Face of America is one of the most unique bike rides you will ever participate in. Our mission is to support adaptive and able-bodied athletes through inclusive programs and Face of America is one of the best examples of that. We will ride as one group, with a common goal of everyone finishing the 106-mile ride north to Gettysburg, PA over the course of two days. We will have over 350 riders of various abilities and experience, and we have some rules and expectations of everyone at FOA.
Rules of the Road
Riders must ALWAYS abide by local traffic rules and be accommodating to traffic when necessary. Although we have moto marshals helping, we must be good representatives of the organization as we ride through the communities heading to Gettysburg. If you need to stop at a stop sign or red light with no moto marshal available, please do so.
Riders must stay to the right of the lane when possible, and pass on left. Be aware that riders may pass on either side if there is congestion. Look LEFT, before moving left & indicate intentions – same if moving right.
Please communicate when passing, slowing, stopping, or if there are hazards or traffic ahead (repeat verbally and with hand/arm signals).
We DO NOT want any rider using the opposite traffic lane to pass. This is extremely dangerous and illegal. If you cannot see the road beyond a hill, the opposite traffic cannot see you. This will not be tolerated at FOA.
Electric motors are permitted, but throttle-enabled motors ARE NOT PERMITTED AT FOA.
We ask all adaptive riders on handcycles or recumbents to attach a push pole and orange safety flag.
FOA will be paced between 10-13 mph (average, over the entire weekend). We ask that you comply and never pass the pace car.
If there is an accident, incident, or injury the Safety Marshals and the Medical Director will be in control of the scene. If you have medical training please identify yourself and ask the Medical Director or the Safety Marshal on scene if they need assistance. They will always control the scene and have radio contact with ride command.
You MUST ask or alert before pushing ANY rider on the road. Some riders may not want assistance or might not be prepared to receive assistance.
If you have not pushed a rider, adaptive or able-bodied, you should observe first and get comfortable riding your own bike with one hand.
Never grab anything to push other than an attached push pole on an adaptive bike.
If pushing an able-bodied upright rider, only place your hand on the lower back.
Never have your arm fully extended while pushing. Your arm should be bent 90 degrees with your hand in line with your body for maximum torque and control.
NEVER HOLD ONTO A RIDER OR PUSH POLE WHILE DESCENDING. Adaptive trikes and handcycles will move suddenly at high speeds and need space. Please always let go when heading downhill or when you are not in a proper position to push.
If you are pushing a rider, please be aware that you may need to let go if space is limited. We do NOT want riders in oncoming lanes or taking up too much space on the road for other riders. LET GO if you must.
General FOA Etiquette
This event is NOT a RACE, excessive speed will cause incidents at FOA. Since we are riding as one big group with various abilities, we ask that you stay at the designated speed of the ride (10-13 mph average) and keep your descending speed within your control so that you can make sharp turns or stop safely.
Please be cooperative with our volunteer staff and ride marshals. They are working very hard to make sure FOA moves smoothly and safely. If you are asked to use a SAG van to get you further up the course, please listen and work with us. We are limited to the permit timeframes in each city, town, and county, and do not have the ability to go any slower, or stop and make significant repairs along the route while traffic is stopped for us.
We are guests of the towns and properties that we ride in and stop at. Please be respectful to property owners and abide by where we ask riders to place bikes, dispose of trash, and use bathroom facilities. If you have a team vehicle or family meeting you at any location, please be cooperative and park where assigned. These designated locations can change at any time at the discretion of the property owner due to weather conditions or available space.
Out of respect to other riders, please do not use any flashing lights during the ride. They are often at the eyeline of our adaptive athletes and can trigger PTSD responses. We prefer riders not have lights at all, as the moto marshals keep road traffic from interfering with our group.
Adaptive athletes can be on all kinds of bikes – handcycles, trikes, uprights, tandems, etc. References to, or calls for handcycles, or adaptives to queue up at the start of ride segments are intended to enable them to start out with leads and visibility. The strongest riders will be needed from the back – as the group spreads out during each segment.
Remember to have fun! We want everyone to enjoy the weekend and have a great ride experience, so remember the mission and celebrate our amazing athletes! Each rider plays a role in our journey from Arlington to Gettysburg, and setting the tone of how we do it.