Author Topic: Rolling Blunder..  (Read 2841 times)

Offline crashdb

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Rolling Blunder..
« on: May 31, 2011, 07:47:50 am »
Or how I spent an entire Sunday doing little to nothing.....

After my second outing on Rolling Thunder I swore I'd never do it again.  I can't see how waiting around in the hot sun with no shade for hours is fun.  I understand the need to remember the fallen, but Rolling Thunder is not a good day in my mind.  The waiting for the ride to begin is just he beginning of a miserable day.  The ride itself is an accordion of stop and go.  If you're left hand isn't up to pulling in the clutch that many times, you're in for a treat.  The first year I did it I just cranked the idle up to 2k so I could low-speed a little longer. 

I got shaghai'd into it this year.  A couple of buddies were going down to the Pentagon to partake.  What I heard on the phone was that they were not going to do the parade lap to the Wall.  Okie dokie.  I'll meet up.

We get there and they're lining up bikes in such a way that escape is futile.  All the bikes are close to one another in a front wheel to back wheel formation.  In between rows there's barely enough room for a person to walk.  Looks like I was trapped for three hours until the ride actually began.

Three hours later the ride begins.  An hour and a half later my row is finally going.  Lucky me. 

The first exit I could, I took.  I went home.  I have the sunburn and the t-shirt to prove I was there.  Lucky me.

I walked around this year a little and notices there were very few bikes of the sporty persuasion.  It was mostly cruisers of some brand.  Makes ya wonder.

Oh, and my favorite event of the day was some dude mistaking my bike for a BMW (all my letterinig is removed).  Even after I told him it was a Kawasaki I still don't think he believed me.

Calgon take me away!
I feel like a new person!

Offline Strawboss

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 09:38:29 am »
I tell everyone I won't ride in any "group" event or ride or any ride or event that has "thunder", "valley", "patriot", any animal name, "kids", "toys", "police escorted" or a few other assorted monikers that crowd likes to use to attract riders. After sitting in the fast lane stopped on the highway while the accordian snaked for miles ahead, semi-trucks were going past me at 70mph only 5 feet away. If I want to remember or give money to a group, I'll do it with a check, I don't need an "excuse" to ride through town with 1000 others to show how much I care or something else to do other than ride to the nearest bar while at the same time further and strengthen the myth of people who ride bikes to non-riders. I know this view may not be popular here but thats my view from the saddle. 
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Offline crashdb

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 09:57:24 am »
Actually your view may be popular here......

I agree with what you said.  100%.  I'll drop a check. 

I hate group rides because you never know what you're getting.  I mean as far as other riders.  I'm no expert rider, but I can hold my own.  I also know there's a time and place to get rowdy.  There was a guy in front of me while we were coming in that wasn't so great at low-speed handling.  I thought for sure he was going to just tip over. 

Another idiot there rode his big Goldwing there and didn't bring freaking water!  Hello!  To make it even better, they were handing out free water there!  But wait, there's more:  He rode the parade lap in a pair of shorts and sneakers--no shirt.  And believe me, he really really really should've had a shirt on.

And one of my favorites:  I think it's pretty obvious what sort of motorcycle this thing attracts.  It was 90-plus on Sunday with high humidity.  And here are the morons idling in stop-and-go on their air cooled bikes.  Then they stall out and they can't figure out why they won't restart.

I feel like a new person!

YoDoc

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 11:47:57 am »
If you feel the need to make fun of people, who, choice of motorcycle aside, are just trying to do their best to honor the nation's fallen, that's up to you. Not all of those people are hardcore riders, many of them have never ridden that far before. The event is not an Iron Butt ride, and is not a cross country tour. It is about remembering veterans, and the ride itself is about healing, not riding.

Offline crashdb

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 12:18:55 pm »
Who said I was making fun of them?  And where once did I pick on their brand of motorcycle?  I'm sorry, but riding should involve some self-examination.  Just because you can ride from one bar to the next or around town  does not mean you should just hop on your bike, ride to VA and take part in an event of this size.  Not only are you putting your own life at risk, but others as well.  I'm guessing you haven't ever ridden this.  It's a very close formation of motorcycles in stop-and-go traffic.  Not to mention that there a loads of distractions along the route between the spectators and the monuments.  How would you feel if an inexperienced rider ran into or fell over onto your $15k motorcycle? 

I'm sorry, guy, but I'm a vet a few times over and if others want to come and honor vets that's cool.  I think it's freaking awesome that so many people turn out for this thing, but again there should be some thought involved.  The first being, if you're going to be in an unshaded parking lot for four-plus hours in the middle of summer bring some water.  I arrived with a 3-liter Camelbak and still drank some of the free stuff.  Secondly, if you're going to not bring water and come close to passing out  I don't think getting on a motorcycle with very little clothing on and continuing to ride on a hot day is the brightest thing to do.  All of this is like going into combat without a weapon. 

Thirdly, I'm willing to bet that only a small percentage of these people even care about veterans.  Rolling Thunder is just another t-shirt to add to their Sturgis and Bike Week shirts.  It's a rite of passage, and nothing more for a lot of them. 

And if you  think I'm being unpatriotic I'll have you know that I enlisted in the Reserves at 33.  I already had a good-paying career, I already had a paid-for degree.  I went through Basic and AIT with kids twice my age.  Why?  Because I was tired of seeing the pictures of kids that had been killed over there and thought I could do something.  I've been in for five and a half years and I haven't drilled for an entire year because of deployments (all voluntary).  Not only that, but I've lost my share of friends.  My advice to you is to get all the information before you start casting judgement onto people.  If you don't like what I have to say then ignore it.  Plain and simple.
I feel like a new person!

YoDoc

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 12:41:36 pm »
I have ridden with them, I rode one leg of it this year with them, but not all the way. It's slow. It's close. You have to be on the look out. When people are woefully unprepared, we help them out if we can, and maybe they learn. No one said you were unpatriotic, no one said anything about brand. There are more air-cooled bikes than just Harley's and BMW's.

It wasn't that what you said upset me, I just genuinely think you may have a misguided idea about what that particular event is about. It's not even about vets, brother. It's about the ones who didn't come home. It's about healing. Everybody has their own reasons to go, and I'm sure some of them are there because of blind patriotism and just wanting to grab another shirt for their wall. Some of them are there for completely different reasons. Some of them are there for the same reason I rode a leg with them this year, and want to run the whole way next year. It's not "about" riding motorcycles. That just happens to be how they get together.

I don't remember judging you. I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. I'm in the reserves, too, man. I was active duty before that, and served two tours in Iraq. The last thing I want to do is to alienate any of my brothers or sisters in the service.

Offline crashdb

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 01:05:45 pm »
One leg?  I'm confused.  Are you talking about the ride there?  Yes, that is definitely for healing.  Unfortunately, the ride for me is 30 minutes.  I just don't think the actual Rolling Thunder is more than another t-shirt for most.  Yes, there were actual vets there looking to connect with other vets.  That's awesome.  To me the actual event is a "lookit me" thing.  I just don't buy into it.  Me, I'd rather volunteer at Walter Reed or the Wounder Warrior Project to show my support.  I understand what the event is about, but I think there's better ways at showing support--ways that'll benefit the ones that did make it back. 

If you make it to the Pentagon for the ride next year I say do it.  I told my buddy that.  He was talking about leaving and he had never done it before.  I told him for all my bad-mouthing he should still do it once.  When he got home, he called and told me he agreed with me, but he'd never do it again. 

The person I'm refering to was helped.  My buddy that was with me is/was an SF medic and we gave him water.  We were seriously about ready to stick him with an IV.  Instead of drinking the water, he has his wife roll it around on his neck.  Five minutes later he's putting on his helmet to join in on the parade.  I don't see any intelligence in that. 

You're not alienating me.  We just don't agree on the actual Rolling Thunder ride.  I'd be interested to see if you change your tune next year when you do the parade lap. 
I feel like a new person!

Offline Pokey

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 01:10:05 pm »
Good intentions....good cause.........bad idea.....pain in the ass to anybody that has to follow or be around them. And the whole fact that many of them have little to know experience riding, that is very scary to say the least. I saw a few wadded up Harley baggers on the BRP this weekend, when a group rides like that you can't make a single mistake or chrome is gonna be everywhere. I actually met and talked to a ride leader for the fallen vets "coming from Cali" I respect them for all that they have done for this country, but having a large group riding like that is just plain ridiculous.
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YoDoc

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 01:10:47 pm »
One leg?

I have suddenly notice that you were speaking about Rolling Thunder... duh... and I was not. I was talking about... drumroll, please.....

Run For The Wall. No, I have never been out to Rolling Thunder. My opinions expressed in this thread are now declared mostly null and void, I am awarded no points, and may God have mercy on my soul.

Offline crashdb

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 01:16:22 pm »
No worries.  If your friends are headed straight for the wall then they're smart.  That's where Rolling Thunder ends.  You avoid all the nightmare and still get to participate in the better part of the whole thing. 

With that said, I again say that you should do the Rolling Thunder portion at least once. 

Pokey, that was exactly my point.  And I completely echo your sentiment.
I feel like a new person!

YoDoc

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 01:20:59 pm »
Some of them ride to Rolling Thunder, and some of them just ride to DC. Hopefully, next year, gods of deployments willing, I'll be able to take the whole ride, or at least the portion from Texas out east. That is, if the wife lets me leave for that long, LOL. If I leave her, she'll be taking care of a three year old boy and a 7 month old boy... I may have to wait a few more years... LOL.

Offline DannyL

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 02:14:05 pm »
I say "live and let live". Don't like crowds and a million bikes? Stay away and do your part from where ever you are. A check can get where it's got to go for almost nothing. In the meantime you can ride your A$$ off somewhere else!

I don't like large groups and don't like stupid people, I just find where you find one you find the other....

My 2 Canadian cents! (No judgement, just opinion)


Offline Strawboss

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Re: Rolling Blunder..
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 03:03:54 pm »
Pokey said it better than me in his first sentence. Its a hot button topic sometimes as some may misinterpret opinions on a screen different than intended or relayed. Guy gave an opinion, a few supported it, we ride, we post, we go on with our lives.
COG 5852-AMA Life 302525-NRA 9098599-SASS
2001 Concours-1982 KZ550A-1979 Triumph Bonneville-1995 Honda SA50