Riders and motorists should exercise extreme caution this weekend along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers as thousands of motorcyclists take to the road for the Fall Flood Run. As many as 30,000 riders will be traveling between the Twin Cities and Winona on Saturday, Sept. 15.  

So far this season, 49 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads, according to preliminary reports, compared to 45 at the same time last year. With the current number of rider fatalities up slightly from this time last year, riders and motorists are encouraged to safely share the road. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials ask riders to take safety into their own hands and motorists to look twice for motorcyclists.

Law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota, along with Minnesota State Troopers, will be out patrolling the area during the event to ensure a safe riding environment.

“When you have large groups participating in an event like the Flood Run, challenges are compounded for both riders and motorists, especially when you add in any use of alcohol, speeding or distractions,” says Lt. Robert Zak, Minnesota State Patrol. “Any one of these factors can lead to tragic results, so it is important for riders to do their part to ride safely, and for motorists to remain alert and watch for motorcycles.”

DPS offers these safety tips:


  • 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. One-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve impaired riders.


  • 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.