Attention Riders & Crew: It is your responsibility to read through these rules carefully before the pre-race meeting and then ask any questions you may have. Penalties will be assessed against the rider or crew for their mistakes. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse.

These rules represent the minimum interference with rider strategy and performance while effectively controlling the race and preventing repeats of hazardous situations that have developed in previous races. HOS presents an individual challenge in endurance cycling, with the rules ensuring maximum safety and competitive fairness.



The chain of command in the race organization is as follows:

1. Race Director
2. Race Officials

Riders should first direct questions to the Officials on the route; then the Race Director.



The Race Director reserves the right to define the "intent of the rules" to preserve the integrity of HOS. The Race Director may construct new rules and penalties, or to alter old rules and penalties if necessary, before, during, or after the event under extreme circumstances that were not foreseen by any of the following rules, or if a rider is trying to find "loopholes" in the rules. Full responsibility for the decision will be born by the Race Director, as an agent of the UMCA. Riders may protest the decision after the race.



A contingency is a conjuncture of unplanned events. The race organization cannot be held accountable for contingencies and therefore will not issue time bonuses, deduct time off a rider's overall time, or move a rider up the course due to contingencies. Contingencies include traffic lights, traffic jams, trains, winds, storms, earthquakes and other "acts of God," detours, road construction, and any other event falling under the definition above and unplanned events over which the race organization had no control.

It is possible that one rider has to follow longer detour option during daylight road construction and then the direct route is open again at night for the following riders. These routine inconveniences are all part of the challenge of racing by bicycle.



No protest may be filed which requires a judgment call and cannot be determined without tangible physical evidence. Protests must be submitted immediately after the race and will be ruled on by the UMCA Advisory Board within 60 days.



The race clock will be set at the start to Central Time and will not stop for any reason. The Race Director, however, may make time adjustments after the start of the race to account for extenuating circumstances.



See Race Division attachment page for current rules for each category.

The first rider in each division across the finish line will be declared the winner of that division.

Primes may be awarded for designated points along the route, but there are no time bonuses. To collect the primes the rider must officially finish the race.



Race Officials are instructed to keep interaction with crew and riders to a minimum. They will be friendly but cannot give aid or favor to any one rider.

1. If a crew or rider needs to confer with a Race Official, crews may signal a staff vehicle by blinking headlights several times and waving an arm up and down out a side window. If an official cannot be contacted this way, a request for an official may be included in the next time station call to Race Headquarters.

2. Concerns or questions about rules should be relayed to Headquarters or Officials on the route.

3. There are two types of officials:

(1) Officials in marked vehicles that go along for the entire race;

(2) Officials in unmarked vehicles that cover only part of the route. These "covert" officials will be unknown to all riders and may appear anywhere at anytime without warning. They may give penalties on the spot, or they may report the penalty, which will be assessed by the Race Director at a later time.



1. Time penalties for traffic law violations and/or HOS rule violations will accumulate throughout the race. These time penalties are cumulative. Riders and Teams are allowed 5 penalties then disqualified on the 6th penalty.

2. If rider penalties will change the finishing order of the race, Race Officials will detain the guilty rider at the last time station for the accumulated number of penalty minutes before being allowed to proceed.

3. If rider penalties will not change the finishing order, then the rider penalties will be added to their overall time at the finish line.

4. Any rider, crew or personal film crew seen violating traffic or race rules will be penalized. These penalties are served by the rider.

5. Warnings may be given at the discretion of a Race Officials and/or Race Director. Warnings can be given at any time, although a warning does not have to be given before a penalty can be assessed.



Solo Riders = 5 minutes per infraction
Teams = 5 minutes per infraction

If a rider or crew is observed repeatedly, flagrantly, or apparently willfully disregarding traffic or other rules, the Race Director may authorize a Race Official to impose an immediate, mandatory one-hour penalty for solo riders or Teams. This one hour penalty will be served immediately in a safe location regardless of time of day. Riders and crew must stop for one hour.



The following are grounds for immediate disqualification:

1. Refusal to agree and abide by the contractual requirements necessary to participate in HOS, including: riders and crew conducting themselves in a positive and professional manner, release of liability waiver, insurance waiver, rider conditions to race, etc.

2. Use of illegal drugs, banned substances, or alcohol of any kind by a rider or crew.

3. Rider advancing along the route without a bike or in a vehicle without authorization from a Race Official (except in the case of a medical emergency or in search of a motel or some other race necessity).

4. Improperly registered or improperly insured support vehicles or improperly licensed support vehicle operators.

5. Illegal drafting of any motor vehicles.

6. Holding onto another vehicle (motorized or non-motorized) to aid or augment forward travel.

7. Refusing to take a mandatory sleep (off bike) break after displaying unsafe bike handling skills, as demanded by a Race Official.

8. Behavior on the part of a rider or crew that is deemed inappropriate and that might cause safety, legal, or reputation problems for the race or other riders and their crew.

9. Willfully altering roads signs to misdirect the competition or for any other reason.

10. Accumulation of more than 5 penalties of any kind. Disqualified on the 6th penalty.



1. For any of the violations resulting in disqualification, in HOS and/or record rides throughout the year, or cumulative over many years, the following applies:

  • 1st flagrant offense = Disqualification.
  • Double flagrant offense = HOS/UMCA suspension of one year.
  • Triple flagrant offense = UMCA permanent banishment.

2. The Board of Directors of Ultra-Marathon Cycling, Inc. reserve the right to permanently ban anyone from the HOS and/or the UMCA if they determine that this person is a serious liability or detriment to the corporation, for any reason whatsoever.

Because UMCA and HOS are DBAs of Ultra-Marathon Cycling, Inc., the owners must reserve this right in order to protect themselves and the corporation. This provision is meant to be used only in extreme cases.



HOS is conducted over public highways and bridges. The HOS organization obtains authorization from Departments of Transportation to conduct the event in accordance with these rules and the directions contained in the OFFICIAL HOS ROUTE BOOK.

1. Nothing in the HOS rules supersedes the authority of local traffic police officers and state highway patrol troopers in exacting compliance to the vehicle code for all users of the public highways.

2. In a very few cases, exceptions have been granted for bicycles to use controlled access highways normally denied to them, specifically the rider's pace vehicle to travel a highway shoulder when such travel by vehicles is normally not permitted. Riders and crew vehicles, proceeding in accordance with these rules and in strict observance of the directions and cautions in the OFFICIAL HOS ROUTE BOOK, may be confident that such conduct has the prior approval of local authorities.

3. On occasion, a patrol officer or trooper fails to be informed of HOS and takes action to interfere with a rider's progress or the operation of a pacing vehicle. A rider may even be forced to leave the HOS route. If any dispute arises with local authorities, the Race Director will determine the merits of the case whether any time or distance adjustment should be made.

4. If the action was a result of the rider or crew vehicle driver not conforming to traffic laws, HOS rules and directions, or riding/driving unsafely, no time or distance adjustment will be made.

5. HOS is conducted on public roads. At all times, be polite and courteous to other drivers and motorists.



See Also: Support Vehicles, Rider Rules

1. Violation of any Traffic law by riders or crew will result in a penalty.

2. Riders must obey all traffic laws including stops at stop signs/lights.

3. A legal stop is defined as follows: Just short of a track stand, slow enough to theoretically turn the handlebars to the side without falling. The spokes of a wheel should be individually visible or graphics on a disc wheel should be readable. A rider does not actually have to remove a foot from the pedal and touch the ground.

4. Turning right at a red light, making an immediate U-turn and another right turn to avoid waiting at a red light is not allowed.

5. In the event a traffic signal light sensor fails to detect a competitor or event vehicle and display a green light, the competitor or event vehicle must wait for a minimum of three (3) minutes for the signal to change. If the signal has not changed after three minutes, the competitor or event vehicle may continue forward progress only in AN EXTREMELY SAFE MANNER to advance past the defective traffic signal. If there is a sign which states a longer wait is necessary, then the time stated on the sign is the minimum time to wait.



At each time station the rider or support crew will be contacting the Race Headquarters answering service to tell Headquarters of their location. If there is an important update from Headquarters a warning signal will be relayed to the rider or crew.

1. Every race official and rider/crew representative must contact the Race Headquarters answering service at each time station, or each 12 hours to check about route changes or important updates.

2. Cell phones or pay phones may be used. Cell phones in vehicles are recommended, but not required.

3. Riders will call the headquarters answering service with their rider name, checkpoint location and time of day. No other information will be available at this Headquarters recording number except for important updates, if any.

4. Friends and family of crew members should not call Headquarters except to leave emergency messages.



See Also: Route, Race Information, Other Reporting

1. The location of Time Stations is very specific. Riders and crew must follow ALL route instructions to reach the Time Stations.

2. The Rider Name, Time Station Number, and the Race Time must be reported when the rider passes the time stations.
a. Remember the time recorded is the rider's time, not the time when the crew member made the call.
b. This call to Race Headquarters require less than 60 second to complete.

3. Upon arrival at a Time Station, EVERY CREW MUST check in for messages by contacting Race Headquarters.

4. Route Changes are officially communicated at Time Stations when riders call headquarters.

5. A member of the crew MUST make the call. Race Officials are not responsible for calling in rider information at Time Stations.

6. DO NOT LEAVE the Time Stations unless you are certain some crew member will make the call for your rider.

7. A rider whose times are not called in at Time Stations within 30 minutes will receive a penalty.

8. At night if it is necessary for the Pace Vehicle to stop and make the call, then the rider must stop also.


PHONE PROBLEMS calling Race Headquarters

1. If the headquarters line is busy, even though the rider may be stopped (at night and the pace car is making the call), keep trying for at least 3 minutes. If the reporting crew is not from the pacing vehicle, the call should be attempted for at least 10 minutes. If problems persist call from the next working phone and indicate problems connecting. After the first time station on the first day, most phone lines should available.

2. If a phone is found to be inoperative or missing, make the report from the next working phone, reporting that the Time Station phone has failed. This will allow Headquarters to update other riders of the inoperative phone at the previous Time Station.

3. If a phone is found to be inoperative or missing by the Race Officials preceding the lead rider, a message will be posted to indicate where the nearest working phone is located. Consideration will be given in such cases for the time necessary for the reporting crew to get to the working phone.

4. A time penalty is likely to be issued to a rider if a crew fails to call in from a Time Station due to phone problems when riders ahead and behind are successful in making the required report on a prompt basis.



See Also: Time Stations

Crews may obtain position, assessed penalties, and drop status on any riders in order to keep track of other racers. While every effort is made to keep location information as correct as possible, HOS is not responsible for any rumors or inaccurate information obtained by crews at local time stations other than route or rule changes.



See Also: Rider, Support Vehicles, Crew, Police, Night Riding

Crew must notify Headquarters, a Race Official, or a Time Station staff member in the following situations:

a. A rider is, or plans to be, off the course hidden from view longer than 30 minutes.

b. A casual rider continues riding within 10 meters (30 ft.) of a HOS competitor and is a nuisance.

c. If the primary pace vehicle has broken down and the rider is being supported by another crew vehicle.

d. To obtain permission for crew additions or changes.

e. If delayed, sent off course, wrong turn on route, or detained by local or state police longer than 30 minutes.

f. Following the rider at night with a motor home if all other vehicles are incapacitated and no other vehicles are available to follow the rider. This does not apply to vehicles temporarily stopping to buy gas, food, restroom, and other "poor planning" circumstances.



See Also: Other Reporting, Crew, Rule, Traffic Laws, Police



Support Vehicle: A motorized vehicle with at least two wheels and is used to transport people and/or equipment necessary for use by a competitor.

Pace Vehicles: Those vehicles that will follow directly behind the rider.



May be used to accompany the rider while the Pace Vehicle is being serviced for a temporary period of time. Motor homes are larger than vans or pickup trucks and typically are equipped with cooking facilities, toilet facilities, sleeping accommodations, etc. A large truck could also be termed as a motor home for the purposes of these rules.

1. There is no maximum number of vehicles or personnel that a rider may have in the crew.

2. Each rider must start the race with at least one four wheeled vehicle equipped as a pace vehicle as defined in these rules, and two drivers with valid licenses.

3. All support vehicles must be properly registered and carry at least the minimum insurance required by law by the state of registration.

4. All race vehicles (pace vehicles, spy vehicles, RVs, etc.) must use their headlights whenever the vehicle is in operation (defined as being in gear), day or night. This will make all of our vehicles much more visible at all times during the race.

5. Caravanning is prohibited by all crew vehicles. Defined as two or more vehicles traveling at the same speed behind a rider except when waiting to pass.

6. No support vehicle may block or impede the progress of another competitor.

7. All vehicles must travel at legal highway speed when not pacing behind their rider.



See Also: Race Communication, Support Vehicles, Pace Vehicle Operation

1. Each competitor must be supported by at least one primary pacing vehicle intended to accompany the rider.

2. The pace vehicle must be no more than 78 inches in width, measured at 3 feet from the ground. The width across this point is the width of the vehicle, not including side mirrors. Mini-vans are best because most are 72" wide. Large passenger vans are allowed as long as they meet the width requirement.

3. Pace vans shall not be a conversion motor home, and cannot be a step van (e.g. UPS truck).

4. Front, and right side windows must be clear of all solid obstructions except for the third and forth passenger seat side windows of vans. Rear windows should be as clear as possible. The driver must have a view of following traffic with inside or outside mirrors.



1. Pace Vehicles must have a minimum of two crew members at all times.

2. The pace vehicle headlights must be dimmed in ALL situations, including approaching and overtaking traffic as well as for oncoming traffic. Lights should also be dimmed if following slow moving traffic closer than 100 meters (300 ft.).

3. Music and public address systems may be installed, but their use must be curtailed in residential areas, particularly during hours of darkness. "Walkman" pocket-size stereos are permitted though the volume must be kept low enough to hear sirens and/or voices from passing crew or official's vehicles. It is recommended that one speaker only be used in one ear. The other can be tucked into the jersey collar.

4. The pace vehicle cannot lead the rider through fog or traffic. The rider must stay in front of the pace vehicle. Auxiliary vehicles cannot pace ahead of the rider at the rider's speed, but may drive ahead and pull off the roadway and wait for the rider.

5. Traveling alongside a rider is permitted for handing off food and supplies to the rider and exchanging information. Limited to 1 minute per exchange and 4 times per hour.


7. Remaining alongside longer than necessary in order to provide the rider an advantage against prevailing wind is prohibited.

8. If traffic conditions do not allow pacing alongside the rider for handoffs, the pace vehicle should proceed ahead, stop off the pavement, and use a pedestrian handoff as the rider passes.

9. A pedestrian or person in a pace vehicle may execute "hand-to-hand" handoffs to the rider while the rider is moving or vice versa. These handoffs must be passed from the hand of the "giver" to the hand of the "receiver."

10. Inserting something into the rider's pocket, water bottle cage or any bike or clothing adjustments between rider and moving support vehicle are prohibited.

11. A moving rider may toss discarded items to a crew provided this is done in a safe manner and no littering takes place.

12. The pace vehicle may not impede following traffic for more than 1 minute. The pace vehicle must pull off the road and let traffic pass when five or more vehicles are waiting to pass regardless of time. During the day the rider may proceed alone, with the pace vehicle catching up once traffic is clear.

13. Pace vehicles should follow their rider as far to the right of the lane as possible or on the paved shoulder.

14. During daylight riders may proceed unescorted. The pace vehicle may stop, allowing the rider to continue on alone for a short time even when out of sight. Then driving at normal highway speed to catch up to the rider and pulling off the road and stopping as before just behind the rider. This is especially applicable on the first day of the race when a dozen or more riders may be climbing the same hill at the same time, causing a serious problem for oncoming and following traffic to proceed around the pace vehicles.

15. Under no circumstances will the pace vehicle pull ahead of a rider for the purpose of proceeding to an intersection to cause the traffic signal to change to the rider's benefit. If two or more pace vehicles are used during the event, these extra vehicles and crew may attempt this maneuver as long as they do so safely without interfering with the normal flow of traffic.

16. Special attention by the pace vehicle drivers must be taken in passing situations when one rider overtakes another. The rider and pace vehicle in the lead and getting passed must yield by slowly moving to the right. The following rider must accelerate and pass on the left. Always yield to the normal flow of traffic.

17. If two riders decide to ride together (for up to 15 minutes), one of the pace vehicles follows both riders while the other remains parked on the side of the road or drives up ahead and stops. Under no circumstances should two or more pace vehicles of different riders caravan down the road or travel side by side at the speed of the rider. Both riders will be penalized.



1. In addition to standard emergency flashers built into the vehicle, the primary pace vehicle must have two amber flashing lights, one at each extreme left and right end of the roof rack or roof, visible only from behind and not from the front (duct tape can be used to cover the front half of the light).

2. They must be powered from the vehicle electrical system with a separate switch and be able to be turned on and off without affecting the vehicle's factory emergency lights or the regular rear tail lights. These roof lights cannot be solely battery operated.

3. The roof-mounted amber flashing lights must not be too bright as to momentarily blind or create excessive glare to a passing motorist. Prior to the start of the race, check out the rear flashers with practice "drive-bys." If the lights are too bright, either replace the lights with lower wattage bulbs or cover part of the light lens with filament tape (packing tape with the strands) until the glare is removed.

4. These amber lights must be flashing at all times when following the rider.



1. Additional vehicle driving lights are allowed as long as they are not higher than 48" or above the windshield of the support vehicles. State laws forbids any roof mounted lights.

2. Extra bumper mounted lights are allowed as long as they do not shine toward oncoming traffic. A combination of low fog lights to reduce shadows and directional spot lights or vehicle lights to see down the road will work best.

3. Many states only allow four front bulbs to be on at one time.

4. Handheld spot lights brighter than 10 watts are not allowed. Van powered flashlights for crew duties are allowed.

5. No extensions beyond 36" in the front of the bumper for light brackets or spare wheels.



1. A D.O.T standard reflective slow moving vehicle triangle (36 cm or 14 inches high) fluorescent orange equilateral triangle with 3 cm (1.5 inch) reflective red border, and Caution Bicycles Ahead sign must be displayed on the rear of the pace vehicle while following directly behind the rider.

2. This D.O.T. triangle must be removed or covered up when traveling over 45 mph (when not following the rider).

3. A rider may have more than one pace vehicle meeting the requirements noted above, however, only one pace vehicle may follow the rider at any given time. Although a rider may enter the race with two or more pace vehicles meeting all the requirements of a pace vehicle, only the vehicle following the rider will be termed "the pace vehicle".

4. Vehicles pacing a rider may not tow any kind of vehicle, trailer, motorcycle, or motor scooter.



1. Motor homes cannot act as a pacing vehicle (follow directly behind a rider).



1. The Race Director may consider exceptions to allow a sponsor's support vehicle to service equipment or provide supplies to several riders in the same division. (two riders have the same sponsor who provides a tech van to service both.)

2. If motorcycles, scooters or other like vehicles are used, appropriate legal helmets must be worn at all times by the driver and passenger regardless of local state regulations. Bicycle helmets are not legal when riding a motorcycle.

3. Motorcycle operators must have motorcycle licenses, if required in the state where they are driving.



1. Spying is the use of one crew's support vehicles for the purpose of obtaining information about other competitors.

2. Spying vehicles must conform to the normal flow of traffic. No caravanning.

3. Spies may not pass a rider being spied upon more often than five times in one hour or more frequently than once in five minutes.

4. Spying vehicles parked along the race route must be far enough off the roadway and not interfere with the passage of a rider or pace vehicle.

5. Spies must not verbally annoy the rider or use a spying vehicle engine noise, wind gust and road dust, or exhaust offensively.

6. Spies may not use bicycles or other human powered vehicles or devices (e.g., skates) anywhere near the HOS rider.

7. Spying through interception of radio communications is not controlled beyond the licensing controls of the FCC. Crews should be advised to switch radio channels or have some other plan for communications if spying is suspected by another competitor.



See Also: Pace Vehicle Operation, Night Riding, Penalties, Clothing, Traffic Laws

1. Riders will not be driven up the course under any conditions except to motels or emergencies.

2. Riders will wear a properly fastened ANSI-approved helmet at all times. THE HELMET MUST BE PROPERLY FASTENED AND NOT JUST SITTING ATOP THE HEAD.

3. A rider may not receive any type of push-off from another person or vehicle.

4. A rider may not receive pacing of any form (on foot, by bicycle, roller skates, or anything else) from a crew member. Road side cheering is allowed from crew members and race fans.

5. A rider may ride a bicycle with a flat tire or other mechanical problems. If a Race Official deems the problem unsafe, the rider must stop or proceed on foot with the bike until the bicycle is replaced or repaired.

6. A rider may proceed on foot along the HOS route as long as the bicycle is present (carried, dragged, or pushed). A rider separated from his bicycle may not proceed along the race route, but may travel backward by any means along the route.

7. Competitors may ride alongside each other (within 100 meters) for 15 minutes per 24 hour period, and no more.

8. Riders may not block or impede the progress of another competitor.

9. Riders may not draft off any other vehicle and must try to maintain at least 100 meters from another rider's pace vehicle whose speed he wishes to maintain. This rule is relaxed at the start until the field has spread out enough to give riders control over intervals between them. This rule allows following traffic to pass each rider/pace vehicle safely.

10. At traffic stop signs/lights, riders may not hold onto or receive balance support from any crew vehicle or person. The rider may use a permanent object (post, mailbox, etc.) commonly located at stop lights, to assist in balance without having to remove a foot from the pedal.

11. Moving riders may not be tethered by electrical wiring, feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, or other attachments either to a vehicle or pedestrian.

12. Riders must stop for drug or medical testing, or imposition of punitive penalties when directed by a HOS Official. The time required for such stops will not be deducted from the rider's time.

13. Riders must accommodate neutral film crews as much as possible, however intentionally drafting off a camera vehicle is prohibited. Riders must ride to the right of press and camera vehicles during interviews, not directly behind them, unless the camera vehicle is far enough ahead as not to create a wind draft.

14. If a camera crew is causing problems for the rider, politely ask them to leave or notify officials of problems. If the problem continues, immediately notify a Race Official, Director, or Headquarters.



See Also: Disqualification, Clothing, Penalties, Other Reporting

A support crew person is anyone who actively assists the rider in any manner on a continuous basis for a given block of time. The Race Director will make the determination as to whether or not such a person is a crew under these rules.

1. All crew must have signed and agreed to the terms in the release of liability waiver prior to being permitted to participate in HOS.

2. The rider is accountable for the behavior of the crew. A crew's misconduct may result in the penalization or disqualification of aN entrant. If it is determined that a crew is a liability, he or she may be suspended from participating in the event.

3. A rider may add crew may be added at any time anywhere during the race provided the new members(s) agree to (by signing) all the terms explained in the release of liability waiver and Race Headquarters must be is immediately notified. The crew captain must have additional copies of the waiver form available to be signed by add-on crew.

4. One crew will be designated crew captain and will speak for the crew and rider in reporting problems, suggestions, or other information to Race Officials. Other persons in their capacity as crew should not speak in an official capacity to Race Officials, unless the crew captain is not available. Crew captains may designate another person to act on his/her behalf when necessary.

5. A crew may offer assistance to any rider or crew participating in HOS at any time but cannot give misdirection on routing to another rider or crew.

6. Each crew must be self-sufficient, communicating between their vehicles, locating food, water, fuel, supplies, motels, medical facilities and any other requirements along the route. Officials are not required to assist crew members unless it is a medical emergency.

7. One crew may service two riders that are competitors as an act of "good sportsmanship".

8. A crew may change crews during the race only after their rider has been officially dropped.

9. If a crew member willfully violates or attempts to violate a rule in order to aid the rider, the other crew members have the obligation to stop that crew and correct the violation. Crew members have a moral obligation to the rules no less than the riders.

10. If a crew is unexpectedly lost from a two-person crew, the crew must immediately notify Race Headquarters. Based on the rider's location in the race, distance traveled, crew experience, etc., the Race Director will determine as to whether or not a second crew will have to be obtained to finish the race.

11. Safety, for racers, crews, officials and other HOS participants, and for the persons and property along the route, is the single most important concern for everyone connected with the race. In an emergency where human life is in jeopardy, all attention should be directed to the injured.

12. If a rider loses time due to responding to an injury-related situation, wherein the rider's or crew's assistance is warranted, the Race Director will determine a proper time adjustment if the rider loses time. If the intercession of the rider/crew was not warranted in the injury situation, the Race Director may determine that no time adjustment be given.



1. There are no restrictions on how many hours a competitor may ride without off-bike rest. However, for safety reasons, a HOS Official may impose an immediate, mandatory ONE hour off-bike penalty on any rider if certain symptoms of sleep deprivation are evident.

2. It is the responsibility of the crew and/or rider to make sure they are rested well and fit enough to proceed safely. Pace vehicle crew must be prepared for the rigors of the night by getting what rest they need during the preceding day.

3. If a rider refuses to comply with the demands of his/her crew to rest and the crew feels the rider is in danger, a Race Official or Headquarters must be notified immediately.

4. It is the responsibility of the crew and/or rider crew captain's responsibility to ensure the crew is receiving adequate rest to proceed safely and for safe operation of support vehicles. If no adequately rested drivers are available for safe operation of vehicles, the rider must voluntarily stop.

5. If a crew operating a motor vehicle, or a rider riding a bicycle exhibits unsafe driving practices for any reason, a Race Official may impose an on-the-spot 1-hour time penalty stop to the rider.



1. Riders may not proceed beyond the support vehicle lights during darkness, even when displaying legal required bike lights. The pace vehicle and rider become a single entity under normal night riding conditions.

2. The rules for handoffs, city traffic, mountain climbs, and other difficult pacing situations must be modified at night so that the bicycle never leaves the pace vehicle headlights.

3. The pace vehicle may stop for a few seconds and the rider may continue providing the rider is still well lighted by the following pace vehicle headlights

4. Bicycles ridden at night must be equipped with a front light visible and operating from 100 meters (300ft.) and steady-state (not-blinking) rear red light or incandescent red light visible from 150 meters (500ft.).



1. The HOS organization may hire independent film crews to document the race in a fair, safe and neutral manner.

2. Local television stations may also film the race near their area in a fair, safe and neutral manner.

3. All other personal film crews will be considered part of the host rider's crew. This film crew may focus their attention on their rider in a fair and safe manner.

4. Unsafe driving by a personal film crew will result in a penalty of the host rider. Even if the film crew is interviewing another competitor, unsafe actions by the film crew could result in a penalty to their host rider.

5. Film crews are subject to the same vehicle rules of the road as pace vehicles. Emergency flashers and a safety triangle must be used. Film crews are not required to have amber roof top flashers.

6. Failure to yield to following or oncoming traffic will result in a penalty.

7. Film vehicles must be labeled on four sides with "FILM CREW" signs. These signs should have black lettering on a white background size 6" x 18".



See Also: Night Riding, Clothing, Sponsors

1. Bicycles must be propelled solely by human force.

2. Maximum length is 2m (79in); maximum width, 75cm (30in). This is a standard racing bicycle.

3. Any number of bicycles or replacement parts may be used during the race.

4. Windscreens, fairing, and airfoils are prohibited. "Aero bars" and their accessories are allowed. A "wind scoop" under or around the handlebars or aero bars is prohibited because it is too close to being a fairing.

5. Disk wheels, composite spoke wheels, and wheel covers are allowed.

6. HOS reserves the right to disallow, either before the race or when observed in use during the race, any bicycle or component that the Race Director determines to be unacceptable for use in HOS competition. It is the obligation of the competitor to bring any non-standard or custom equipment to the attention of the Race Director before the race for an acceptability determination.



See Also: Sponsors

1. Clothing intended for cycling use or to decrease wind resistance is allowed (skinsuits). The attachment of fairings to clothing is not allowed.

2. Crew or riders may not strip naked for any reason outside of the support vehicle without appropriate coverings or curtains.

3. The Race Director may prohibit the use of certain names and logos, such as those associated with cigarettes or hard liquor, on crew clothing, or clothing items deemed worn in poor taste due to style, brevity, or inappropriate graphic design.



1. Each rider must follow the route book directions exactly as listed. This means exiting and reentering interstates, and other detailed route commands.

2. If a rider makes a wrong turn and rides off the course regardless of the reason, the rider may cycle or be driven back to the spot where the course deviation was made, then continue riding. If the wrong turn was due to a rider/crew error, no time credit will be given to the rider.

3. If the wrong turn was due to HOS's error (mistaken turn instruction, unclear directions), HOS will compensate the rider in time accordingly, providing an accurate time, distance, and location record is written down and provided as evidence associated with HOS's route error. "Unclear" as a cause of a routing error is established only if a significant number of HOS riders have similar problems with that particular set of routing instructions.

4. Riders cannot be shuttled up the course for any reason except for going to a motel or emergency situations. They must then return to the point where they last left the route to begin riding again.



The HOS Rules for solo riders apply to team riders, where appropriate. Additional team rules include:

1. One, two, three, or four riders may cycle at any time. Drafting is permitted within the same team, but not between rival teams.

2. There are no requirements as to how much time or how many miles each person can ride.

3. Each team may enter up to four riders (or two if it is in the two-rider category). If one or more of the team members gets hurt or cannot ride, no substitutions are allowed. Only one rider has to finish. This means that the rest of the riders can drop out.

4. The bicycle requirements are the same as the HOS solo division.

5. The minimum crew requirements are as follows: Two, four wheeled vehicles and four crew, two assigned to each vehicle.

6. In the event of a sprint to the finish or to a prime location, the front point of the front wheel of the lead rider on a team must cross the plane of the finish line, as in traditional bicycle racing. If a pace line of riders on the same team are converging upon a finish line, the front rider determines the finishing spot.

7. If the police prohibit drafting, abide by their commands. RAO has no control over the authority of the police. If you fail to abide by their commands, you are at your own risk.

8. A temporary ban on drafting could be imposed if the team of riders creates undue traffic problems that could be remedied by having only one rider on the road.

9. Penalties for rule violations will be imposed to the entire team, not just to the persons responsible. The entire team must stop at the final time station to serve the cumulative penalties.

10. A new rider must overlap wheels with the rider they are replacing.

11. Riders may make a rolling exchange at cycling speed and ride side by side. The new rider then accelerates to begin their riding section while the old rider stops.

12. Opposing teams cannot ride together at all. There is no 15 minute rule as in the solo division.

13. If one team is about to pass another, the team being passed must yield right of way to the passing team and both teams must resume 100 meter splits.




Download a pdf of the official rules.
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Each person involved in the HOS 500 as rider, crew, or official must complete the following waiver, which is also included with the entry form:




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