Thank you for registering for the BAM 2017 Tour! We are happy you’ve decided to join us in Northern Minnesota!

A couple of notes up front:

1) Luggage:  All luggage will be weighed prior to loading and must meet the baggage weight limits.  See detailed information in the rider information letter (below).

2) Hotels:  If you are staying in hotels on any night of the tour other than the first night in Walker, you will need to complete the online survey regarding which hotels you will be staying at by Monday, August 14th.  See additional information below.

3) Support Vehicles: No support vehicles are allowed on the route for safety reasons.

4) Communications:  If you would like to receive updates, connect with other riders prior to the ride to arrange carpools or ask other questions, please use our Facebook page.

Rider Information Letter

Please read this letter thoroughly prior to arriving in Walker, MN for all ride details including rider check in, luggage requirements, opt-in for texting messages, etc. This is your registration confirmation and your official rider information letter.  Nothing will be sent via regular mail.

Safety and Safe Bicycling – The mission of the BAM bike tour is to promote the Share the Road campaign and demonstrate safe bicycling around the state. Our safe cycling practice is a role model to others; on BAM, riders are expected to follow the rules of the road.

  • Follow the law and ride as far to the right as is safe and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Be predictable – Signal your intentions so drivers and other riders know your intentions; ride two abreast only when you are not obstructing traffic.
  • Be conspicuous – Wear visible clothing and use lights and reflectors in low light and be sure you can be seen. Communicate your intentions with other riders and drivers.
  • Think ahead – Pay attention to other riders and traffic on the road; anticipate their actions.
  • Ride ready – make sure both you and your bike are in good working order before the ride.

Rules of the Road – To help ensure the safety of all riders, riders are expected to adhere to the rules of the road in Minnesota. Bicycle safety information and laws can be found on MnDOT’s website. Please watch this seven-minute safety video prior to the ride:  NTSHA’s Bicycle Safety Tips for Adults

Daylight – Also, remember that at this time of the year the sun rises about 6:20 AM and sets about 8 PM.

Helmet – You are required to wear a helmet at all times when riding your bicycle on BAM.

Earbuds, Headphones and Cell Phones – You are prohibited from wearing earbuds and headphones while riding on BAM.  Please stop your bicycle and pull off the road to use your cell phone.

Your Bicycle – Please make sure your bicycle is in good working order prior to the ride.

Support Vehicles – Only registered participants are allowed to camp or participate in meals or other activities. No support vehicles are allowed on the route for safety reasons.

Rider Check-In – Rider check-in will be at the Walker City Park in Walker, MN on Wednesday, August 23, from 4:30-8:30 pm and again on Thursday, August 24, from 6:15-7:00 am.  This is also our camping location.  Walker City Park is located in downtown Walker on Leech Lake near the intersection of MN-371/Railroad Ave and Park Ave.

Parking – Parking for the duration of the tour will be approximately 1 mile south of Walker on the west side of MN-371, across from the Country Inn & Suites motel.  No overnight parking is allowed at the Walker City Park.  Please do not leave valuables in your vehicle and make sure all items are out of sight.

Rider Packets – At check-in you will receive your rider packet which will contain daily ride sheets including a map and cue sheet, wrist bands, luggage tags if you are hoteling any of the nights, rider gift, and your jersey if you ordered one.  You will also be required to sign a waiver at check in.  Each person must pick up their own packet to ensure the waiver gets signed.  No exceptions!

Luggage – All bags must be weighed and meet the weight limits below prior to loading. Bags that exceed the limits will not be transported.

Weight Limits and Number of Bags - Campers are allowed TWO SOFT SIDED duffel bags, neither to exceed 35 pounds.  Do not pack all your gear into one bag that exceeds the weight limit—you will be asked to repack so that your bag(s) do not exceed 35 pounds.

Hotelers are allowed ONE SOFT SIDED duffel bag, not to exceed 35 pounds.

If you are doing a combination of camping and hoteling, you are allowed two bags.  See additional information under ‘Hotels’ below.

A scale will be available Wednesday evening at check-in if you would like to pre-weigh your bags to ensure they meet the weight limit. 

Please adhere to these weight and quantity limits to ensure the safety of our volunteers and to ensure that all bags fit inside the luggage truck.  All belongings must be inside the bags with no tie-ons.  Please have your contact information on a label or tag on each of your bags.  BAM makes every attempt to keep bags dry but to ensure clothing and sleeping bags stay dry, pack items in plastic bags.

Daily Loading Times – Campers will need to load their luggage onto the luggage truck located at the campsite by 8:00 am each morning.  The luggage truck will be available from 6:30-8:00 am each morning for loading.  Luggage will be picked up shortly after 8:00 AM at the designated hotels.  The luggage truck will be available at 6:15 am on Thursday, Aug 24 in Walker (the first day of the tour).

Hotels – If you are staying in hotels on any night during the tour other than Wednesday night, August 23, you must notify us as to where you are staying by clicking here to ensure your luggage is delivered to the correct location during the ride.  Notifications must be received by Monday, August 14th; otherwise, your bags will be delivered to the campsite.

Luggage will be picked up and delivered to the following hotels:
•    Walker:  no luggage pickup is available from the hotels.  All luggage must be taken directly to the campground for weighing and loading.
•    Bemidji:  Hampton Inn
•    Park Rapids:  C’mon Inn and AmericInn
•    Staples:  America’s Best Value Inn, Sunset Motel and Timberlake Hotel

If you are staying elsewhere, it is your responsibility to transport your luggage to and from the campsite.

Hotel Luggage Tags  – For anyone staying at a hotel one or more nights, luggage tags will be included in the rider packet to identify you as a hoteler.  Please put your luggage tag on your bag prior to loading in Walker.

Pick Up and Drop Off Times – Hotel luggage will be delivered by 1:00 pm each afternoon and picked up just after 8:00 am each morning. Leave your bag in the designated area at your hotel and it will be picked up by the luggage truck each morning.  NOTE:  you will not be able to leave your bag at the hotel on the first day (in Walker).  You will need to bring your bag to the campsite/rider check-in location for weighing and loading.

Camping – Camping locations are as follows:
•    Walker:  city park
•    Bemidji:  city park
•    Park Rapids:  Hubbard County Fairgrounds
•    Staples:  Staples Alliance Church

Meals and Rest Stops – Three meals/day will be provided on BAM (breakfast, lunch and dinner), beginning with breakfast on Thursday, Aug 24 and ending with lunch on Sunday, Aug 27.  The times for these meals will be noted on the daily route sheets.

Breakfast Thursday morning will be at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Walker from 6:30 – 7:30 am, with the ride briefing at 7:00 am.

Dinner is not provided Wednesday evening, Aug 23.  A representative from Walker will be on hand at check-in to assist you with finding restaurants and other local attractions in the area.

Supported rest stops are not provided on this ride.  However, there are opportunities every 20-30 miles to stop in small towns to rest and purchase a snack from convenience stores, ice cream and coffee shops, etc.  In some cases, there are rest stops that serve as fundraisers for local organizations.  Please be sure to bring cash with you for these rest stops.
Daily Ride Briefings – Daily ride briefings will be held at dinner each evening for the following day’s ride.  On day one (Thursday), the ride briefing will be held at 7:00 am at the breakfast location in Walker, along with a brief welcome and ride orientation.  Riders may depart after the ride orientation.

Texting Communications Opt-In – BAM will be utilizing a texting platform to communicate important updates during the tour.  To opt-in, please text BAM2017 to 555888.

Route  – Approximate daily mileages are as follows:
*Day 1:  Walker to Bemidji:  64 miles
*Day 2:  Bemidji to Park Rapids:  72 or 100 miles
*Day 3:  Park Rapids to Staples:  72 miles
*Day 4:  Staples to Walker:  70 miles

Mileages are subject to change based on final route determination.

Maps – In your rider packet you will find a map and cue sheet for each day. Consider using a map holder attached to your handle bar to aid in viewing the map.

Route Markings – The route will be marked with yellow directional arrows on the pavement.

SAG Service – Three Support Assistant Group (SAG) vehicles, marked with BAM signs, will be roaming the route from 7:30 am – 4:00 pm or until the last rider completes the course, whichever comes first, each day. SAG support will be available until 5 pm on day 2 for the century option.  They will provide assistance to riders for injuries or mechanical problems that cannot be repaired on the road. SAG support will not be available as a transport mechanism for tired riders.

Mechanical Support – Penn Cycle will provide mechanical support along the route. The mechanic will not charge for service, but please consider leaving a tip in the tip jar. They will also sell parts, tires and tubes.

Activities Along the Route – This year’s tour will have several local points of interest/activities along the route, so please plan to enjoy the local entertainment.  On days with activities along the route, you may want to bring comfortable shoes along for walking around.

Showers Before and After the Ride – Showers will be available in Walker prior to the ride and again when we return to Walker on Sunday, Aug 27.

Suggested Packing List 

 On Your Bike… 
•    helmet
•    identification
•    insurance card
•    credit/card ATM/money
•    spare tube
•    frame pump
•    riding gloves
•    bike shoes
•    sun glasses
•    2 water bottles
•    lip balm w/sun block & sun screen
•    basic tools
•    camera
•    medication
•    basic first aid supplies
•    bike bag
•    bike lock
•    lights if you plan to ride after dark

In Your Luggage… 
•    sleeping bag/pad*
•    tent*
•    rain gear
•    pillow
•    flash light*
•    insect repellent*
•    ear plugs* (these may be especially helpful on Saturday night, as there will be a street dance going on in conjunction with the Railroad Days celebration).
•    towel *
•    extra plastic baggies and bags
•    riding clothes
•    ground cover*
•    bike cover*
•    toiletries
•    street clothes and shoes
*(only if camping)

Thank You! We look forward to seeing you in Walker! 

Please read the Pocket Guide to Minnesota Bicycle Laws below or online. For more information about bicycle safety education, bicycle crash statistics and resource materials visit MnDOT’s website.