Authorities are asking motorists to use extra caution next weekend as thousands of motorcyclists will kick off the unofficial start of the Minnesota riding season during the Spring Flood Run on Saturday, April 21. The route takes riders along the scenic Mississippi and St. Croix Valley roadways between the Twin Cities and Winona.

To ensure a safe riding environment, law enforcement agencies in Red Wing, including the Minnesota State Patrol, and county sheriff's offices, will be out along the route. Some agencies will have extra enforcement to target speeding and impaired driving.

"This event being the start of the riding season, riders should be doing everything they can to prevent crashes and keep themselves safe on this and every ride," Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman said in a news release. "That means always riding smart, wearing the gear

and being aware that other drivers might not always see you. Taking those steps every ride could save a life."

Red Wing police and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Safety Center advise motorists to watch for motorcycles, look twice before entering a roadway or changing lanes and give riders room. Motorcycle riders are cautioned to be prepared for inattentive drivers and wear appropriate gear. For more information, visit