You'd think, if you didn't know any better, that a dude like me, what rides his motorcycle most days of the week, would be delighted to welcome a few hundred fellow enthusiasts to a weekend's revelry in the Southernmost City. Well, now you know better. Bike Week is good for the merchants and it's been a tough year so they have my sympathy and I hope they wring this lot for every penny. It's just that I'm not a really clubby kind of guy and standing around with a bunch of men admiring yet another air cooled V-twin while puffing on a cigar just isn't my cup of pansy-parallel-twin cup of tea. They close off the one, two and three hundred blocks of Duval and let the motorcycles have at it. Very cool:
And yes, there were a few non-Harley Davidsons in the crowd, including a half dozen BMWs:A few of Erik Buell's Harley-based V-twins including this dude in High Visibility clothing. Like he doesn't think people are on the look out for motorcycles during Bike Week? Perhaps he was wearing a Kevlar baseball cap with invisible chin strap to be really "safe:"This thing that was labelled a "Kicker" though it looked a bit like an Aermacchi four stroke flat single to me, in rat bike form: Or a two stroke Yamaha twin in Kenny Roberts livery. Be still my beating middle aged heart: Or a lovely old Honda Four burdened with a gruesome seat. Imagine, I used to wonder how anyone could ride a 750cc "Superbike" as powerful as this:Nowadays I wonder how people get around looking like this, exposing their armpits and everything:When this brute was fired up it rumbled out into the street with the radio blaring. All the comforts of home. I had a motorcycle once that had a radio and I thought it was weird. I still do: At least a Gold wing isn't a Harley. It's not that I don't like Harleys it's just that there are other motorcycles in the known universe and it would be nice once in a while to be exposed to something slightly different on the streets of the Southernmost City. This would be more my style than the Gold Wing, if I lived where the horsepower were usable:Magnificent eh? Not good enough for Irondad apparently, who after a modest 160,000 miles with an earlier model of the Honda ST (sport tourer) decided to ditch the brand and go with the Yamaha instead. Fickle, that's what I call it. Triumphs? Well, there was one on Duval Street briefly:"Hey," I said to the guy on the Harley."If anyone asks, tell them there was at least one Triumph at bike week!" He cackled appreciatively so at least he seemed to know what a Triumph was... The motor unit was there riding...Harleys of course. At work I once suggested Vespas might be more suitable for Key West traffic and they nearly lynched me. They do like their Harleys:And there were babes too, in various guises:And there were blokes standing around, doing what the weaker sex do best, clutching drinks and trying to look knowledgeable:This next one looks like he's cursing his machine (an uncomfortable custom Harley) but he wasn't, he was simply adjusting his protective headgear:But I did see one full face helmet other than mine:Everyone else was riding Florida style including more than just this one with his feet down like training wheels which is a concept I find so profoundly wrong I can hardly express the depth of my feelings:And so it was, I had my fill of leather vests, rumbling twins, spilled beer and hail-fellow-well-met camaraderie. I took my Bonneville and threaded my way home through herds of more Harleys and yet more Harleys and their weekend riders:I made sure before I left not to look too closely at the Road King with the For Sale sign on it. Did I ever mention the Road King is my favorite Harley design? Probably just as well I never did.