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Midsummer Bike Tour

The Northwest Water Carnival saw a new addition to its slew of activities last year in the form of the Detroit Lakes Midsummer Bike Tour. When over 100 riders participated in the initial event, the decision to make it annual was easy.

"Bruce Imholte approached us a couple years ago to ask if we were interested," said Kim Bettcher, program director at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center and coordinator for the event. The two teamed up with Glenn Gifford and Lou Guzek, both avid area bikers, and "we decided to give it a try," said Bettcher.

And what better weekend for a bike tour than during Water Carnival?

Check-in for the ride will begin at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 11. Riders can start out at any time between 7 and 9.

"The route is really pretty," said Bettcher. "It's a nice leisurely ride through the lakes area."

The tour offers three loops to choose from, all beginning at the Pavilion and continuing around the lakes. They range from 13 to 43 miles in length, with the longest winding into the Cormorant lakes area.

"The short route is a good family route," Bettcher said. There are food and water stops throughout each course, as well.

New this year is the St. Mary's Kids' Ride, which costs only $5 and includes a T-shirt. It will be a short loop through the park or along the beach, and is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

"Another thing that's new this year and kind of cool is the opportunity to leave in groups," Bettcher said. For individuals who come to the ride alone, groups will be put together to go out every 15 minutes from 8 to 9 a.m.

The event will be extended this year to include food, drink and music for a little more fun following the return of the bikers. Both the Detroit Lakes and Pelican Zorbaz will be offering free chips and salsa to riders who take part in the tour. Also, The Lakeside, like last year, will be offering refreshments following the race. Other sponsors include Precision Printing, Lakeshirts, R&G Subaru and St. Mary's.

The proceeds from the bike tour will go toward community youth programming around the Detroit Lakes area.

It is recommended that riders register ahead of time, although sign-up will be available the morning of the tour. The cost for a single rider is $15 before July 3, and $20 after. For a family of up to five members, the fee is $50 before July 3, and $60 anytime after that.

Registration can be done at the DLCCC, or online at www.dlccc.org. The Web site also has maps of the event's routes. Any other questions can be directed to Kim Bettcher at 218-844-4221 ext. 108 or kim@dlccc.org.

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