Rolling Road Closures for 9/11 Motorcycle Ride

by ARLnow.com August 17, 2012 at 10:15 am 7,560 192 Comments

Update at 3:30 p.m. — The ride has concluded, with the motorcylcists arriving in Pentagon City. Few residual delays remain on eastbound I-66 as a result of the rolling road closures, according to traffic cameras.  One motorcyclist who fell on the ramp from Route 110 to Army Navy Drive is receiving medial attention for non-life-threatening injuries.

About a thousand motorcyclists will be coming to Arlington tonight for the annual America’s 9/11 Ride.

The bikers are scheduled to leave the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanskville, Pa. this morning en route to Arlington, where they will be staying overnight. The motorcycle ride will enter Arlington via eastbound I-66 around 3:00 this afternoon. The ride will continue to southbound Route 110, and will end up at the Doubletree Hotel at 300 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City.

Arlington County Police will be escorting the ride through Arlington. Officers will temporarily close on-ramps to “avoid mixing vehicles with the ride,” according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The bikers will leave for New York City from the Pentagon North Parking Lot, via northbound I-395, on Saturday morning.

  • CrystalMikey

    A bit early?

  • Irritated


    Bad enough we have to close the roads for this nonsense once a year, but now twice a year?

    We can honor the victims of 9/11 without causing a giant flustercluck.

    • drax

      Why do you hate America? Etc.

      • R. Griffon

        And where’s your Old Glory lapel pin?!

        Just take a seat right over here. The man with the rubber gloves will be right with you.

        • Irritated

          Ha! Sadly, neither of you is exaggerating by much.

  • chud

    If I wanted to organize a caravan of 500 cars to ride around in memorial of 9/11 would every town block off their streets? I don’t think so… What’s with the glorification of biker subculture? Yeah!!! Loud!! We’re rebels man. Look at me! We’re supportin’ America dammit- nothin shows you have stars and stripes oozing out of your ears more than straddling an engine and riding in a 500 mile traffic jam.

    • Hank

      I don’t understand how this event honors the victims of 9/11. I have a feeling bikers find a reason to ride for anything. It’s strangely self-aggrandizing. Although I do enjoy the fact that they look like they’re participating in a Bear Pride Parade.

      • R. Griffon

        > I have a feeling bikers find a reason to ride for anything.


        Show him what he’s won, Bob…

        • awesomepossum

          Helmet laws are just what the terrorists want!

      • CW

        When is the Bear Pride Ride? I would come out for that…sorry, couldn’t help the pun…

      • Stating the Obvious

        Agreed. So, are we paying our otherwise off-duty officers overtime to provide escort services, or will it be on-duty officers who would otherwise be patrolling the streets providing it?

        • CW

          Yeah, I’d like an answer to this. I’m sure all the potential armed robbers, sexual predators, car thieves, and murderers are curious to know too.

        • Helen

          Better to pay them for this than it is for Charlie Sheen or some other actor.

      • JDoew

        The 9/11 Ride organization has given over $150,000 to 9/11 related charities since it started. I believe most of what they have done consists of scholarships for the families of first responders who died. While the ride itself might be what attracts some of the bikers, the outcome is certainly honoring the victims by looking after their families because they no longer can.

    • Bryce Harper

      They should just ride the street car around Columbia Pike and call it a day.

  • In need for an escort home

    What a joke. Give me a break. I just do not care for anyone’s need to have the road to themselves. I am going on a road trip with the family and think I might need an escort on the drive so I get the road shut down only for me. This turns into a hassle every year. Rolling thunder is enough. Why do we need another joke of a ride. I am setting up a bike ride and i need some road closures.

  • DarkHeart

    Is there a link to track where the horde is en route?

  • Terry

    Absurd. Isn’t there another one of these stupid things on Labor Day too?

  • internet tourettes

    I still think that this very disrespectful to both the event and victims. Look at how the English remember WW1 with the poppies then look at our gun raffles, dooraged pseudo bikers and kountry music koncerts that we use to “celebrate” September 11th.

  • CW

    Wait, isn’t 8/17 like, a lot earlier than 9/11?

    • Helen

      Because more families can participate in August rather than Sept.

      • Josh S


  • Ali

    Some advance notice would’ve been appreciated.

    I second the need for a tracker as that’s my route home from work and I need to know if I have to hop on GW Parkway or something else.

    • SomeGuy

      This is your advance notice.

      Also, you might want to plan ahead for in 2013, 2014, and at least several years beyond. Unless cancelled, these annual events tend to happen every year.

      • Kitty

        So it’s always the third Friday/Saturday in August? Most 9/11 events happen on or around — the closest weekend — 9/11.

        • SomeGuy

          The site is here: http://americas911ride.org/

          According to that: “Future Ride Dates: August 15-17 2013”

          • DarkHeart

            Maybe they’ve got other things to do on 9/11 weekend, like drink a case or two of beer and fire up a bowl, or rescue pet cats of octogenarians (fertile or otherwise).

  • JamesE

    In honor of 8/17 I will be driving down Wilson and Fairfax in 1st gear redlining the entire way.

    • SomeGuy

      If you can get the streets blocked off for us, I’ll join you, bro. We’re gonna honor the sh*t out of 8/17!

    • CW

      I will be leaving town tonight and can lay down some rubber.

    • Dr_Klahn

      I might put my parade float back in service for that…

  • JRyan

    Very cool event. Love when they come to town.

  • gmfbcc

    When I was younger, I would have gotten worked up about this and complained about how they’re inconveniencing me. Now, I’ll just take another route home.

    For the record, I think it’s silly and agree bikers will definitely ride for virtually any excuse but at least it’s 9/11 and they’re not riding for the KKK or the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street…

  • forkyea

    Someone should rig a giant net at the end of the route that would scoop them all up. Then a squad of Chinook helicopters (heck yeah- how’s that for American) could carry them off and drop them on a deserted island. America’s macho bullshart quotient would instantly go back to reasonable levels, and they could ride in circles polishing each others chrome all day- everyone wins.

    • Dump in bay.

      That was great. Island? How about just dump them in the Bay. Sink or swim. Maybe it would be canceled next year.

  • Derek Spector

    Oh my!!! Once again the Arlington Utopia is threatened by a group of people who want to honor those lost during the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011.

    • wrong date (twice!)

      Well, the attacks were in 2001, not 2011. And they happened on Sept 11, not Aug 17th. How on earth is this display “honoring” the victims or their families?

      • Derek Spector

        Well aren’t you the smart one, and trust me I’m well aware of what date it was. And if you had checked I corrected myself. As for “honoring” the victims and their families it takes all forms. You chose to honor your way, they chose to honor their way. If you really want to an answer to your question might I suggest you get up from your keyboard and ask why when the group pulls up to the Double Tree Hotel.

        • drax

          I’m going to honor them by setting up a big tent in the middle of I-66 where I will honk an air horn for an hour. It will require stopping traffic for a while. If you dare complain, it’s because you’re a loser who doesn’t want his Arlington Utopia to be threatened.

        • CW

          There are things that are important to me. Will the county shut down a major road on an arbitrary date so my friends and I can honor them through partaking in a hobby that is of enjoyment to me and which I would be doing anyways?

          • Derek Spector

            Have you asked?

          • Derek Spector

            I’m sure if what’s important to you had such an impact as the events of 9/11 did I’m sure they would. This happens to be an event that has been held for a number of years since 9/11. It always starts in the same place and ends in the same place. It impacts the same roads every year.

          • drax

            If he does ask, will you promise not to complain about it no matter what date it is or what road it is, Derek?

          • Derek Spector


          • drax

            Cool! I’m going to apply to rev my engines in front of your house from 2 am to 6 am! To remember the victims!

        • drax

          No, Derek, you don’t get to honor the victims in any way you wish. That’s absurd. There are limits.

          • Derek Spector

            I don’t think I wrote anything about honoring victims anyway I wish? I think I said this: “This happens to be an event that has been held for a number of years since 9/11. It always starts in the same place and ends in the same place. It impacts the same roads every year.”

          • drax

            You also said: “You chose to honor your way, they chose to honor their way.”

            No, you can’t have whatever you want.

          • wrong date (twice!)


          • Opie

            But they get to do it there way, and that bothers you. Can’t stop it, just whine on the internet. How’s that working out for you?

          • drax

            No, what bothers me is people who can’t understand the really simple concept that you can’t have whatever you want just because your cause is good.

        • Hank

          I’m confused by this statement: If you really want to an answer to your question might I suggest you get up from your keyboard and ask why when the group pulls up to the Double Tree Hotel.

          Does this imply folks should be intimidated to ask the riders?

          • Derek Spector

            No, not at all. The folks that participate in this ride are very nice people. I’m sure if you had a question as to why they would be more than happy to tell you. I hope this takes away any confusion.

          • nom de guerre

            I hear that the local alumni association of the David Hasselhoff School of Drinking, which is a part of the Clown Enema University, will be hosting a VIP tent at the Doubletree Hotel at 300 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. Perhaps you can get your questions answered there.

          • Dr_Klahn

            I can vouch for CEU – I got my Ph.D. there.

          • nom de guerre

            Are you planning to be at the VIP tent? There will be suitcases and complimentary 1/3 lb. Hoff burgers provided by Sam’s Food Truck.


          • Orange Rider

            I think it was a good faith effort to provide the person with an idea as to where they could get an answer to their question.

          • 1RLI

            Not at all. I believe Derek was making the point that rather than asking a rhetorical question on an internet forum renowned for its sarcasm and bitterness, why not just ask one of the participants. Nothing intimidating about it, and I’m sure the participants would be pleased to explain their position.

          • wrong date (twice!)

            Actually, it was Mr. Spector’s way of turning a simple statement and question into a personal attack and returning one in kind. The lack of maturity is mind-boggling.

          • Derek Spector

            No it was actually me letting someone who asked a question find the source for his or her answer. But if you feel that it was a personal attack then I would say, Sir or Ma’am you’re entitled to your opinion.

        • Josh S

          The problem with the “everyone can honor the way they want” argument is that this particular event seems to involve a lot more people than the individuals involved. A police escort? Closed highways? That’s about as public as you get. The riding around on motorcycles once a year thing is a subculture. It’s not part of the “honoring” that 90% of people practice. I’m all about live and let live, but this is getting in people’s faces and apparently using taxpayer dollars. In the meantime, we’ve had thousands of funerals to honor the dead. We’ve had memorials built here and there. We’ve changed the national pastime with the addition of the singing of God Bless America in the 7th inning. There were concerts. There were speeches. A 1,776-foot tower is being built in NY, in part to honor the victims. So much honoring, I’m sure there is lots that I am leaving out.
          Enough already. We get it. Give it a rest. Move on.

          • WLO

            That’s your opinion. Lots of people have a different one. That’s what’s great about America!

            Have you complained to the county about their support for this event?

          • Josh S

            Having an opinion is what makes America great?

            There’s a depressing thought…..

          • snipe

            Since you get it, why don’t you follow your own advice and give it a rest and move on. But no, you will continue to post more condescending comments under this thread, each one more obnoxious than the previous one.

        • Terry

          This is how people who don’t want to put in the time and effort to really make a difference in the world make themselves feel better. It’s the same as people who “offer prayers” to victims of natural disasters rather than volunteering, giving money or donating blood.

          These bike rides and road closures are going to do nothing more than cause traffic headaches for those of us who live in and around Arlington.

          • JDoew

            While I’m sure the riders “offer prayers” to the victims, they also provide money. The 9/11 ride has given over $150k dollars to the families of the victims – does that make it any easier for you to put up with 15-20 minutes of inconvenience caused by traffic delays?

          • Bon Air

            150K? The amount of overtime money paid for cops and road closures easily surpasses that.

    • Seriously?

      But why do they have to do it on Friday afternoon of rush hour on one of the busiest roads in the region? Why not Saturday morning? It would be equally patriotic, but not a complete pain in the a##.

    • CW

      Actually, they’re more accurately honoring the anniversary of the opening of the first bank in Hawaii.


      • Ralph

        Well, are you implying that there is anything wrong with celebrating the opening of the first bank in Hawaii?! TRAITOR! Un-American!

      • Huh ??

        ” they’re more accurately honoring the anniversary of the opening of the first bank in Hawaii.”

        If that is the case, then why can’t they just hand out toasters ??

    • Aunt Linda

      Threatened? I don’t think so. More like “Ah Crrrripes!”, followed by a big thumbs down and an “Oh, Brooother!”.

    • JM

      Are you the Derek Spector featured in WaPo several years ago? Perhaps posting that article would help people understand your point of view. Unless you already did post it and then I am the idiot for missing it.

  • Derek Spector

    Opps, 2001….oh boy

  • BMW (bitch, moan and whine model)

    The narcotics took effect while we drove. The night streets of Padang had a cavernous smell, of dank asphalt & rotting fish. Oil slicks parted like rainbows under the wheels of the cab. We left the neon-lit tourist district & entered the tangle of shops & housing that had grown around the city in the last thirty years, makeshift slums giving way to the new prosperity, bulldozers parked under tarps between tin-roofed shacks. High-rise tenements grew like mushrooms from a compost of squatters’ fields. Then we passed through the factory zone, gray walled & razor wired, & I slept, I think, again.

  • Dr_K

    Chick-Fil-A is going to be busy tonight!

  • drax

    When people complain that their tax money props up our economy, remind them that we pay by having to put up with every yahoo who wants our roads shut down just because he’s enjoying his hobby to remember something really important or patriotic.

  • C Spackler

    Why do the Arlington Police (and all other police agencies involved) agree to support this?

    Isn’t this just a diversion of manpower away from enforcing traffic rules?

    i.e. your tax dollars (through manpower) are being diverted to support this.

    • Jdoew

      The police support these events to keep everyone safe. The safest way to move 1000 motorcycles through Arlington is to keep them separate from all the cars. Would you rather be delayed 20 minutes for the bikes to pass, or hours while the cops deal with all the accidents caused by the mingled traffic. Can you imagine 1000 motorcycles trying to merge from I-66 to Rt. 110.

      As far as the tribute, it’s not just about the ride. I checked the events website and they have donated over $150,000 over the last 6 years to 9/11 related causes.

      I’m sure the Crystal City businesses and the Arlington tax coffers are also happy to see 1000 out of town guests.

  • Guy LeDouche

    You know, before all of you blindly bash an event, maybe you should take the same amount of time as it takes you to write your snarky comments here and go to their website and research America’s 9/11 ride, what it’s about and all the money that’s raised and who it benefits. First of all they intentionally choose to do the ride in August because they feel that September should be left as a time of mourning for the victims of 9/11 and their families. The money raised goes entirely to first responders and to provide scholarships to the children of the first responders. All that the people who ride in this event do is take time from their lives to raise funds to help those among us who are some of the real heros in our society…fire, police, EMTs, you know the people that risk their lives for each of you. God forbid we should be slightly inconvenienced and our ride home from work takes 20 minutes longer at 3:00 in the afternoon, it’s the least we can do to support our first responders (you could wait until 4:00 to leave work if you want to avoid it…it’s not that late). Or better yet, why don’t you get up from behind your computer and go out and do a fraction of the fundraising that these folks do and actually make a positive contribution to society instead of just obnoxious comments on a Arlington news website.

    • Uhhh, yeah

      And you can support all of those things without the motorcycle dog and pony show (which I do).

      • Guy LeDouche

        Great. You do it your way and they do it their way. Again, is it that horrible that we have a small inconvenience in order for a great amount of good to be accomplished? People here act like this ride is going to cause the same chaos on the area roads that the rush hour snowfall did two winters ago. It’s ridiculous. And same with Rolling Thunder, we should be glad we live where we do and people actually want to do their rally in our town. I’m guessing the Doubletree will have a very high occupancy tonight and the Pentagon City restaurants will have more business because of this. I’m sure cities like Detroit, Cleveland or wherever with hurting economies would love to have the extra revenue to their businesses and tax dollars that Arlington gets from these types of events.

        • drax

          The inconvenience isn’t small. This is the city with the worst traffic in the nation, and this will be a large disruption to it during a work day.

          Couldn’t they do it on a weekend? Or choose an event that doesn’t involve the roads?

          • Guy LeDouche

            Realitively speaking and in the grand scheme of things in life, yes it is small. They did pick one day that is lighter traffic than most, as my experience of 21 years commuting on 66E in the afternoons tells me, seems to be that Friday traffic inside the beltway is lighter in the last few weeks of summer prior to Labor Day than most any other time of the year. And they ride here today, then up to New York tomorrow before having a ceremony at the WTC site on Sunday.

            I just don’t understand what seems to be your deep-seated hatred of these type of motorcycle rides. You also make similar comments about Rolling Thunder and that is on a weekend. And according to Inrix 2012 Worst Traffic in the U.S. study that is used by many publications (Time, Forbes, yahoo) as their basis for rating traffic, we are actually #6. So you are wrong about us having the worst traffic in the nation, not that #6 is something to be proud of, but me having a job, good salary, etc that comes with living in DC area makes up for that.

          • drax

            See my post below. The prediction is for massive traffic delays. The federal government is giving liberal leave, and VDOT says we should treat it like a snow day. All so a few thousand people can honor 9/11 in their own particular way instead of the many other ways they could have chosen.

            I hate massive traffic jams and noise, yes. I’m glad you don’t mind it, but I do. And I have a right to complain about it. Deal with it.

          • nom de guerre

            Drax, give it a rest. Liberal leave was for last year. No liberal leave for today. It’s over, no traffic major impacts reported on the news @ 5 pm.

          • Josh S

            I can’t really speak for drax, but I don’t really detect any “hatred” of these motorcycle rides. Dislike, maybe. They’re loud and obnoxious. They’re not very creative. They’re wasteful. They don’t really connect to any sort of traditional American culture in any meaningful way except perhaps with a tendency to gawk at big, noisy things. Oh, and the supposed rugged individualism that riding a motorcycle is supposed to represent. In the context of a parade, I guess I can see riding in formation to stand for a cause. If it was a one-off event – like a protest, I could see it. But an annual ride across the country, just to ride across the country? If I was out in Leesburg, or certainly Shanksville, I might have a different attitude. But the DC area is already jam-packed with almost daily reminders of 9/11, war, forced-patriotism, jingosim, look-at-meism, etc etc. It’s tiring.

          • derp

            It’s not an inconvenience for you. They said it starts about 3:00 this afternoon. You’ll be posting on Arlnow, like you do all the time. I hope you don’t post while you drive on 66. 😉

          • drax

            So you think it won’t impact rush hour traffic because it starts at 3 pm? You’re not from around here, are you?

          • derp

            Just wondering how it will affect you, that’s all partner.

          • drax

            No, you weren’t wondering.

          • CW

            The term is “pardner”.

          • derp

            Well I was going to go for “podjo” but thought that would just lead to some other rant from him.

          • drax

            I’m not ranting either, podjo.

          • derp

            It’s almost 3:00. Shouldn’t you be out there getting inconvenienced? Run along now…

          • drax

            I’m not self-centered like you. I care about the hundreds of thousands of other people on the road.

          • derp

            Well it’s over and you can stop caring. You never seem to care about drivers any other time of the year.

        • nom de guerre

          This ride also travels through historic Leesburg and I remember watching tv news reports in the past that showed hundreds if not thousands of people on the route waving flags and cheering. I guess some commenters weren’t around in 2001 or their memories of 9/11 have been dulled by time.

          • drax

            “I guess some commenters weren’t around in 2001 or their memories of 9/11 have been dulled by time.”

            See, that’s the problem – equating how they remember with remembering at all.

            I still remember, and I don’t need a bunch of yahoos on bikes to help me remember, and complaining about it doesn’t mean I don’t remember.

            You don’t own 9/11 or its memory, and neither does anyone else.

          • Guy LeDouche

            Exactly, so stop deriding a group of people who are out there doing something good in the memory of those lost on 9/11. I’m curious how many hundreds of thousands of dollars you have raised for a good cause in your lifetime? I’m glad you don’t need “a bunch of yahoos on bikes” (nice personal attack on a group of people you know nothing about) to help you remember, but these individuals and this organization choose to do so and as a resident of Arlington you should be proud that they choose to honor our community who lost so much that day in this way. As you said, you don’t own 9/11 or its memory, and neither does anyone else…but we all have a right to honor it or not in any way we see fit. I’m sure if 66E were to be shut down for 20 minutes at 3:00 for Obama’s motorcade, you wouldn’t have a complaint in the world about it. (which happens all the time for various motorcades)

          • drax

            No, see, you’re still not getting it. You do NOT have the right to honor it “any way you see fit.” No.

            There’s a long list of ways you can’t do that. You can’t throw red white and blue paint in the street to honor the 9/11 dead. You can’t get together with a few thousand friends and park your cars in the middle of I-66 for several days to honor the 9/11 dead. You can’t drive around from midnight to 6 am in a residential area blasting air horns to honor the 9/11 dead.

            See how that works?

            Don’t even start with that crap about what I’ve done for the community.

            And don’t assume what I’d have a complaint about or not either.

          • Josh S

            Why would I care what a bunch of people in Leesburg do? It’s obvious the ride has its supporters. So does Paul Ryan. Doesn’t change my opinion.

    • Mick Way

      But it looks like, unfortunately, only about 20% of donations to America’s 911 Foundation actually go to the people it is supporting. That’s a pretty miserable amount.

      Looks like most of their donations are motorcycles to police forces and not a heck of a lot of scholarships. Motorcycles, Gracie?


      • C Spackler

        Funny how the Police turn right around and say:

        “Sure I’ll escort your ride! I like my new Motorcyle”

        This Organization would not even qualify to be entered into the Combined Federal Campaign with an overhead rate like that.

      • Guy LeDouche

        That is unfortunate if it is true. But a little bit is better than nada, though that is a shame that more isn’t going to those efforts because I think it is a good cause. But attracting any attention to the cause is good, though sounds like they need to revise some of their organizational model. I would venture to guess that most who take time out to do the ride would pay their own tolls if need be. It doesn’t seem like they are spending money on exorbitant salaries for management or facilities like plenty of non-profits do since it is an all volunteer organization. They claim that 89.5% goes to program services, but I guess that includes these costs they cover.

        • Irritated

          WHAT is a good cause? Remembering 9/11? As if no one remembers it? As if it’s not already memorialized to the hilt every year? I don’t see anyone riding to memorialize the WWI dead.

          I think this is a bunch of people who want to show each other how “patriotic” they are and have an excuse to ride their motorcycles.

          Wanna really be patriotic? Go volunteer to do something for your community. Patriotism is not waving the flag and putting your fist in the air.

          • Ed

            Patriotism can take many forms. I think they do this in honor of the terrorism victims, which is not even necessarily “patriotic” since the attacks killed people from nations other than the US.

          • Irritated

            I don’t really begrudge them honoring the victims. Like most others here, what I begrudge is the insistence that their choice in HOW they wish to do so be accommodated at the expense of everyone else. What if someone decides all roads should be shut down to all vehicles for the entire month of September, to honor the victims? What if someone proposes we all go without eletricity and plubming for two days, to honor the victims?

            Do we tolerate *anything* if it’s done with the intent of honoring the 9/11 victims?

          • derp

            What if What if……

            Got anything better than that???

        • drax

          How dare you criticize them for honoring the dead of 9/11, which they have a right to do any way they want, including with large overhead costs.

        • Josh S

          Yeah, what cause? Is our nation so impoverished that police and firefighters are now a “cause?” Bake sales for fire trucks? There are funding mechanisms in place for these government services. If the funding mechanisms are threatened, work to protect them.

      • Clark Griswold

        Great link! Makes clear that the whole fund basically goes to financing an annual biker summer vacation. It throws a few bones to police agencies to maintain a sliver of legitimacy. But at least they sometimes pay for the escorts!

        Best part:

        “The reason it hasn’t donated more: lavish spending on the ride itself. The event is now four days long and takes participants from the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa., to the Pentagon to ground zero in New York…The foundation picks up all tolls for the riders, pays for their meals, and in some years has put on concerts…To attract police officers to the event, it puts them up in hotel rooms for each night of the ride and waives their registration fees. In some years, the foundation has made compensation payments to municipalities along the ride route to make up for the hassle of closing traffic while the bikers pass.”

        • Opie

          Did you expect HuffPo to give it a big rosy thumbs-up and well done boys? LOL.

          • drax

            Do you get all warm inside thinking about 9/11 when some guys drive by on motorcycles on a free vacation?

    • Stating the Obvious

      Not to be contrary, but we do a pretty good job of taking care of cops and firefighters responders in this country. Sure wish the rest of got the benefits of union membership and overtime pay.

    • internet tourettes

      If they are drawing a salary it’s not charity.

  • GrannyK

    Next week I’d like to organize a Knitters for 9/11 march. We’re going to walk right down the middle of I-66 knitting American flags and handing them out to spectators as we go. Who do I call to shut down all the roads for me?

    • PaulB

      Probably start with the Arlington police department.

      Let us know how that works out for you.

      • drax

        And if the ACPD grants the request, will you complain?

        • PaulB

          Nope, but I guess you would. You’re complaining about this ride, so you would complain about the knitters too, right???

          • drax

            No, I don’t believe you. You would complain. Of course you would.

          • PaulB

            I really don’t care what you believe.

            I am not complaining about the riders, and I would not complain about the knitters. It has absolutely no effect on my day.

          • drax

            Okay, what if the knitters blocked traffic in front of your driveway?

            Take Metro? Okay, they’re going to shut down your station!

            At least you seem to admit that you would complain if it did affect you. That’s progress.

          • PaulB

            See, the hyperbole just undermines whatever point you are trying to make.

  • Andy

    Not a big supporter of this, but having the police escort them through town and temporarily closing roads might actually be better for traffic than letting them ride through on their own. I suspect they’re gonna come through when they want to, one way or the other.

    • that’s what she said

      “they’re going to come through when they want to, one way or another” — indeed

      Without a police escort and road closings, the 911 call center would light up with people fearing cycle gangs…

  • Radio Head

    Traffic and weather on the 8s isn’t good enough?

  • ArlGirl125

    It amazes me what all people complain about here in Arlington…
    Just an FYI for those talking about why the ride is in August and not September…
    “The America’s 9/11 Ride is about
    Remembering the Heroes, Volunteers and Victims
    who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and since.
    (Our Annual Memorial Ride takes place in August respecting each site and the survivors, allowing them to mourn during September).”

    • Yosey

      There’s one or two malcontents who do this in every “ride” thread just to stir up people. Going back and looking at the same comments they make over and over again is like a sock-puppet connect-the-dots.

      • drax

        No, we have legitimate complaints.

        • darsasx

          No, you whine like a 12-year old when mommy takes away his video game because he wouldn’t eat his broccoli.

          • drax

            No, I have legitimate complaints. Grow up.

  • I-C-What-U-Did-There

    I get it…”Rolling Road Closures” as a pseudonym for this faux-“Rolling Thunder”. Nice one ArlNow…

    • ArlGirl125

      @ I-C-What-U-Did-There…. This is not Rolling Thunder.

      • I-C-What-U-Did-There

        exactly – read my comment again

      • Webster

        The word “faux” means fake or phony, or second rate imitation if you like…

  • PhilT

    Will there be a gun raffle this year?

  • drax

    If anyone complains about the way that anyone chooses to honor the dead of 9/11, no matter how unreasonable their choice is, the terrorists win!

  • Bikers

    What annoys me more than this are the hundreds of Bicyclist that gather at least once a month but I think it’s actually weekly in the Gold’s Gym parking lot in Ballston and then have a police escort down Quincy St. to Military Road and where ever else. It’s ridiculous.

    • drax

      They do?

    • Ralph

      I know! People bicycling! It’s a shame!

      • Bikers

        I don’t care about people bicycling. I care that they are getting a police escort and disrupting traffic on a weekly basis. I’d like a police escort on my way home from work. I’d like to start a website where people can post videos of bicyclist blowing through stop signs and red lights. I can guarantee it’s disproportionally larger than the amount of cars that do the same thing. Maybe these bikers need a police escort after all, since they can’t seem to obey the rules of the road anyway.

        • SomeGuy

          “I’d like to start a website where people can post videos of bicyclist blowing through stop signs and red lights.”

          What’s stopping you?

          • Bikers

            LIttle knowledge of how to run a website.

        • drax

          I’m going to put a big “Remember 9/11” sign on my bike. Then I can blow any red or stop sign I want. If anyone complains, well, I have a right to honor the dead any way I choose.

          • drax

            So don’t complain if I do.

        • JDoew

          If you have a legitimate safety concern and want to hire off-duty police officers, you might also be able to get an escort. The officers escorting those bicycles are off-duty….being paid for their time by the bike shop. Just like the 9/11 ride, it’s probably safer to escort the 500+ bikes through Ballston than to let that many bikes co-mingle with traffic. Personally, I prefer waiting 5 minutes for the escort to pass, than the hours of delays that would be caused by a single bicycle/motor vehicle accident.

    • Honest question

      But aren’t most of these cycling events held in the early morning on weekends? You know – so as to NOT disrupt traffic any more than absolutely necessary?

      • nom de guerre

        Every Tuesday night at 6:30 during spring and summer. And yes they have a police escort.

        • drax

          Does it cause traffic problems?

          • C Spackler

            I too am a bicyclist, but I do find myself riding into town on Military Road Tuesday evening. Here’s what I see:

            1) Bicyclist riding side by side instead of in a line, crowding the automobile lane.

            2) Bicyclist remaining in the automobile lane too long after they are suppose to be back in the bike lane on a hill climb.

            3) Bicyclist trying to squeeze between my automobile and the curb when I’m stopped at a red light (I was once bumped by a bike and had to check if there were any scratches).

            They don’t own the road just because they ride in packs.

          • drax


            So they should stop doing that. We all agree on that, right?

          • CW

            Actually in Virginia there is no such thing as an “automobile lane”.

          • drax

            Yes, good point.

            Cars don’t own the roads just because they ride in packs either.

          • C Spackler

            Yeah Got it, actually called a Roadway, designed for Motor Vehicles:


            Actually it is the ‘Commonwealth of Virginia’ …

          • drax

            Roads were first paved for bikes, not cars. You should read some history.

            Today, bikes have full legal rights to the roads, except when specifically prohibited, like on most Interstates. Even when there’s a bike lane.

          • Get Along

            Yes…but I can live with it.
            I mean people sneezing can cause traffic problems around here.

  • CW

    I wish Mr. Venn diagram would come back and do one showing the overlap between “participants in motorcycle rally with taxpayer funded escort” and “Tea Party members”. My money is on > 50%.

    • Meh

      Not nearly as interesting as intersection of Tea Partiers vs. people on Medicare IMHO. But to each their own.

  • yequalsy

    That’s our way of honoring the American POWs killed by North Korea in the Hill 303 massacre. Anyone who doesn’t like it is obviously a $#%^@ commie lover.

  • Shut down the roads

    To really tribute 9/11/01 maybe we should shut down all highways around our area to respect everyone. And say good luck trying to get home on a DC traffic Friday. Or move this to a Friday before a three day weekend. Local economy has already felt a change because people/commerce have decided not to use 66 or come to Arlington and DC tonight.

    Buses routes will be reworked today and riders are going to get dropped off in different locations because they cannot use route 66.

    Good luck!

    • And We Could…….

      ….run the new emergency warning system full blast at the same time while announcing what the daily special at Sam’s would have been.

  • C Spackler

    DoubleTree Hotel Bar and Lounge playlist tonight:

    1) Lee Greenwood “God Bless the USA”

    2) Darryl Worley “Have you Forgotten”

    But all “Dixie Chicks” songs have been deleted

    Break out the Miller Lite Pitchers!!!!

  • drax

    “The potential for gridlock Friday afternoon is of such concern that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management “strongly urges” federal employees to telework or take leave. A Virginia highway spokeswoman advised all Northern Virginia commuters to treat Friday as a snow day and work from home.

    Major delays are expected in Northern Virginia between noon and 7 p.m. Friday. Though the ride will take place mostly on major highways — the Dulles Greenway, the Dulles Toll Road, Interstate 66 and Route 110 South — backups from the closures are likely to spill over onto the Capital Beltway, the George Washington Parkway and many local roads, officials said.

    Travelers are also likely to face major delays in reaching Reagan National Airport and leaving Dulles International Airport.”

    Not a minor disruption.

  • Hank

    They’re riding past my office now. I’m impressed by their volume/patriotism. A bunch of guys have their old ladies hanging on the back.

  • Hank

    I expect to see a trail of meth extending for miles down 66.

  • Boondoggle




    Weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Theodore Sjurseth of Leesburg, Va., climbed aboard his Harley Davidson and led about 250 bikers to New York City to pay homage to the dead.

    Since then, the ride has become an annual charity event, with nearly $2.2 million in gross revenue between 2003 and last year. This year’s ride, held last week, had nearly 3,000 registered participants.

    Yet in one important respect, it has fallen short in its mission.

    The nonprofit group formed to organize the ride, America’s 9/11 Foundation, has spent far more putting on the event than supporting its mission of assisting first responders and their children. As of last year, it had donated 10 motorcycles to various police departments around the eastern U.S. and Canada, at a cost of about $200,000, given $150,000 in scholarships to the children of police officers and firefighters, paid some modest grants to police departments struggling to support their motorcycle brigades or canine units, and supported a playground rehabilitation project in Linden, N.J.

    The reason it hasn’t donated more: lavish spending on the ride itself. The event is now four days long and takes participants from the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa., to the Pentagon to ground zero in New York.

    The foundation picks up all tolls for the riders, pays for their meals, and in some years has put on concerts.

    To attract police officers to the event, it puts them up in hotel rooms for each night of the ride and waives their registration fees. In some years, the foundation has made compensation payments to municipalities along the ride route to make up for the hassle of closing traffic while the bikers pass.

    Calculating how much the group ultimately gives to charity is difficult, because the foundation counts the officers’ free hotel rooms and municipal compensation payments as donations, rather than ride expenses.

    But even under that interpretation, the group has spent less than 20 percent of the money it raised on charitable causes.

    Sjurseth, who wanted to be a firefighter as a teenager until a pellet gun accident cost him sight in one eye, agreed the ride could be a more effective fundraiser if it cut costs or raised registration fees – now at about $120.

    But, he said, he thinks the foundation has “done great” for an all-volunteer group.

    “Has it blossomed the way I wanted it to? No,” he said. “I’d love for this thing to be making millions of dollars.”

  • drax

    “Ok – I am a survivor of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon (office was around the corner from where the plane hit) and am furious with this. Why was this not planned for a Weekend or Holiday (how about the upcoming Labor Day?)? Traffic was pure awful back then, so we are going to allow this and create a rush hour nightmare again!! Let it go and move on – no telling what time I will reach home tomorrow??? ”

    -comment on WJLA.com

    I’m sure this guy hates America and doesn’t remember 9/11.

    • MayorOfWestover

      You’re losing it mang.

  • Id

    It does not take much to shut down this City. This ride happens once a year, so telecommute if you don’t like it. I bet a majority of these bikers are vets — after watching people die for their country and maybe only getting the annual 5 minute reminder of what you did, I’d say to hell with the rest of you too. Regarding those soldiers fighting today, it’s them doing the soldiering or me, and I thank God it’s those volunteers. A college buddy of mine was killed in the Towers on 9/11. What bothers me most is not that he died, but there was nothing left of him for his family to bury. His name on the memorial is all that they have. Having this ride maybe is not bad after all considering his family was without a body to mourn their son.

    • Tobe

      Well said.

    • drax

      Their only reminder comes from 5 minutes of someone on a bike?

      You’re still doing it – confusing complaints about the time, place and manner of a memorial with the memorial itself.

      • Mitt

        Honoring something is such an abstract concept. Do you realize how hollow you sound criticizing the way someone else chooses to honor something?

        • JB

          Can you read? If that’s what you interpret from drax’s posts I think the point has sailed way over your head.

        • drax

          You missed the point, Mitt. Read it again.

          • Mitt

            What was the point?

    • Ronan

      “Maybe only getting the annual 5 minute reminder of what you did”

      This was supposed to be about 9-11, i thought?

      Maybe their time would be better spent wondering how we were led to invade and occupy a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 or Al Queda and posed absolutely no threat to America?

  • George

    We should be honoring all the Muslims we have put to death by our industrial military complex, global corporations and greed for the Islamic oil.

  • in stitches

    This is why we need to widen 66. That way the impact on the hundreds of thousands of people on the road would not be as bad.

    • drax

      Yeah, building big highways always relieves traffic. Like in LA!

  • SouthPikeGuy

    Won’t someone think of the SUV’s stuck on the road!

  • drax

    I think the point has been amply made.

  • Kate

    It’s ridiculous to complain about this. It didn’t even disrupt traffic.

  • Zelda 999999

    To Drax – You are amazing. You spent the whole day complaining about the 9-11 ride! You started at 11 o’clock in the morning and were still at it at 4pm! And you are at work! You and people like you (those in public offices) who screw around on the computer all day cost the taxpayers a lot more money than those who ride and require the services of the police departments for a few hours one day a year. SHUT UP and get back to work!! A Taxpayer!!


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