Your 9.11 Promise Bike Journey

The 9.11 Promise Bike is a challenging two-day relay road bike ride from the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to Bedford, PA, just a few miles from the Flight 93 Memorial., all to benefit the 9.11 Promise Scholarship Fund. Our purpose is to honor and remember the courage and heroism the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 showed on September 11, 2001, and the sacrifices made by first responders and our military in the days, months, and years after. Our journey will culminate with the ceremony at the United 93 Memorial commemorating the anniversary of those events.

The ride will consist of self-supported teams of 2-3 cyclists, and an optional 1x support-crew person all using a personal vehicle. Aid stations will be provided on both days of the ride by various fire departments along the route, and lodging/dinner/breakfast will be provided at the end of each day by our host communities.

All cyclists and support-crew personnel are required to register for the event (and pay the associated registration fee, which helps defer event operating expenses). While only cyclists are required to raise the minimum fundraising amount via GoFundMe, all of our support-crew personnel are encouraged (but not required) to raise funds as well.

Covering 198.1 miles and 13,558’ of elevation gain along two-lane state and single-lane county roads, the ride will challenge every category of rider. We welcome experienced road cyclists to join us on this meaningful journey. As a self-supported ride, every cyclist can complete the entire journey, even if it means you grab a lift up and over some of the challenging climbs from your support vehicle.

Starting at the Pentagon on Day 1, we’ll ride the relatively flat W&OD Trail from Arlington to Leesburg, Virginia. Along the way, our aid stations will be provided by the Reston Fire Department (mile 22) and Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company (mile 38). Back on our bikes, we’ll cross the Potomac at Whites Ferry (mile 42 / $2 for the cyclist and $5 for the car) and into the undulating and beautiful farmland around Poolesville, MD. Riding north into historic downtown Frederick, MD will be a welcome change from the rural roads, as will our aid station at the United Steam Fire Company #3 (mile 67). From there, we’ll push north to Emmitsburg, MD along some of the most scenic, bike-friendly roads in the state. Riding past Mount Saint Mary’s College and into Emmitsburg marks our arrival at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Fire Academy and the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial. There, we’ll be welcomed by their staff, who will help us appreciate the significance of that memorial and their 9/11 memorial. From there, we have a short ride to thank first responders at Vigilant Hose Company, our hosts for the night, and to their activities building where we’ll clean up, enjoy dinner, an event to capture the significance of our day’s trip, and then personal time before we bed down in spacious bunk rooms (cots provided) complete with showers/bathrooms/lounge /Wifi/laundry to clean your cycling gear (which we’ll do en masse, so please mark your gear that you’ll want to be cleaned with your name).


After breakfast on Day 2, our first cyclists will start out west along Route 16 and ride through the historic and charming towns of Greencastle, Mercersburg, and McConnellsburg as we enter the Appalachian Mountains. Not to worry, there’s an 800’ climb at mile 9 and a 1000’ climb at mile 42 between Mercersburg and McConnellsburg to shake out our legs that morning (and if you’re not up for it, your team may drive up and over and re-start wherever you’re comfortable.) In McConnellsburg, our first aid station of the day will be at their volunteer fire company (mile 46). We’ll then make our way south and then north to transit the Appalachians (a pair of 700’ climbs at miles 73 and then 77 with incredible views) and then continue north and west towards Bedford through beautiful farm country (and covered bridges). (Route note: there is a mile long stretch of loose-gravelly-but-safe pavement during the climb starting at mile 74.3.) At mile 93, we’ll pause at the Everett Volunteer Fire Company for our final aid station before continuing west to Bedford. The final 14 miles into Bedford are not the most challenging miles of the ride, but after the previous 187, this section will remind us of the determination showed by the passengers and crew of United 93 during their final heroic moments. We’ll collect all cyclists together 3 miles outside of town and be escorted by the Moose Lodge 480 Riders (motorcycle club) into town and to the lodge. Once there, we’ll shower up at the beautiful Bedford County courthouse, enjoy a hard-earned dinner at the Moose Lodge, and then walk to Bedford’s Veterans Park for a moving 9/11 commemoration event. Following that, we’ll be guests of the Moose Lodge along with other ceremony participants. After an exhausting day, we’ll be off to bed in the Moose Lodge (cots provided).

After breakfast at the Moose Lodge, we’ll caravan in team vehicles approximately 28 miles to the Flight 93 National Memorial (6424 Lincoln Hwy #30, Stoystown, PA 155630) where we’ll park and then take shuttle-bus to the ceremony inside the park. Once complete, cyclists are free to remain and explore the park or return home via team vehicles. The drive back to DC will take approximately 3.5 hours.


Rules of the Road

Just like the simultaneous 9/11 Promise Run, this is an open course. There are no closed roads. Other than the final motorcycle escort, there will be no police presence at intersections. Cyclists must follow and obey traffic and pedestrian laws. We’ll have the route marked with yellow arrows and volunteers to guide you at particularly challenging intersections.

Safety must come first! This will be an unforgettable journey for a GREAT cause!

Be Safe: We are traveling through cities, small towns, and rural areas. Your safety is imperative to having a successful event. Whether on the shoulder or the road, cyclists must travel in the same direction as vehicles. Every climb either has a wide enough shoulder for bikes to use or is lightly traveled by vehicles. Regardless, every cyclist will ride as far right as safely possible. Remain alert and follow all road and safety rules. Every cyclist MUST carry an ID and cell phone while on the road, and every bike MUST have an operative front and rear “flashy” light while on the road.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings: There may be an unscheduled police presence in some areas but with cyclists spread out we can’t make any guarantees. Check before crossing streets and follow traffic signals. Make eye contact with drivers and use proper hand gestures to ensure they see you and know you are crossing.

Support Vehicle Etiquette: Team vehicles shall not follow behind their cyclist but rather will move with traffic ahead of their rider and park every few miles such that they may check on their cyclist continuously. All cyclist changes shall occur in safe, off-road pull-offs such as parking lots. Please avoid private driveways and never stop in the middle of the road except in case of an emergency. Your support vehicle will carry your personal bags.

Conduct: The 9/11 Promise Bike is a bike to remember and honor the lives lost, their families, first responders and military. Please know you are representing all of the athletes participating and the 9/11 Promise Run charity. Respect the surrounding environment, display courtesy and good taste. Please carry all trash and recyclables with you and dispose of them appropriately.

What Cyclists are Responsible For

Personal Gear: On night one, cyclists will stay at the Vigilant Hose Fire Company located in Emmitsburg, PA. On night two, we will stay at Bedford PA’s Moose Lodge 480. Cots will be provided at each location, and every participant is responsible for bringing any bedding material they will want to sleep in (pillow + sleeping bag or blanket), toiletries (including towel and shower shoes…aka flip flops), and changes of clothes for post-ride events. On night one, we’ll launder everyone’s cycling jersey (each cyclist will receive one 9/11 Promise Bike jersey at the athlete meeting and will be required to wear it during the ride) as well as any other cycling attire, so please label your gear!

Bike Safety and Associated Equipment: Each cyclist is required to wear a helmet, carry a cell phone, and use operable front/rear lights flashing lights. We’ll be riding in the early hours and until dusk or thereabouts; safety must remain a priority. We will have water stops along the route which will provide basic nutrition (courtesy of the host fire department). However, if you have specific nutrition needs, you will need to provide this and transport it in your own team vehicles. Lunch is not provided on either day, so plan accordingly.

Personal Vehicle and Navigation: Every team and cyclist is responsible for successfully and safely navigating the course. Course files (turn-by-turn enabled) can be found on (specific public links are above) and moved to a number of commonly used devices, such as Garmin, Android, or iPhone. We recommend you purchase their $6 basic monthly plan so that cyclists and drivers can navigate using their app and get voice-directed turn-by-turn navigation (they have an offline feature such that once the courses are downloaded, your phone won’t use data during the navigation). We recommend cyclists keep their phone in their cycling jersey rear pocket (so they can hear the voice directed turns) while also following the course on a handlebar-mounted Garmin device. No team or cyclist shall deviate from the planned route unless safety dictates a change, and only after the deviation has been communicated to the 9/11 Promise Bike coordinators.

Each cyclist will be responsible for getting to the designated start location the morning of September 9thand home from the Flight 93 National Memorial on September 11th. All transportation during the event is also the responsibility of each cyclist and team.

Daily Schedule

September 8

Time TBD: Mandatory meeting for all cyclists and support personnel at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (3900 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207). This meeting will go over the event, routes, rules, etc. Dinner will be provided by Mission BBQ. If you’re not able to make the meeting, please notify Jennifer DePoto at (703) 969-1062 or [email protected].

September 9

4:30 AM: NLT time all cyclists, supporters, and volunteers meet at the designated start location

5:00 AM: After a brief pre-event gathering, cyclists will help send off runners, who will spend night one of their event in Elkton, MD.

6:00-6:30 AM: First cyclists will begin between 6:00-6:30 AM, depending on weather and visibility before the 6:44 AM sunrise.

4:30 PM: Throughout the day, cyclists will cover approximately 91 miles and will finish the day of cycling in Emmitsburg, PA no later than 4:30pm. All cyclists must be at the National Fallen Fire Memorial by 4:30pm.

4:30 PM: Ceremony and presentation at National Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial.

6:30 PM: Dinner served at 6;30pm (Vigilant Hose Company, Emmitsburg, PA).

7:30PM: Evening Presentation

September 10

5:30-6:15 AM: Breakfast served.

6:15 AM: All cyclists and supporters meet for route and safety brief.

6:30 AM: First cyclists start.

5:30 PM: Throughout the day, cyclists will cover 107 miles and will finish the day in Bedford, PA at approximately 6pm. All cyclists must be at the briefed rally point NLT 5:30pm.

6:30 PM: Dinner served at 6:30pm.

7:30pm: Bedford 9/11 Commemoration Event

September 11

6:30-7:15 AM: Breakfast served

7:15 AM:All cyclists and supporters meet for morning event brief

7:30 AM: All team vehicles depart for Flight 93 National Memorial (6424 Lincoln Hwy #30, Stoystown, PA 15563

10:03AM: Ceremony at Flight 93 National Memorial


If a registered athlete is not able to participate and needs to cancel before 1 September:

  • Registration is deferred to the following year
  • The athlete is not held accountable for the $1000 fundraising requirement
  • The event retains any donations already made

If a registered athlete cancels between 1 September to 11 September:

  • Registration is deferred to the following year (details below)
  • The athlete is held accountable for $1000 donation

DEFER POLICY DETAILS: If you are unable to participate due to a change of schedule or life events, athletes may defer their entry slot to the same event the following year. Deferrals do not carry over beyond the following year’s race. Athletes wishing to defer will be provided with a unique entry code and must re-enter the event after entries open for the following year’s event. Keep in mind that the event has a capacity limit therefore the athlete’s entry slot is not guaranteed. Deferred athletes will not be allowed to register if the event closes before the athlete attempts to enter. To defer your registration, you will need to email [email protected].

All athletes must register. All athletes must commit to raising $1000. When signing up, you will be asked to provide a credit card number on your GoFundMe fundraising page. This is a secure site. Each participant will have a deadline of October 1 to raise all funds. Any funds that are not raised after that deadline will be charged to your credit card and you will receive a contribution letter for tax purposes.

There is $100 registration fee to help cover the costs of the event.

All cyclists and volunteers must complete and sign a waiver to participate.

WARNING: Read carefully. This agreement includes a release of liability and waiver of legal rights and deprives your of the right to sue those parties noted herein. Do not sign this agreement unless you have read it in its entirety.

The Virtual 9.11 Promise Run/Bike

Can't make it to Wilmington? Join the run or bike from the streets of your hometown or workout gear in your gym as a virtual athlete.

Virtual Athletes promise that you will run, walk, and/or bike 9.11 miles sometime between September 9th and September 11th! These miles can be done all at once or spread out over the course of the three days.

As a Virtual Athlete supporting the student of our Promise, each participant commits to raising $150 by October 1, 2024. If the amount isn't reached, participants agree to cover the remaining amount.