over to Wisconsin and riding northwest up the other side.

The state patrol says its troopers and members of other agencies will be out patrolling this year's ride amid an uptick in Minnesota motorcycle fatalities. Just last year, 69 riders died on state roads.

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The Flood Run in 2017 WCCO

"Making smart choices can save lives," said Jay Bock with the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center. "Deadly crashes are preventable, and drivers and riders should work together to make sure everyone can enjoy the event and make it home safely."

Bock says a third of all motorcycle-related fatalities are due to driving under the influence. Besides staying sober, Bock advises riders to wear helmets and other protective gear, and to maintain a two-second following distance. 

Motorists are advised to give bikers a three-second following distance and to always look twice at intersections, while changing lanes, or making left-hand turns.

According to event organizers, the Flood Run began in 1965 when a dozen riders made a pilgrimage to Winona to help fill sandbags. The Winona Post says the St. Croix rose seven feet in seven days that April, causing the river to swell to a record 20.77 feet.

All proceeds from the event benefit Gillette Children's.

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