BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Arlington, Virginia, December 16, 2011: Registration for World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ April 27-29, 2012 Face of America ride from Washington, D.C. to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania opened today for interested participants and teams.
One of America’s most inspiring bicycle rides, the Face of America brings together disabled and able-bodied athletes for a weekend of riding, comradery and fun. Riders with disabilities are especially welcomed to participate, as are retired and active duty members of America’s armed forces.
Fully supported by trained mechanics, staffed rest areas and rider sag wagons, the leisurely two day, 110-mile ride begins at the Pentagon at Washington and travels to Frederick, Maryland the first day. The following day, riders pedal through rural Maryland and Pennsylvania to the hallowed battlefields of Gettysburg. Upon arrival in Gettysburg, the participants enjoy a festive catered outdoor meal with their colleagues, families and friends.
The weekend begins on Friday evening, April 27 with a banquet and guest speaker at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Crystal City, south of the Pentagon. Each year, World T.E.A.M. Sports brings a distinguished speaker to inspire the riders; in April 2011, Major L. Tammy Duckworth, the Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs served as keynote speaker.
Registration fees and participant fundraising minimums for 2012 are unchanged from the 2011 ride. Wounded warriors may participate at no cost. Funds raised through the ride are used to cover the costs of the participating disabled riders, with any remaining funds applied to upcoming World T.E.A.M. Sports events, such as the summer, 2012 Sea to Shining Sea cross-country ride.
Originally run as a cross-country ride with two teams of disabled riders in May 2000, the Face of America was redirected in 2002 as a New York to Washington ride to honor those who died in the September, 2001 attacks on America. More than 1,000 riders participated in the 2002 ride. In 2006, the ride was redirected again, to a Gettysburg-Washington route, to honor and support participants of our nation’s military. This coming April will mark the tenth running of the Face of America, which attracted nearly 500 participants in 2011, of which 93 were disabled.
World T.E.A.M. Sports, the non-profit managing organization for the ride, was chartered in 1993 in North Carolina. The organization has directed numerous outdoor events for disabled and able-bodied participants, including the AXA World Ride, the Vietnam Challenge, the Sea to Shining Sea cross-country ride, the Adventure TEAM Challenge in Colorado, and the Soldiers to the Summit expeditions.
Learn more about the Face of America Ride.