What’s included with your Ride the Fault Line registration

  Rider packets containing cue sheets, route and site maps, information about overnight communities, etc.

Outdoor/indoor camping facilities with restrooms and showers provided in each overnight host community-Saturday night June 10 through Friday night June 16. 

• At least two included fruit/water/Gatorade stops each day with additional water stops as required by weather/route conditions.  Daily buffet breakfasts and four evening meals (Sunday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday) are also included.  

 Transportation of your luggage between host communities.  FREE week-long parking at the start-finish site, YMCA of Southeast Missouri in Sikeston.

Full SAG support to assist with basic mechanical/hydration/nutrition problems you encounter.

Well marked route with paint, signs, maps, and cue sheets daily. Route security provided by local law enforcement.

Great memories and new friendships!

Ride the Fault Line riders’ responsibilities

Request SAG service only if you are injured or ill and unable to continue, or when mechanical malfunction prevents you from riding.  We do not have sufficient SAG resources to transport riders who are simply tired or dissatisfied with route conditions (wind, rain, heat, etc.).  Riders who consistently and repeatedly request SAG service may be asked to leave the tour.

Treat everyone with courtesy and respect, both while riding and in camp. 

Have your bicycle (and yourself!) checked and in good condition before you begin the ride.

Ride safely, follow the rules of the road and of RTFL, obey all traffic laws and encourage others to do the same.

Load your own luggage on the truck each day.

Maintain that positive mental attitude when the unexpected occurs.

Practice good hygiene at rest stops and in camp.

Have a wonderful adventure and a great vacation.

 Packet Pickup

Rider registration packets will be distributed during check-in on Saturday June 10, 1-5 PM at the YMCA of Southeast Missouri, 511 Taylor St., Sikeston, MO  63801.


All registered riders will receive wristbands when they check in. Wristbands are required to verify eligibility for RTFL supplied services that your registration fee paid for including rest/water stops, outdoor/indoor sleeping facilities, restrooms and showers, ferry crossing, and any activities or discounts provided by host communities/merchants.  The color of your wristband will indicate which of the ferry crossing times you selected.  In order for the bands to be acceptably visible/usable, they MUST be worn on your wrist only.  Wristbands are not in rider packets, but will be fitted at the registration table.  Registered non-riders and volunteers are also required to wear wristbands.

 Non-Rider Registration

Non-riders accompanying registered RTFL riders must also register and receive a wristband. There is a reduced charge for non-riders for their access to and use of services in camp.

 Non-Rider/Private SAG Travel Between Host Communities

Unless you are notified otherwise at a later time, non-riders who are serving as “private” SAGs may travel between host communities along the designated cycling route.   Drivers must remember they are on a bike route and that the safety of the cyclists using the route is paramount.  Drive slowly, pay attention, pass cyclists ONLY in the opposite lane when no oncoming traffic is present, and DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING!!! 


• All cancellation requests are required to be submitted via email and received by Midwest Cyclotouring, LLC no later than April 17, 2017.  You'll receive a refund of fees paid, less a $75 processing fee.  Due to our need to make commitments to vendors to provide services to you, NO refunds can be issued after April 17.  Participants are STRONGLY encouraged to obtain trip interruption/cancellation insurance coverage from a vendor of their choice.  To be fair to those who wisely followed this advice and paid for the insurance, there will be NO EXCEPTIONS to the no refund after April 17 policy.  

• There is no refund on jerseys or t-shirts if they have already been received.  Only a limited supply of jerseys will be available for purchase at check-in, so if you want one, register BEFORE April 16 and indicate the size of jersey you wish during the registration process.


ACCOMMODATIONS                                                                                                  back to top

Ride the Fault Line is pleased to offer three different types of sleeping accommodations for our participants.  First, tent camping.  Riders will need to bring their own tent and select a spot in each site’s camping area located on a park or school grounds near shower, toilet and other facilities.  Third, for those who prefer it, each site will have indoor camping space available on a first come, first served basis.   While we fully expect to have room for all, indoor space is not guaranteed, so bring a tent as a backup.  Indoor space will usually, but not necessarily always, be air-conditioned.  The indoor camping location at each overnight community is designated as the storm shelter in the event severe weather should approach.  Outdoor campers will be alerted to take shelter indoors should severe weather be headed to the area.  Finally, RTFL provides a list of motels/B&B’s for those desiring that type accommodation.  RTFL provides this list as a convenience, and we are in no way responsible for the level of service provided by these lodgings.   Unlike many tours, RTFL will transport you and your luggage to these lodgings throughout the week for a one-time fee of $100.  Keep in mind that on some nights you may miss out on included evening activities/meals if you choose to stay off-site, as the motel shuttle may only make one trip to drop you off in the afternoon, and one trip to pick you up the next morning, due to the distances involved.  On other nights, the motels are close enough that the regular in-town shuttles go past them, so you are free to use that service.  On Saturday night June 10, since you will still have access to your vehicle, you should use it to drive to your motel in Sikeston after the evening activities are over, and then park it for the week at the YMCA Sunday morning before you begin riding.  The long term parking lot will be patrolled regularly and monitored by cameras, but DON'T TEMPT FATE!!  Secure ALL personal articles in concealed areas in the vehicle-nothing is to be left in view!  Our waiver that you sign provides that ONLY YOU are responsible for your property.

 Outdoor Camping

Some things to consider when picking your tent site each night: drainage in case of rain, downspouts from building roofs, street lights and other lighting, noise from port-a-johns, showers, RV parking areas, or other spots with high noise or traffic levels, and distance from the luggage truck.  Experience teaches that most times the best spot will be a compromise between convenience TO facilities and isolation FROM them. 

Always keep your tent zipped up completely, whether or not you are inside, to prevent entry of insects and other objectionable denizens of the great outdoors.  RTFL RIDER ALERT!  Food and food odors attract wildlife!   Speaking from experience, raccoon, skunks, and other creatures have no qualms about chewing their way through your seat bag, luggage, or even your tent, with you inside, if they smell food.  So NEVER keep food of any kind inside your tent, and take every precaution to keep food odors off your clothes and other gear.  Mosquitoes and other insects can be an issue, so it would be prudent to bring and use insect repellent, especially if you plan to tent camp.

If you are concerned about your bike getting dew or rain on it, or being stolen, please have a way to cover and lock it.  At the request of many riders, please DO NOT set an alarm for earlier than 5 AM, and BE THERE to turn it off when it comes on! 

 Indoor Camping

As mentioned, Ride the Fault Line has secured free indoor camping space in each community. Indoor camping space is not guaranteed; so bring your tent as a backup just in case.  Also, while we have arranged for air-conditioned space at each location, due to possible unforeseen developments beyond our control, there is also no guarantee of climate control.  When sleeping indoors, keep in mind that ABSOLUTELY NO cycling shoes with exposed cleats may be worn anywhere in any building.  No chairs or cots, etc. are allowed on any wood gym floors.  Also, in some locations, bicycles may not be allowed in the buildings.  If you are concerned about your bike getting dew or rain on it, or being stolen, be sure to bring some way to cover and lock it.  At the request of many riders, please be considerate and DO NOT set an alarm for earlier than 5 AM, and BE THERE to turn it off when it comes on!

Motels/Bed & Breakfasts

Most of our host communities have only a limited supply of motel rooms.  If you desire this type accommodation, please contact the properties directly as early as possible to have the best chance to secure a room.  As a convenience, a list of overnight accommodations and contact info is provided on the website.  RTFL does not attest to the quality of these lodgings.  These are the only facilities to which RTFL will shuttle riders and their luggage.   If you elect to stay anywhere else, YOU will be responsible for your own transportation arrangements.  Your luggage MUST be on the luggage truck no later than 8 AM each morning, so plan accordingly.


Your luggage will be transported between host communities by truck. You must load your luggage on the truck each morning and carry it to your camping spot each evening. You are limited to two pieces of luggage weighing no more than 40 pounds each.  Use caution when loading your luggage into the luggage trucks as early morning dew can make entering and exiting the truck difficult, especially if you are wearing your cycling shoes.  As you can imagine, many bags look alike.  To assist in identification, mark your bags with brightly colored name tags, streamers, etc.  The luggage trucks will close at 8 AM each morning and will depart for the next town shortly afterward.  RTFL RIDER ALERT! Once the luggage has been loaded on the trucks, riders WILL NOT have access to their baggage until it has been unloaded in the next town. Therefore, BE CERTAIN that you have any items you may need during the day, most importantly MEDICATION, but also money, credit card, identification, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, rain gear, etc. in your possession before loading your luggage on the trucks.   

When baggage is unloaded each day, while we attempt to unload indoors when possible, it MAY be left uncovered outdoors.  If it is or has been raining, your baggage and contents may well get wet.  Therefore, pack all your clothes, gear, other items in plastic bags INSIDE your luggage.  Zip Loc style bags work well as they are clear, making organization easier.  Then put all the individual bags in a large garbage or trash compactor bag.  Bring extra bags in case some are damaged.  After a long day’s ride in the rain, you do NOT want to be faced with the prospect of trying to dry out your clothes when you arrive at the next stop.  Again, where possible, space and personnel permitting, luggage MAY be unloaded indoors if it is raining, but this is NOT guaranteed.



SAG stops and overnight site vendors

Routes are planned to include a SAG/rest/water stop every 12-20 miles along the route.  There are at least two official included fruit/water stops each day.  Registered riders wearing wristbands will have access to fruit, water, and possibly other items at these stops.  These are REST STOPS, with snacks, not full meal stops.  The rest stops are indicated on each day’s route map and any changes are announced at the rider meetings and/or posted on the information board.  It’s possible there will be extra stops along the route operated by community groups as fundraisers for their organizations.  Please consider patronizing these groups, and remember to have money with you each day.  Although rest stops or commercial services should be available at 12-20 mile intervals, unforeseen circumstances may result in a longer distance between services.  Always carry two water bottles and some sort of snack.   Some of the distances between stops can be lengthy, and convenience stores, etc. are rare on most of our routes.  Whenever there’s an opportunity, fill your water bottles.  Don’t depend on there being a water stop available on a predictable schedule.

RTFL RIDER ALERT:  Riders must move themselves and their bicycles completely off the road when they stop, whether for rest stops, lunch stops, photo opps, or simply when you stop to take a drink or rest. Congestion and confusion at rest stops can result in unnecessary accidents. Be especially alert when stopping on, leaving, or re-entering the roadway.

Also, keep in mind germs are spread easily in the typical water/food/rest stop environment.  Sanitizing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading.  “Use sanitizer” has become the new refrain of event cyclists after tours suffered outbreaks of illnesses on their rides over the past few years.  So, what can you do to try and stay well and prevent others from getting ill on RTFL?

Remove your gloves at rest stops.

• Use sanitizer frequently, especially before taking food/water at rest and lunch stops, and before/after using restroom facilities.

• Encourage others to practice good hygiene for both your and their benefit.


RTFL will attempt to coordinate with each overnight host community to provide midday food vendors onsite at each overnight stop. These vendors may be available to serve you a quick bite to eat and cold water/beverages when you arrive at the campsite each day.  Food options will be determined by the local vendors but could include pizza by the slice, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, lemonade, ice cream, and more.  Host communities may also have fast-food establishments, cafes, restaurants, and maybe a bar & grill or two.  

The meals included in your registration fee will be provided by local caterers or civic organizations in each overnight community.  Refer to the campsite maps for the meal locations in each town.   Any changes will be announced at the rider meeting and/or on the message board.   Unless otherwise announced, breakfast will be served from 5:30-7:30  AM daily and dinner beginning at 5:30 PM.  On evenings when there is no included evening meal, there will be restaurants nearby, within cycling distance, or accessible by shuttle buses.


CAMPSITE PROCEDURES                                                                                         back to top


Follow these few simple rules of camp courtesy to ensure a harmonious RTFL experience (for you and everyone else):

• Quiet/lights out time is full dark until dawn (10:00 PM to 5:00 AM) - this means no music, partying or loud talking in the gym/campsite; if you want to talk in person (your ride director has been guilty of this very sin!) or on your phone, be considerate of those around you who are trying to sleep.  If you must “answer the call” during the night, please keep in mind how much noise a slamming toilet door can make, and take care to minimize the disturbance!  For reference, during the week of RTFL, local sunrise time is 5:40 AM and local sunset 8:15 PM.

• Remember, zippers make a lot of noise at 5:00 AM. Please be considerate of those still sleeping around you. Pack quietly if you plan to leave early.

• If you’re driving an RV, park away from the camp - especially if you plan to use a generator.  Designated RV parking areas will be indicated on the map of each campsite.

• Pick up trash; both yours and any that may be around you - leave the campground/gym cleaner than when you arrived.

 Showers and toilet facilities

Indoor showers or a shower trailer will be available at the campsite Sunday-Friday from approximately noon until 9 PM.  Indoor showers will be available at the YMCA in Sikeston until 9 PM Saturday June 10 and until 4 PM Saturday June 17.  Indoor restrooms will be augmented by outdoor portable toilets as necessary.

 Rider Meeting

Some nights there will be a rider meeting.  We believe this enhances both safety and the overall camaraderie of the group.  During this time, we will review any issues from that day’s ride, and offer a preview of the next day’s route, weather forecasts and points of interest.  This will usually occur around 7:00 PM, but exact times will be posted on the official ride message/info board.  On some evenings, there will be a program of entertainment and information, as well/instead.

Bike Repair

Mechanical support is available along the route each day and in camp each afternoon/evening 4:00-6:00 PM.  Expect to pay reasonable prices for parts and supplies, while tips will be accepted by the mechanic(s).  Emergency repairs ONLY, this is not the place to have neglected routine maintenance performed.

Be sure to have your bike completely checked and any necessary repairs made BEFORE you begin Ride the Fault Line.  The ride mechanic will not be equipped or have the time to do major repairs for you.  Bring at least 2 new tubes for each size tire on your bike.  In 2014 we had a rash of flats one morning and quickly used up all tubes from the mechanics' supplies since many riders did not bring their own spares!  If you have an older bike or one that may have hard to find or rare parts, consider bringing along spare parts for it.  You already know if this applies to you!


Ride the Fault Line organizers remind you that we are not responsible for the safety/security of your bicycle or other personal property.  Please use normal caution and care when leaving your camp area unattended, especially outdoors.  Don’t leave valuables lying around in full view.  Most of our small town communities are very safe, and law enforcement will conduct routine patrols, but don’t tempt fate.  Be on the safe side.  Bring a lock and whenever you are out of sight of your bicycle, secure it to a substantial object, or at least another bike.  At the long-term parking in Sikeston, the lot will be patrolled periodically and monitored by security cameras, but BE PRUDENT!  Lock your vehicle and BE CERTAIN any valuables inside are hidden from view!



 Course hours -  6:30 AM until 3:00 PM daily

SAG and mechanical support will be available daily from 6:30 AM until 3:00 PM. Riders may depart as soon as it is light enough to see and be seen, and all riders should be on the road no later than 8:00 AM.  RTFL RIDER ALERT! For greater safety and better visibility early in the morning or during rainy/cloudy conditions any time of day, ALL participants should have AND USE headlights and high visibility flashing taillights.  Brightly colored clothing is also suggested for riding in rainy/low-light conditions or after dark.


Local law enforcement along the route of Ride the Fault Line has been advised of our presence and will be monitoring both vehicle drivers and cyclists for adherence to the appropriate rules of the road.  Bicyclists are subject to citation by law enforcement for violating state law or local ordinances.  So be sure to obey all traffic laws and be a good ambassador of the sport of cycling at all times.  Take particular care in supervising any child or teen companions. Parents/guardians are responsible for their children and should keep them closely supervised at all times, both on and off the bike.

Always keep the following “rules of the road” in mind: 

• RTFL participants must wear an approved helmet at all times when on the bike.

• Use of earbuds/headphones is strongly discouraged.  Your sense of hearing is critical to avoiding many hazards.

Never ride more than two abreast and share the road. Ride single file when other vehicles need to pass.  In this region, farm equipment has the right-of-way! 

• Ride in a predictable manner and never ride in the lane for oncoming traffic except when passing safely.

• Do not draft behind motor vehicles.

• Pace-lines are discouraged in general on a group ride such as this, but especially in areas where vehicle traffic volume, including bicycle traffic, is high. Pace-lines should be limited in number to avoid traffic congestion and reduce the potential for accident and injury.

Call out and/or signal, as appropriate, to alert other riders when you:

1) intend to pass (“On your left” or “Passing”),

2) intend to turn,

3) are slowing or stopping (“Slowing,” “Stopping”),

4) become aware of a hazard ahead (“Pothole,” “Glass”, etc.),

5) absolutely DO NOT call “clear” at intersections.  It must remain the responsibility of each rider to determine whether it is safe to pass through an intersection based upon his/her immediate observations of the prevailing conditions.

SAG Support

Volunteer and staff drivers offer SAG support along the route each day to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or injuries. They also carry water and generally have an air pump handy for those repairing a flat along the route. If you need assistance from a SAG, pat your head or helmet. This signal lets passing vehicles know you need help and are not simply waving at passersby.  SAG occupants are NOT taken directly to camp when picked up.  SAG's are directed to patrol the route until they are full, then proceed to the host community.  If you ride a SAG, be prepared to do so for an extended period!  Riders are expected to be able to ride the full route each day and to have bicycles that are in good enough condition to withstand a seven-day tour.  SAGs are not intended for use by riders who are simply tired and should not be viewed as a service to be used for other than mechanical or health related reasons.

Lack of training/conditioning or poorly maintained bicycles are not good reasons for frequent use of the SAG services provided.  If you abuse the SAG privilege you may be asked to leave RTFL.

NOTE: If a minor under the age of 18 needs to be transported by a SAG vehicle, they MUST be accompanied by the adult traveling with them.

 Mechanical Support

Mechanical support will be available on the road and in camp. Signal a SAG or repair vehicle by patting the top of your head or helmet to let them know you need assistance.

Cyclists are responsible for any charges associated with parts or repairs. And, even if they don’t ask for payment, expressing your gratitude and “feeding the tip jar” is customary.


We guarantee there will be some!  Ride the Fault Line will continue, whether rain or shine, breezes or gusts, so be prepared to keep pedaling in whatever conditions Mother Nature sends our way. Weather in the four state area the middle of June typically ranges from quite warm to very hot and humid.  Temperatures in the mid 90’s are not unheard of.   Therefore, be very careful not to become dehydrated.  Drink BEFORE you feel thirsty and keep your water bottles filled.   When offered at a rest stop, it’s a good idea to drink Gatorade or other sports drink and eat a banana and/or pickle to maintain your electrolyte levels.  If you have any doubt about your ability to comfortably and safely ride in these conditions, you may want to consider a tour in a cooler part of the country.  And be sure to bring and use sunscreen and wear sunglasses!  Remember, temperatures, wind speeds, and the likelihood of storms increase as the day progresses, so it’s best to leave as early as you can each day.

Occasional thunderstorms may bring heavy rain, wind, lightning and even hail followed by a sharp, if usually brief, temperature drop.  Check the rider information board each evening/morning for the weather forecast, and then use your own judgment to decide whether to take rain gear on the bike that day.  When in doubt, be prepared with rain gear that can be put on or taken off as the need arises.   Should hazardous weather develop, seek out and take shelter as appropriate.  Take cover in a building such as a farm equipment shed, community center, or church.  If in the open with no building available and lightning threatens, get off your bike.  Its rubber tires provide no insulation/protection from lightning strikes!  Squat with your feet and knees close together, balance on the balls of your feet, bend forward and cover the back of your neck with your arms.  Make yourself as small a target as possible with a minimal portion of your body touching the ground.  Keep your helmet on as a protection from hail or flying objects.

In the event a tornado is approaching and you’re in the open, do not try to outrun the storm on your bike!  Since most injuries in a tornado are caused by flying debris, use the available time to find a low area away from trees that is unlikely to flood and lie flat on the ground.  Again, keep your helmet on as protection from hail or flying debris.  Tornadoes usually, but not always, will move from southwest to northeast.

EMERGENCY INFORMATION                                                                               back to top

Medical Emergencies

On the route, your first action would be to flag down a SAG vehicle, other riders, or any law enforcement, motorist or resident along the route.  To signal distress to an oncoming SAG vehicle, pat the top of your head or helmet with your hand.  An advantage of our very flat terrain is that most areas of the route will have adequate cell phone coverage.  If conditions seem to warrant, go ahead and contact first responders by dialing 911.  Another choice?  Dialing *55 on your cell phone will usually connect you with the local state police/highway patrol.   If a rider is injured and cannot be safely moved from the road, direct traffic to prevent further accident or injury.  Administer first aid if you are able/qualified and await assistance.  For emergencies in camp, either take the injured party to or send someone to the community information table for assistance, or, if unavailable and the situation seems to warrant, call 911.

Personal Identification

You should carry your driver’s license and medical insurance card, or photocopies of them, on your person.  YOU are responsible for any charges associated with medical care you receive while on the tour.  A number of commercial ID products are available ranging from bracelets to shoe tags.  Any ID and medical information that is ON YOUR BODY will be more likely found in the event of an accident than will information in a bike bag.  One of these ID products can be a very worthwhile investment.  Information should include your full name, contact information for someone who is NOT on the ride with you, blood type, drug allergies, and any unique medical conditions that might affect treatment decisions such as heart conditions, diabetes, etc.  Parents and/or guardians traveling with minors should have appropriate information available identifying them as authorized to make care decisions on behalf of the minor. You should carry this information with you in addition to your own ID information.



We expect all riders to ride the full route each day on RTFL. Though SAGs are provided, as mentioned previously, they are intended for riders who become injured or who have mechanical problems.  Our expectation is that riders and their bicycles arrive in good enough condition to complete each of the seven days of RTFL.


Whether RTFL is your first or 21st multi-day tour, getting yourself ready for the ride is key to making it an enjoyable experience.  For starters, be sure you’ve had a recent physical exam by your family physician.  And that reminds us-it’s a good idea to get a dental checkup, too.  You don’t want to wind up with a sudden toothache while on a bike tour!   Once cleared for training, don’t go at it full-bore if you’ve not been regularly active.  Increase your time and effort gradually.  Avoid focusing solely on building mileage at the expense of a well-rounded program that includes strength, flexibility, endurance, nutrition, hydration and rest.

That said, you do need to ride, ride, and ride some more!  There’s no substitute for seat time to accustom your backside to the saddle.  While 400 miles may seem like a lot, training correctly will ensure that after each day’s ride, even though  you may be tired, you’ll be ready for more the next morning.  Plan on increasing your mileage by l0% to 15% each week over the course of your training.    Begin with shorter rides back-to-back, and increase to longer days in the saddle.  You should eventually work up to some metric century (62 mile) distances since a couple of our days will be this long or slightly longer.  While RTFL’s biggest "claim to fame" is our flat route, riding at least some hills will help your ability to ride into headwinds, which there’s a good chance you’ll get to do once or twice during the week!  If possible, ride with others to get prepared for sharing the road with other cyclists.  Many books and articles have been written on the subject of training for cyclists.  If you have doubts about your ability, or questions about how to train, you are encouraged to research the topic on-line or at your local book or bike shop.

Bicycle Preparation

Get your bike tuned up and adjusted to fit you before beginning to train.  Efficient position and good body alignment will help you feel more comfortable. Poor fit is more painful than poor training.  To have your bike fitted professionally, contact a bicycle shop in your area.

Schedule a tune-up with your local shop several weeks before you leave on the ride.  Don’t wait until the last minute. You want to have a trouble-free riding adventure!  Make sure to have them check the condition and adjustment of brake pads, brake cables and gear cables as well as bearing adjustments in your hubs, headset and bottom bracket. Tires should be checked for excessive wear and cuts and nicks.  Unbelievably, many riders come to the tour each year on tires that are worn out or dry-rotted, and then are surprised when they have tire trouble!!  Spokes should be checked for tightness and wheels for true.  Speaking again from personal experience, carbon fiber frames and rims need to be inspected for cracks, even if they have not been in a fall or collision, but especially if they have been.  As mentioned earlier, consider getting and packing spares for any unusual or hard to find parts your bike may use, and don’t forget the spare tubes!


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A “RIDE THE FAULT LINE” CYCLIST                      back to top

5:00-5:30 AM: Morning coffee service available (most, but not all, sites)

5:30 AM-No sooner!  Luggage truck will open-load your own bags, be sure you have everything you need for the day, watch your step on the loading ramps!

5:30 -7:30 AM: Breakfast- host communities will provide your included breakfast in or near the camp area beginning at 5:30 AM (except Sunday, when the location is across the street at a church, and Wednesday, when the location will be a local restaurant about a mile along the route) 

5:40 AM: Sunrise on the ride route the week of RTFL.  Common sense as well as local laws dictate that riders who leave before sunrise must have/use head and tail lights.  Keep in mind if you leave early and/or ride fast, rest stops may not be ready for you.

6:30 AM -3:00 PM: Route is open.  SAG's patrol the route to assist those with injuries or mechanical difficulty.  Riders are EXPECTED to be able to ride the full route each of the seven days of RTFL. SAG support is only for assistance in the event of injury, illness, or mechanical problems.

6:30 AM: 1st water/rest stop open.

8:00 AM  Baggage truck closed and leaves for next host community.   All riders should be on the route.

10:00 AM -Noon: Baggage truck arrives in host community.  Touring tradition is for the first riders to arrive to please assist with unloading!  Before setting up your tent, be sure to consult your site map/check site signage for permissible locations/out-of-bounds areas.

Noon- 5:00 PM Local community information table staffed for assistance and direction to attractions, events, & food. Riders are encouraged to explore and experience everything the local communities are offering!

Noon-9:00 PM: (opening time approximate) shower trailer open

3:00 PM-8:00 PM Shuttle buses available to take riders to restaurants, shopping, and other points of interest.

4:00 -6:00 PM: Bicycle repair services available near camping area.  Tips appreciated!

5:30 -7:00 PM: Dinner available in host communities Sunday, and Wednesday-Friday.  Other evenings please patronize your choice of local restaurants.  Refer to the site maps and the message/info board for the location of the included dinner and breakfast meals.

7:00 PM: (most nights-time approximate-see message/info board for exact time) Rider meeting/entertainment with announcements and more. The location for this will be shown on your site map for each community as well as posted on the information board.  Any changes in route or stops for the next day are shared along with other valuable information.

10:00 PM-5:00 AM: Quiet/lights out hours in camping areas, inside and out. When the sun goes down in the camping area it generally gets pretty quiet pretty quickly.  Early to bed-early to rise is the best philosophy for a bike tour!  If you are an early riser, be respectful of others and minimize your morning packing noise.  Sunset the week of RTFL is 8:15 PM.


What to include?

The bike tourist’s biggest dilemma-what should I pack?  Everyone has their own ideas about what’s essential and what may be optional.  Only you can prepare a list that’s right for you.  But with that in mind, here are some guidelines to consider:

• Luggage must be on the truck each morning no later than 8:00 AM.

• ALL external zippers MUST be FULLY zipped up!

• All baggage must have the supplied RTFL yellow luggage bands attached.

• No more than two bags, weighing a maximum 40 pounds each, per registered rider. Weigh them before you arrive!

• YOU must load your own bag(s) on the luggage truck each morning and carry them to your sleeping spot each afternoon.

• Specifically disallowed items:

1. Anything tied to the outside of the luggage (tent poles, umbrellas, air pumps, etc)

2. Bags that require cargo straps, bungee cords, etc. to hold them together-these can get caught on the truck or each other and cause serious injury to handlers when loading/unloading the baggage.

2. Hazardous or flammable materials

3. Luggage carts, trailers, etc.

4. External frame backpacks or metal cots, chairs, etc.

Bags are stacked on top of each other in the luggage truck and tossed out of the truck on the ground.  Best to avoid fragile/breakable items.   Soft sided duffel type bags survive best. Neither Ride The Fault Line, Midwest Cyclotouring, LLC, nor any of our ride volunteers or host communities or their volunteers will be responsible for items lost, stolen, broken, or otherwise damaged.

Some riders take a minimalist approach and bring only a single change of clothes for riding and camping and launder these daily.  Others prefer to bring fresh clothes for each and every day.  Some are happy with a sleeping pad and bag, while others feel they must have queen-size inflatable mattresses, reclining chairs, all the comforts!   Just keep in mind, YOU have to pack and carry all this stuff to and from the luggage truck each day, you’re limited to two bags, and your bags cannot weigh more than 40 pounds each. Best to follow that old advice, “when in doubt, leave it out!”

Click here for a printable copy of the packing list suggestions.


Suggested packing list


On your bicycle/person:


Bike gloves


Two water bottles

Air pump/inflator

Spare tube(s)

Tire irons

Rack, handlebar or under seat bag

Lock and cable

Cell phone 

Rearview mirror



Lip balm w/sunscreen


Medication/first aid

Medical/personal ID/info

Money/credit card



Duffel bag(s)

Tent/ground cloth

Tent stake hammer

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Air mattress/inflator



Small battery operated fan



Cycling jerseys


Cycling shorts

Regular shorts

Rain jacket/suit/pants


Cycling shoes

Camp shoes

Shower shoes



Toiletry Kit:

Towel and washcloth

Shower gel and shampoo (flip top style preferred)




Spare glasses/contacts



Nail clippers







First Aid:

Band aids/bandages

Antibiotic ointment

Anti-chafing/saddle sore meds

Insect repellent

Aspirin/other pain relief meds

Prescription medicines


Tool Kit:

Chain lube

Spare tube

Tube repair kit

Small screwdriver

Hand cleaner, rag

Plastic tape

Tools to fit your bicycle

Extra nuts and bolts/spokes



Chargers for electronics


Bike tag


Insurance card

Credit card

Driver’s license

Bandana/dew rag

Emergency food

Toilet paper


Bicycle serial number



Camera, memory card(s)

Allen wrench

Large plastic bag poncho/cord

Fanny pack

Sewing kit/repair kit

Clothes line/clothespins

Ziploc bags

Trash bags

Shower bag

Ear plugs

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