Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Friday, May 31, 2013
Late in the afternoon on the Thursday before Memorial Day, I left the Bedford County Courthouse and entered the ramp to get onto the U.S. 460 bypass, only to find it was being blocked by a state trooper.
Above me on the highway, I saw hundreds of motorcycles whizzing by, all heading west. I realized they were traveling to Washington D.C. for Rolling Thunder XXVI, an annual motorcycle rally honoring Vietnam War POWs and MIAs.
When the last bike passed, the trooper let our waiting cars on the road, and from Bedford to Bonsack, I rode alongside the bikers.
It was a nerve-wracking trip. They were tightly packed in the right-hand lane — no one could merge or turn right, and cars in the eastbound lane couldn’t cross and backed up into traffic. The line of motorcycles climbing the hills ahead of me looked like an army of ants.
I briefly thought “Rolling Annoyance” might be a better name for the event, but all along the route, I saw people waving, police officers saluting and cars slowing down to keep the riders safe.
When they turned off at U.S. 220, I was sorry to leave them behind. Maybe a little inconvenience was a small price to pay to be a part of something so amazing.
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