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Winona, MN (KROC-AM News) - A forecast calling for summerlike weather this weekend is expected to result in a very busy Fall Flood Run on Saturday.

Thousands of motorcyclists are expected to participate in the annual ride between the Twin Cities and Winona. It's the 56th year for the event, which raises money for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is urging both motorcycle riders and motorists to exercise extreme caution this weekend. Officials note that preliminary figures indicate 53 motorcyclists have died in Minnesota roadways this year. Prior to the pandemic, the motorcycle death toll in Minnesota for all of 2019 was 44.

“The Fall Flood Run offers a great time and amazing route to ride, and riders and motorists can keep it that way by riding smart, driving smart and looking out for each other,” said Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol. “With the heartbreaking pace at which motorcyclists are losing their lives on the road this year, we want riders to have fun but don’t ease up on safety. Ride sober. Watch your speed. Wear the gear. Drivers, always look twice for motorcyclists and check your blind spot before switching lanes. Traveling down the road is not a competition with other riders and motorists. It’s about safely sharing the road.”

The Department of Public Safety offers these safety tips:

Riders

  • Be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding, keeping your speed in check and maintaining a two-second following distance.
  • Wear the gear. Motorcyclists should wear a DOT-approved helmet and brightly colored protective gear for visibility and protection.
  • Don’t drink and ride. Every year about one-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve impaired riders.

Motorists

  • Watch for motorcycles. Due to the smaller size of motorcycles, their speed and distance is more difficult to judge.
  • Always look twice before entering a roadway, turning left or changing lanes.
  • Give riders room by maintaining a two-second following distance and check blind spots.
  • Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.

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