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Let the "Rolling Thunder" madness begin!


copbike

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First of all, the thoughts and reasons behind “Rolling Thunder” are GREAT. I’m not a military man myself, but I do believe that people in the military deserve our respect and thanks for their service. My below comments have nothing to do with the reason for this event.

 

I live in Arlington, VA (a stones’ throw from the Pentagon). Every year, Rolling Thunder comes through and every year, I hate it. Instead of going into a long story as to why I hate this event, I will simply give you some things to consider if you come to this event.

 

Riding in the city:

 

If you’ve never driven in DC, here’s a hint: There is no sense to the way the city is designed. Many of the roads are one way, and in many situations, if you get off of at a wrong exit, you may not be able to get back on. If you're programming your GPS, then make sure you know what quadrant your address is in. DC is divided into four quads: NW, NE, SW and SE. Yes, it's possible to have the same address in different quadrants. A hint: most of the most visited areas of the city, monuments and museums are in NW.

 

Traffic Circles:

 

Drive very defensively! People in the circumference of the circle have the right of way…but don’t count on all drivers knowing or adhering to that….especially the out of towners, taxi drivers....heck, just about everyone.

 

Be courteous to cars.

 

Every year at the height of Rolling Thunder, there are huge parades of bikes that enter the city, I'm talking hundreds of bikes long. The parades go on and on for miles and miles. I myself have witnessed multiple times, people in these parades “blocking out” drivers and preventing them from exiting off of major highways. This is aggressive driving and does nothing more than give motorcyclists a bad name. Cars have every right to enter and exit onto highways…Keep an eye on turn signals and please be safe and responsible.

 

Parking:

 

There isn't enough, so again take a deep breath and be prepared to wait. If you get towed, well, it's going to cost ya both sanity and dollars.

 

Take your time and be prepared to wait.

 

There will be delays everywhere you go. If you go to Thunder Alley, be prepared to wait, (and not to mention breathe plenty of fumes and potentially lose a percentage of your hearing). There are thousands of bikes all looking for parking or coming and going. Be patient.

 

Be Patient

 

Did I mention being pateint?

 

Best advice is to avoid "The Mall" and area enjoy the lesser known areas in the DC Metro area.

 

Visit Old Town Alex. Mt. Vernon, Manassas Battle Field, The new Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport, Great Falls in VA or MD, or any number of historic places in the DC area. (Yea, I know that these sites are not the heartbeat of "Rolling Thunder", but keeping our Veterans in our minds and hearts is what’s important.)

 

Ride safe and responsibly.

-Tim

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wrestleantares

I haven't decided whether or not to ride this weekend (not at Rolling Thunder - but close to home).

 

I am a bachelor this weekend and can just go as I please, but I am thinking my favorite stomping grounds will be very crowded.

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Pete Darby

I,ve ridden in rolling Thunder and really enjoyed it. It was the first time my wife had been around "hard core bikers". She found them as nice as anyone else. What I found interesting was what I term the rubber band effect of group riding. The police escorted leaders go 35 MPH but back in the pack you are going from 20 to 70 depending on how the rubber band is stretched. Unfortunately I only rode the once since I am always out of town on Memorial day, as I will be this year.

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Depending on which paper one reads, approximately 300,000 to 400,000 bikes showed up yesterday.

 

I've gone in the past but it has gotten too, too big.

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