Rolling Thunder XXIII – 2010

I had the pleasure of attending Rolling Thunder again this year.  I staged at Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, VA with approximately 10,000 other motorcycle enthusiasts to honor our military’s: fallen, POWs, and MIAs.  It is a wonderful event that culminates at our nation’s capital with numerous groups of riders crossing Constitution Avenue.

I filmed the opening police escort in addition to a few other groups as they made their way through the parade.  It was an honor to again pay tribute to our nation’s heroes.  Some photos of the event are on Webshots.

Ted Cahall

Rattle the Runway – Honoring Pentagon's 9/11 Fallen

A group of people from work joined over a thousand other riders and rode from the Dulles Airport to the Pentagon today. The Rattle the Runway Ride was conceived to honor those people that flew Flight 77 on September 11th from IAD and crashed into the Pentagon. We staged at the airport behind the Air and Space Museum. As we left, we rode into the airport and through departures. We then proceeded up 267 to 66 and onto the Pentagon where we were able to spend some time at the memorial. The memorial has a bench for each person that died in the crash. The benches face in two directions: one for those that were on the plane, and the other for those killed on the ground. The benches are lined up by year of birth. The youngest victim of this cowardly act of terrorism was only three years old.

It was a nice ride and a nice way to pay my respects to those that lost their lives that day. May they and their families find peace.

Rolling Thunder!

On Sunday I joined up with a couple of co-workers and their friends and family and rode down to DC as part of Rolling Thunder to celebrate Memorial Day and our nation’s fallen soldiers.  It was especially meaningful to me this year after my trip aboard the USS Truman. The complete photo and video album of my trip to Rolling Thunder is here.

Each year Rolling Thunder gets larger with some estimates of approximately 500,000 bikes participating.  Below is a photo of just some of the motorcycles that staged outside of Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, VA.

As you can see, we are lined up four wide for miles.  They blocked off all traffic on Route 66 as we trimmed down to two across.   We road with a police escort right into DC.

Once we were in DC, we parked our bikes and looked at the Korean and WWII War Memorials.  From there, we waited and watched the beginning of the procession of the official Rolling Thunder.  Below is a video of the beginning of the event.

DC Rolling Thunder Opening Procession

After watching thousands of bikes go by, we decided to head home and beat the traffic.  It was a great ride, a great day, and a great way to say, “thank you”, to all that have fallen in the line of service to this great country.

Ted Cahall

Myrtle Beach Bike Week – 2009

A group of us rode down to Myrtle Beach Bike Week again this year.  The trip was slightly shortened due to Mother’s Day on Sunday.  Here is a shot of us as we prepared to ride home.  We are from left to right: Bart, Todd, Ted Cahall (me), Dave, Jeff, and Pradeep.

Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2009

Todd, Dave and Jeff rode down on Thursday morning.  Due to my recent trip out to the USS Truman (plus the rain forecast), I decided to delay a day.   Pradeep followed suit and rode down with me on Friday morning as well.  Bart met us there by car due to work obligations.

The trip down was beautiful.  No rain and no traffic delays.  Pradeep did end up duct-taping his saddle bag to his bike when the bolt fell off – but that was worth a laugh and on we went.  We only stopped three times on the way down from DC: once in VA at the 295 Richmond bypass, once about 20 miles north of Wilson, NC, and once just outside Dillon SC.  It was pretty interesting as Pradeep was on a Ducati Monster riding in a cafe position most of the way.  He did not complain at all and was ready to ride around Myrtle Beach when we arrived.

We headed out in a cab to the night spots to see all of the bikes and general entertainment (mostly provided by other people that rode down as well).  A good time was had by all and we called it a night to prepare for the ride back on Saturday morning.

We headed out about 10:30AM on Saturday morning on what looked to be a great weather day.  I think a few people (Dave and Jeff) even commented that it was the best weather ever for the trip back.  About 10 miles north of the 295 bypass by Richmond it started to rain lightly.  We all pulled off the road under a bridge overpass.  My helmet was covered in rain as was my fairing.  Unfortunately I could not see that I had pulled up to the very far side of the shoulder’s pavement.  There was a 8 inch drop off and when I went to put my right foot down…  Darn – I need longer legs.  I gently rested the bike on the guard rail until I could straighten it out.  Somewhat embarrassing – but at least there was only a minor paint rub in a very small section of the fairing.  It could have been a lot worse.

The fun was not over yet though.  As we debated if we needed to don our rain gear or simply wait for the storm to pass over, it started to hail.  That was somewhat odd – but since we were under the bridge, we delayed putting on the rain gear.  Then it seemed like a small tornado went through.  The winds kicked up to about 50 MPH and the rain began hitting us sideways.  Being under the bridge had no effect anymore and we all got seriously drenched.  I have never seen such a quick and furious downpour.  The sideways rain abated after about five minutes and we all looked at each other like the bunch of knuckleheads we knew we were.  Had we put on the rain gear we would have been fine…

Fearing another deluge, we decided to don the rain gear and when the rain lightened to almost a stop, we proceeded on.  Within a few miles the streets were completely dry.  Too bad we were wearing soaked blue jeans under a rubber suit in what was now hot, humid weather.  Now that makes a fun ride!

It was getting somewhat late, so we we stopped at Mickey D’s for the second time of the day (yes – this was a real “man” trip) and changed back out of the rubber rain gear in hopes of drying off on the remainder of the trip.

We split off somewhere south of 495 so Dave, Todd, and Jeff could take the back roads home.  I road with Pradeep up 495 over to 267 and split off from him at the Reston exit.  It threatened rain a few more times but we did make it back without another shower.  Another safe trip down to South Carolina and back.  The photo below is the other shot we have of the group.  Photos from the 2008 trip are on Webshots.
2009 Myrtle Beach Bike Week

Ted Cahall