RT Michigan News
SFA LV Motorcycle Recon Team Michigan
Goes to DC with Rolling Thunder!
On Thursday, 25 May 2017, three SFA Chapter 55 members, two other veterans, and one of Dewey’s civilian friends (and a strong supporter of the US Military) departed Fenton, MI at 0800 for a rendezvous with several hundred-thousand veterans and civilian supporters. The rendezvous, set for 28 May, called “Rolling Thunder XXX”, was a rally in support of the First Amendment and a reminder to Congress to do more to locate, identify, and repatriate fallen warriors from WW I, WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam). Our riders included Chapter 55 members Ray Pruett (the group’s Road Captain), Art Goatbe, and Dewey LaGuire-Quinn. Bruce Lyon (Retired Army SFC, and Ray’s cousin), Ron Herstein (Dewey’s civilian friend), and Randall Brewer (US Army 101st Airborne Vietnam veteran) composed the other half of the group.
Two other Chapter members were to depart with this group that morning: Richard Smith and Kirk Newman. Richard was kept home due to temporary vision issues, and Kirk’s visit to his primary care physician revealed damage to his right knee that prevented motorcycle riding.
The group was on the road until 8:00 PM that first day, arriving at RON (Wheeling, West Virginia). The group followed US-23 south from Fenton, MI, linking up with US-20/23 southeast of Findlay, Ohio. These riders followed US-20/23 south-southeast across the upper portion of Ohio, to US-250, then south through Ohio, into West Virginia.
The morning of Friday, 26 May 2017, this hardy group spent 10.5 hours traveling from Wheeling, WV, south to their FOB in Toms Brook, VA, following US-250 to I-55, and VA-11. The FOB was a farm house built in 1909. During this stretch from Wheeling to Toms Brook, these riders discovered that US-250 through WV, Maryland, and VA goes in four directions: “Left, Right, Up and Down!” What’s the speed limit you ask? 45 MPH to 25 MPH, to 40 MPH, to 15 MPH, to 50 MPH, to 25 MPH – and that was just the first mile!!! What a thrilling ride that was!!! It rained on us 50-60% of the whole trip to the FOB from my house. (“If it ain’t raining, you ain’t training!” [I heard that somewhere before])!!
Saturday, 27 May 2017, was a rest, recuperation, and cleaning and maintaining the bikes break. It was also a time to get to know the herd of Black Angus cows surrounding the farm house (ask Dewey about #17).
Sunday, 28 May 2017, the group was up and ready to depart for the 90 minute trip from Toms Brook to the Pentagon. This ride took us on a circuitous route. We were re-routed several times, delaying our arrival at the Pentagon parking lot until 1100. The rain resumed about 1130.
The Rally began with the VIPs and Dignitaries heading out of the Pentagon parking lot approximately 1230. Our SFA-55 contingent sat in the off-and-on rain, finally starting our motorcycles at 1555. We took our place in the rally wending at 1605 and wound our way through our nation’s Capital in the rain.
On Monday morning the riders reversed their route, returning to Wheeling, VA for RON. That evening the group elected to stop at Harley-Davison Dealerships beginning with The Valley HD in Wheeling, WV. Three more HD (HD stands for ‘Hundreds of Dollars!’) dealerships across Ohio. We RON in Mansfield, Ohio, and visited Ohio Bike Week. The group split into three: Randall Went up I-75 to home in Lake Orion, MI; Ray and Bruce headed across 80/90 to M-127 towards home. Art, Ron and Dewey returned to their respective home up US-23, via a stop at the HD dealership in Brighton, MI. Team members presented Dewey with a silver HD ‘Guardian Bell.’ “Tires down, shiny-side up!”
One team member asked, “Dewey, would you do this ride again?” Dewey said, “Yeah!! Next year, Rolling Thunder 2018!!” So, folks, if you’re thinking about riding in Rolling Thunder, contact Dewey and let him know!!
A salute to all riding members for their generous, thoughtful ideas and suggestions during the planning sessions held in February and April! And, a special salute to Ray Pruett, our Road Captain for his superb leadership, getting us there and back!