Phil Peterson's 42nd Key West Poker Run
Story & Photographs by Pat "Nitro" Miller
Key West, FL SEPT 21, 2014 - Another awesome ride was coming right up but the forecast was for 90% rain. A brand new store bought rain suit was ready.
I left West Palm Beach at about 6:30am; the first rain was encountered just south of Miami. It consisted of about 18.5 raindrops. So far, so good, so I stopped at Florida City for gas.....only $3.19 a gallon! I was impressed.
Continuing south, I decided to make all the stops this year. The first stop was MM108 (that’s a standard measure of distance in the keys for the uninitiated) Gilberts Resort. Being a little early, quite a few participants in the poker run were waiting to draw their card when they opened at 9am.
Heading even further south (it is really difficult to get lost once you have entered Key Largo) I stopped at MM88, which just happens to be the name of the resort. There I ran into some friends, Roly and Abby who had also left that morning. At this stop, there were only 4 people; the Rotary Club whisked us through without a glitch.
The next stop was the Island Fish Company in Marathon, MM54. The Marathon Police actually control traffic at this stop, making it one of the safest on the entire route. Hmmm, still dry.
Crossing the 7 Mile Bridge took me back to memory lane and 1993. A club I belonged to had a regional meeting in Key West and we stayed at the Knights Key campground on the north end of the bridge, I remember seeing a 'jet' at the entrance and a few limos’ in various states of beat-uppery. On our last day there were two Harrier jets that appeared and landed on the highway just at the end of the bridge... Yo Arnold, quit bouncing that plane. Yep, True Lies being filmed.....and back to today.
Traveling again, I stopped at Boondocks, MM28.5, where I had previously videotaped a local keys family band. And what happened at the previous stop happened again, the local Rotary Clubs did an awesome job with the cards.
And back to the highway again, this time to the last stop, not on US 1, The Conch Republic Seafood Company. Let me mention here that at that point, I realized that I had probably gotten about 60 MPG... yeah, traffic was a little slow.
So then I made my way down to Duvall Street; the hub of activity, or so I thought. It seems this year other islands and businesses were holding their own biker events. There wasn’t a street stage in front of the Hard Rock this year. The Bike Show, sponsored by Ricks/Durty Harrys & the Big Bike Riders Children’s Foundation, went off with the baggers this year winning in the amount of bikes in one class. Best of show went to Thomas Olbe of Miami.
All in all, even though there were more 'tourists' than bikers, it was another great day in the keys. There was one short afternoon shower, but a dry ride all the way home that night.
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