Rolling Thunder riders won't be setting any speed records or dealing with distracted motorists during their May 28 ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
But first they'll have to get to the Pentagon, with some covering thousands of miles. Some riders may break out their touring bikes for the first time in months, or longer, for the event. And some may be new to the demonstration, or be taking on roles like "road captain" or group leader for the first time.
Military Times talked with three Army motorcycle experts as part of the service's Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month about how best to prepare for hitting the road, both for riders heading to the Washington, D.C., demonstration – now in its 30th year – as well as for general safety advice. What you should know:
1. RESPECT THE GROUP. "I've been riding motorcycles for a long time, and of all the different ways of riding … one of the most difficult things to do, and one of the things that requires the most attention, is group rides," said Steve Kurtiak, a 22-year Army veteran who is a safety and occupational health specialist with Army Combat Readiness Center. "You're at a heightened state when you're riding in a group ride, and if you're not, you need to get that way."