Face of America Ride
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Face of America Ride

They came from across the country, gathering before dawn in the shadow of the Pentagon to begin a two-day journey to honor the sacrifices of America's wounded warriors and gain a better understanding of people with disabilities.

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Cyclists leave Crystal City April 28 as part of the 2012 Face of America bike ...

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Retired Marine Major Van Brinson is the director of the Face of America ride.

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Cyclists leave Crystal City April 28 as part of the 2012 Face of America bike ...

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Cyclists leave Crystal City April 28 as part of the 2012 Face of America bike ...

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World Team Sports CEO Paul Tyler places a silent auction bid during the pre-race dinner ...

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Gen. Robert Magnus (ret.), former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, recites the Pledge of ...

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Members of St. Rita's Daisy Scout Troop lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the pre-race ...

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Daisy Scouts Lauren Southerland, Abygayl Moon and Emily Milton prepare for the presentation of the ...

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Members of the 'Who Says I Can't?' team pose for a photo prior to the ...

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Jameswood 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Nearly 600 bicyclists and hand cyclists from across the country triumphantly completed two-day journeys from Arlington, Virginia and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in historic Gettysburg April 24 as participants of national non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports’ annual Face of America. Team Capital One Assists 2016

Team Capital One assists hand cyclists on a hill north of Washington on April 23, 2016. Photograph by Tony Granata. This year’s ride included 136 men and women with disabilities ranging from paralysis to blindness to loss of limb and Post-Traumatic Stress. For many of these athletes, veterans of wars and conflicts from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Iraq and Afghanistan, the event provided an opportunity to meet and ride with other veterans, active-duty military and civilians. Participants came from 36 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Arriving in Gettysburg early Sunday afternoon, athletes from each route traveled through the city’s historic downtown square where local residents and visitors applauded their effort. Joining together for the ride through solemn Civil War battlefields, the group traveled south to the AllStar Expo Complex at the Eisenhower Hotel. Here, an even larger audience of friends, family, colleagues and local residents beneath a giant American flag provided a warm welcome. Two crossed U.S. Marine Corps 105mm howitzer guns provided a unique finish line for the riders, who had ridden 110 miles from Arlington and 120 miles from Valley Forge.

The sunny skies and warm temperatures Sunday were an improvement from Face of America’s first day, where cyclists on both routes traveled for several hours on slippery roads in rainy weather. Skies cleared by noon, however, bringing sunshine and chilly northern winds that encouraged riders to keep pedaling strong to the day’s finish in Frederick and in Lancaster. On both routes, riders rolled to the finish by mid-afternoon, following early morning starts.

Held annually since 2006, the Face of America brings together disabled and able-bodied athletes. Encouraging a philosophy of “we all ride the same road,” athletes assist and encourage each other during their journey, providing helping hands when needed. Volunteers on bicycles and motorcycles also help ensure safety, watching vehicular traffic and making sure cyclists are on course and aware of any potential dangers. In many communities, counties and townships, local police, sheriff and fire departments also offer welcome assistance. Carbon wheelset

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