52°Scattered Clouds

Rolling Thunder Arrives Tomorrow

by ARLnow.com — May 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm 5,857 116 Comments

Thousands of bikers will begin to arrive in Arlington tomorrow afternoon for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally.

Residents who live along I-395 and Route 1 can expect to hear the roar of motorcycle engines tomorrow, May 25, as the bikers head to hotels in Crystal City — including the rally’s official hotel, the Hyatt Regency at 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway — and to a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.

On Sunday, Rolling Thunder will rumble over to the Pentagon parking lot at 6:45 a.m. for an event that will be followed by a convoy into D.C. at noon. In order to safely accommodate the rally, Arlington County Police will close Washington Boulevard from I-395 to the Memorial Bridge from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., according to a press release. During that time, Arlington National Cemetery will only be accessible from southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway or northbound Route 110.

“Motorists should expect large numbers of motorcyclists in Northern Virginia and the entire Washington Metropolitan area this weekend,” the police department advised. In the past, Rolling Thunder has drawn criticism for the amount of noise it generates for those who live along major roadways.

A complete list of Rolling Thunder events is available on the rally’s website.

Print
  • TJ

    Keeping the Higlander Motor Inn in business for …er… however long this race has been going on….

    • TJ

      ‘event’, not ‘race’ obviously…

  • novasteve

    Take the southpark approach to this!

  • novasteve

    They also go on dry runs in DC on Saturday and Sunday, not obeying traffic laws. Be VERY careful crossing the street becaues they WILL run red lights.

    • ArLater

      Nothing like generalizing an entire group of people based on maybe a few you’ve observed. That has always worked so well!

      • novasteve

        Dozens of bikers were running a red light with pedestrians crossing, they didn’t stop and people had to run to save themselves. They had no authority to put people’s lives at risk.

      • WeiQiang

        My observations span a sufficient number of years and a sufficient number of instances each year to qualify as statistically significant. novasteve is technically spot on and didn’t look like he was making a value judgement.

        Given the daily anecdotes we see on ArlNow everyday, his warning seems wise.

        … and be careful out there, brah.

        • Gormley

          My observations are actually slightly more statistically significant, and quite different from yours. I think you might be making it up.

          • WeiQiang

            Do you ride in Rolling Thunder?

      • TomTom

        nah, I’d say a good 70% of them do this .. wish MPD/APD would pull they all over when they do

        • CommonCents

          Because it’b be really easy and practical to pull over a handful of bikes out of a pack of 50 or so.

  • Westover

    Commence the whining about noise.

    • novasteve

      There are important safety issues, like their wanton disregard for red lights. They think they’re too imporant to obey a red light, and put pedestrians at risk. I’m not talking the actual event on Monday, but their practice runs. they have no legal authority to disregard traffic laws, and they put lives at risk.

      • drax

        But running red lights and almost killing pedestrians is FREEDOM!

      • Frank

        As usual, you just make things up.

        The event is always on the Sunday of the weekend to leave Memorial Day for the day to pay respect to those who have died.

        • novasteve

          The actual event is on MONDAY because it’s MEMORIAL day on Monday. They do practice runs in DC on Saturday and Sunday and they run red lights without the authority to do so.

          Are you going to tell the woman I had to grab and carry to safety a figment of my imagination or a lie? They have no regard for the safety of others and put people’s lives in danger because they run red lights.

          • nom de guerre

            I believe you are incorrect, Steve. Frank is correct on this one. The main event which is the ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Memorial takes place on Sunday, May 27 and has always been on Sunday due to the reason Frank cited.

            http://www.rollingthunder1.com/

          • novasteve

            Doesn’t change the fact they do dry runs and run red lights without the authority to. Do you think it helps POW/MIA by potentially killing pedestrians?

          • Helen

            Just remember the ones that have given you the right to make these comments – Rolling Thunder Riders!

          • drax

            Yes!

            So you’re saying he has a right to make these comments?

          • CommonCents

            In recent memory, the only “rolling thunder” weekend death I remember is a motorcyclist who wrecked on the parkway in ’08 the same weekend… and that wasn’t even during the event. If a bike hits a pedestrian, chances are they are flying off the bike as well. So I don’t think there are bikers heading towards peds willy-nilly as you are describing.

          • Frank

            Um, yes.

            Facts somewhat change the dramatic rescue story of saving a woman from the “dry run” – which they just don’t do, but whatever. 99.9% of them aren’t even here until Sunday morning when they go straight to the Pentagon. No “dry run” needed since the route has been the same year after year.

            But, whatever. Ignorance is bliss. Facts don’t matter.

          • nom de guerre

            Steve might have rescued this lady from Donaldson Run. It’s the only dry run around here that I am aware of.

          • Westover

            Carried a woman to safety away from the biker’s dry run??? LOL

            I’m dyin’ over here. Had to close my office door.

          • novasteve

            Do you think I should have left an elderly woman to get run over by bikers illegally running red lights?

          • Frank

            Do you think someone should be pinching you to wake up from your dreams?

        • WeiQiang

          IBID my comment above at 1:16. [except that novasteve's comment about being 'too important' is unnecessary, methinks]

        • WeiQiang

          [standby while my comment at 1:16 is moderated] *oy*

          • not your bro

            I think it’s fun to see the odd biker coming down Clarendon, makes for a change of pace.

            I do wonder, though, what’s in the red cups in the picture? I’d worry more about that than noise.

          • drax

            Those cups are full of FREEDOM!

          • KalashniKEV

            +1

          • WeiQiang

            It’s a potion that makes a lawyer on a Harley not talk like … well, a lawyer on a Harley.

          • Helen

            Red Solo Cups – Toby Keith. Listen and you shall learn!

          • not your bro

            who’s Toby keith?

    • JamesE

      I wouldn’t mind if it was rolling exotic sports cars because while loud, it would sound amazing.

    • drax

      Someone from Westover, near the beer garden, is whining about whining about noise?

      • Westover

        I’m not near the beer garden.

        • drax

          But you think those neighbors who are near it are whiners too, right?

          • Westover

            What are you rambling about now?

          • drax

            Bye.

          • marie antoinette

            LoL. +100

          • marie antoinette

            drax ramble? never. ever. LoL.

  • novasteve

    Valtrex should sponsor this next year.

  • DeportEmAll

    The County should designate the Artisphere as the R.T. gathering point and HQ.

    • Plunkitt

      +1

      • Find A Use For It

        And if they sold beer there they could be out of the red by Tuesday……

  • Cletus Van Damme

    Been in C.C. since 2009 and all you morons panicking need take a deep breath. These guys are harmless and do minimal damage at best. You want something to complain about, check out Daytona Beach or Myrtle Beach Bike Week…

    • drax

      No. I’ll complain about the loud noise now, here. I don’t live in Daytona and don’t care about that.

      Otherwise, yeah, great cause, good for them.

  • Hank

    Oh boy! It looks like the Bear Pride Parade is coming to town!

  • Tim

    As a motorcyclist who actually rides his bike year round these guys really annoy me. One reason is most of them are trailer queens. The other is many of them are rude to anyone who doesn’t ride an HD.

    • cubbie

      Trailer queens on HD’s is the whole reason love RT! Talk about rough trade . . . grrrr!

    • Quoth the Raven

      Maybe I’m out of it, but what is a “trailer queen”?

    • TxVaHunter

      Tim, and u know that most of them r trailer queens because why??

  • rossl

    fantastic. i’m so excited to hear them at all hours again. lovely.

  • Cry Cry Cry

    I live at The Bennigton and have for three years. These people never bother me because I’m usually having fun elsewhere on Memorial Weekend, not cooped up in my apartment complaining like a little brat.

    • not your bro

      Exactly. It’s once a year, it’s been going on a long, long time, if you’re not into it, then go hang out someplace else for a while. Tolerance and charity to others, people.

      • drax

        So now disturbing the peace should be legal because it’s been happening a long time?

        • RWarren

          Where do you live in Arlington that this creates such a noise problem for you?

          • drax

            Closer to it than you, apparently.

          • RWarren

            I doubt that.

          • drax

            So what? The noise bothers me. If it doesn’t bother you, good for you.

      • drax

        “Tolerance and charity to others, people.”

        Exactly my point.

        • not your bro

          I hate to crap on a fellow liberal, but man, your posts on here give us all a bad name. Lighten up, son.

      • 5555624

        I’ve lived here a long time — longer than they’ve been having Rolling Thunder — why should I have to go hang out somewhere else?

        • WeiQiang

          You don’t. Please be prepared for sustained loud thunder-like noises. There may also be intermittant disregard for traffic laws by both bikers and pedestrians. There will also be bikers and pedestrians that survived in local food and beverage establishments. Trevor may also be out of jail by that time and, therefore, eating garlic pizza with his brah’s at some of those same establishments. Do not go to sleep without a shirt on.

          That is all.

        • not your bro

          Well, you shouldn’t because you’re obviously more important than anyone else in the world. My bad. I suggest yelling at the bikers until you’re mute, and then insisting that they pay for your voice restoration therapy.

  • KARLington

    This is a cool event that makes living around DC the different experience it is. I and other neighbors hit the pedestrian bridges over 66 to watch the parade in and it’s great fun.

    Obviously I hope the bikers can stay mostly sober and only hit the annoying pedestrians who cross streets when there’s a turn arrow.

    • dk

      +1.

  • Wicked Witch

    No one is suppose to be crossing the street during the event. It is police escorted and lights are not in effect during the procession. Just like a funeral. Show some respect this is for our veterans!! All gave some, some gave all.

    • novasteve

      I was there during dry run, there were no police other than out of jurisdiction police who have no authority, and the Rolling Thunder people were running red lights and people were trying to cross, and they didn’t slow down, people had to run to get out of their way. They put people’s lives in danger. Do you think killing a pedestrian honors any veteran or war dead?

      • nom de guerre

        Sounds like you might have a case of the dry runs.

        • not your bro

          nice1

      • WeiQiang

        novasteve … we’ll need video substantiation this year.

  • http://purple.com/purple.html Captain Pup McPuppo

    VVVRRRRR000000MMMMM

  • novasteve

    Seems to me that putting roses on the graves of war dead at Arlington serves the memory of soldiers killed in wars than does driving loudly on streets endangering pedestrians. Maybe instead of doing that they could volunteer for the rose thing?

  • WeiQiang

    For the record, I fully support, endorse and encourage Rolling Thunder to fulfill its mission and hope everyone gets here and home safetly. Some are portraying this as some sort of NIMBY or anti-biker sentiment … and there are a minority of posters her who support those sentiments. I’m not one of them and, in general, I think that most of the posts on here simply want the folks that are here to enjoy themselves but have some consideration for the conditions that already exist here.

    My point is that during Memorial Day Weekend – practice runs or no practice runs – there are many groups of bikers, intentionally or due to infamiliarity with the roads or whatever, that simply tag along with the group they’re with to make it through a light or around a corner against a red light with their club/pack/den/whatever.

    Arlington deals – in a very compact area – with perhaps more unique travel disruptions than most other jurisdictions in this country. We’re actually pretty good at it. We have presidential and other dignitary motorcades, luminary funerals, fighter jet flyovers, marathons, construction detours (development will do that), and who knows what else … sometimes all in the same week.

    Motorcyles are often loud, but if a biker can exercise a little discretion to not disturb the neighbors, the residents would appreciate it … as well as not getting run over as the pack tries to make it through the orange light.

    • Hank

      Out of curiosity, what exactly are they practicing?

      • WeiQiang

        The guys I’ve talked to say they’ll just follow the brah in front of them on the way in to DC, but getting out and back to their hotel/wherever isn’t as clear. I suspect that groups of others from outside of the DC area just want to see the sights.

        The Biker Baton Battalion – having participated for the past 15 years – actually *do* have to practice with their fire batons. It’s an Arlington County reg.

      • cubbie

        well, as you said — it’s like the Bear Pride Parade. And you get to be a practicing homosexual by, well, practicing!

        • Vicente Fox

          Practice makes perfect, or so I hear.

        • OtterMatic

          Are otters welcome to practice too?

          • cubbie

            *call me*

  • Joan Fountain

    Isn’t their “cause” the rescue of POWs in VietNam? I mean, come on. Any American soldier still over there is either dead or doesn’t want to be found.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Their cause is not just POWs, but MIAs as well, and there are still a couple of thousand MIAs from Viet Nam. Perhaps if one of them was part of your family, you wouldn’t so readily dismiss their cause.

      • Joan Fountain

        As I said, any American soldier still over there is either dead or doesn’t want to be found.

        • ronfrom22207

          This thread should be called Trolling Thunder.

          • romcom22205

            Rolling Blunder

        • Frank

          Joan,

          Read the mission statement on their website. This isn’t only about Vietnam POW’s; it’s about all POW’s including the one who was most recently captured and whose parents will be speaking at the event.

        • Quoth the Raven

          My earlier witty comment was moderated out! Trust me, it was fabulous.

          Their goal is to raise awareness. It’s ironic that you’re criticizing them, in that you are precisely the audience they’re trying to reach.

          • Vicente Fox

            Their “goal” is to drink, party, and make as much noise as possible on their motorcycles.

    • WeiQiang

      Well, it’s … um … Memorial Day. I’m supposing it’s about memorializing POWs, MIA and the like. Not forgetting the forgotten.

      Some enterprising individual can go to the RT site and give us a link.

  • novasteve

    How about the state to allow Arlington to put up Red light cameras on Memorial day weekend and that weekend alone. They could raise a year’s worth of revenue from all the red lights that are going to get run. Might even be able to lower the car tax rate.

  • Mc

    Two issues: 1. disorderly conduct where bikers feel they don’t have to obey traffic regs because they are bikers and are in a group. 2. Excessive, gratuitous noise which should be regulated by noise ordinances. I’d like to see excessive motorcycle noise regulated year round.

  • Frank

    I can hear the Metro from my house every day and I’m about 4 blocks away from I-66. Stop the Metro!

    Stop traffic on I-66 – I can hear it.

    Those pesky sirens on the police cars and ambulances; it bothers me.

    Those annoying kids down the street screeching in fun playing in the sprinkle all weekend? Stop that! Excessive noise every day.

    There, everyone feel better?

    Let’s just stop all gratuitous noise that bothers us all.

    • drax

      Sirens and highways are necessary.

      See how that works?

    • Cletus Van Damme

      Well stated Frank. Now could you please shut up as well?

  • Joey

    I found this interview with some gentleman that will be in town this Weekend
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4DXQkckz4I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Brian

    I hate motorcycles. They really ruined the residential areas in Frederick, Maryland (where I used to live), but here in Arlington, I don’t hear them as much. There’s a time and place, I guess.

  • YTK

    I Love motorcycles. To ride, to work on, to look at, to listen to. Here in Arlington, on 355, in Manhatan, anywhere — they are truly Rolling Thunder. I was part of the Rolling Thunder caravan from Frederick to DC once — it was like being in the middle of one big heartbeat. When I worked for the Marines, I knew a crusty Colonel, a Vietnam Vet, a gentleman and a warrior, who, with his wife, rode a big beautiful Harley.

    • True Vet

      see, they are mainly interested in showing off for each other.

  • ArlWoman

    Forgive me for staring – Has anyone seen House and Wilson?

  • Bataan

    Forget the noise, can someone do something about them urinating on the side of the highway? I saw a number of them performing this dishonorable act last year along 66 when a long procession of them were coming into Ballston, and again this year when I was driving out to Oakton.

    • drax

      That urine is FREEDOM!

      Why do you hate veterans?

    • KalashniKRAP

      Time for a bum roundup!

    • random whiner

      Get your silly toys off my streets. My kids are late for soccer!

  • ArlNative

    Everyone knows this happens EVERY YEAR! And every year people complain and gripe about it. If it bothers you all SO much, leave for the weekend! What a bunch of complainers.

    • drax

      So it’s okay to come into my town and make all kinds of noise because I know its coming? Logic fail.

      • ArlNative

        Your town? Arlington is a county, not a town. And you are not the owner.

  • Tabs

    Saw some sweet all-denim outfits yesterday on the Pike.

  • Jimmy

    Some people need a dose of reality. Quit living in your sheltered existence here and look at the larger picture. Are there some people who participate in Rolling Thunder who break the traffic laws, yes I am sure there are. But that should not take away from the great work and exposure that the Rolling Thunder display does for soldiers who are serving, injured and have died for this country.
    I am quite sure that people who support the occupy whatever city you live in wouldn’t like the fact that they were portrayed as bums who should get a job and are anarchists. Stick to the facts and quit trying to detract from the great work that these riders do to remind us that freedom is paid in the price of blood of those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that some we enjoy, particularly, complaining about noise levels and traffic violations of a few people.

    • WeiQiang

      I appreciate that, on Sat, at least one bike club posted riders along 27 and 50 to help guide others downtown safely. I think they sometimes weren’t parked in the safest places for themselves and others, but it was a good effort to help keep things moving smartly and safely.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list