Dozens of dirt bikes and ATVs were driven through the Washington area Sunday afternoon, showing up in Arlington and Logan Circle, and causing curious bewilderment among baseball fans leaving Nationals Park on South Capitol Street.
Around 4:30 p.m. shortly after the end of the Nationals game fans were held on a street corner as the vehicles in a procession of twos and threes, headed west on M Street SE, and turned left on South Capitol. Some did “wheelies,” in which a motorcycle moved down the street on its back wheel alone.
The riders, rolled past on a disparate array of vehicles, several wearing black military- style helmets. Some on two wheels, others with four, appeared to be reviving the rides that have gone on in the city and suburb in past years. Those have led over the years to numerous arrests, although police were told not to pursue the bikes.
Often similar rides have been regarded as a kind of ritual of summer in this region, and have been reported as early as June. It was not clear whether Sunday’s ride was the first of the year. It was possible that any previous rides this year had not been so widely seen.
On South Capitol Street, the procession appeared to take over the roadway for a two or three minutes, then to head elsewhere, permitting the crowd on the sidewalks to continue to their destinations.