Protective gear is used by a minority of riders in Key West as illustrated here, whether by motorcyclists, scooter riders or cyclists.
You might expect the rider of a K1200GT BMW might be an all-the-gear type of rider for they're are stereotyped as such. However I have no idea who rides this behemoth but I see lots of BMW riders in sandals and shorts around here...
Seen in the flesh that's an amazing piece of rolling architecture, that BMW.
Two Chucks I know personally left comments, one the non riding Chuck mentioned a traffic study published in the Citizen newspaper which discussed the high accident and mortality rate among two wheeled riders in Key West as a per capita percentage of city residents. And traffic can be hectic:
Chuckspeed, the barefoot motorcyclist pointed out that per capita the Southernmost City has a far higher proportion of bicycle and motorcycle riders and statistically one might expect there to be a higher accident rate per capita. Which sounds reasonable to me.
This couple cycled past me talking quietly, bicycles creaking gently. They looked and sounded very companionable and in keeping with the peaceful surroundings.
Not only is Key West flat to enable easy cycling it is also a town that makes cycling enjoyable by it's very beauty, though a few more bicycle paths wouldn't hurt.
I may be biased but a Vespa is always a thing of beauty.
Modern iterations of the Vespa scooter principles founded by Piaggio in 1946 may be more economical and just as effective but are surely not as pretty.
And everybody rides them (helmet-less).
I liked the label on this mass produced Asian scarlet beauty.
However Chuck's BSA is the real limited edition.
And for those who want fresh air with the perceived safety of four wheels in the narrow streets of Key West, an MG Midget could be the answer.
I caught a glimpse of the car my wife lusts after, a convertible Fiat 500 last seen on White Street turning onto Von Phister.
I wanted to pull alongside on my Bonneville and say "Hoy! You're driving my wife's car!" I doubt the would have been amused.
I rode on to Rest Beach to enjoy the sun setting over water.
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