'Ma Grizzly' guns it on Harley
BORN TO BE WILD: Controversial republican Sarah Palin kicks off her One Nation tour while on the back her motorcycle
'Ma Grizzly' - aka US presidential hopeful Sarah Palin - fuelled speculation of her run by launching a tour that is expected to bring the Republican political rock star to the key early voting state New Hampshire.
Guess what her mode of transport was...?
Palin participated in the annual "Rolling Thunder" Memorial Day holiday weekend rally in which tens of thousands of motorcyclists, many riding iconic Harley-Davidsons, rode through the US capital to honour US war veterans.
Palin responded "I don't know" when asked what type of motorcycle she was riding in the rally. Someone from her entourage said however that bike was "American made", according to an AFP correspondent.
Asked if all of her upcoming events would be as loud as the eardrum splitting Rolling Thunder rally, Palin responded: "It would be a blast if they were this loud - if they smelled this good. I love that smell of the emissions!"
Vietnam War veterans began Rolling Thunder in 1987 to bring awareness to prisoners of war and those missing in action. It has since evolved, its website said, into an event to show "respect for soldiers and veterans from all wars."
Some veterans said Palin - who wore a helmet and sunglasses and rode on the back of a motorcycle when the rally began - was welcome provided she's not doing it for political purposes.
"That's fine if she wants to come here and join in the festivities as a citizen of this country, not running for office or any political gain," Sheldon Wagner, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran, told AFP.
Middle-aged bikers, many carrying POW and US flags, gathered in the parking lot of the Pentagon and travelled along a route that took them to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
"These politicians need to find out what the American families and the veterans are all about. It's a good thing for her to do," said 62-year-old Ray King, a retired law enforcement officer from New Jersey who has joined the rally for the past 23 years.
Palin, who was John McCain's surprise running mate in the 2008 presidential election, joined the rally as she launched her "One Nation" bus tour, which is being funded through contributions to her political action committee (PAC).
Palin has not announced whether she will seek the Republican nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in next year's election, but her website includes campaign hallmarks such as links to make donations, videos, and patriotic slogans and images.
"The 'One Nation' tour is part of our new campaign to educate and energise Americans about our nation's founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America," a recent statement on the PAC website said.
Palin "will begin a trip through our nation's rich historical sites, starting from Washington, DC, and going up through New England," home to New Hampshire and the nation's first primary election.
In addition, Palin plans to debut a film documentary about her political career next month in Iowa, another key early presidential contest state.