The Poker Run involves picking up a card at various establishments down the highway then playing them in Key West to win a hand and a prize. That's the ostensible reason for making the ride down the Keys in the deadest season of the year.
It's big business this time of year but not everyone enjoys the motorcycles, as these are mostly hardcore pirates with straight pipes which make a great deal of noise.
The routine is for the majority of the motorcycles get lined up on Lower Duval which is blocked off for them, and by Sunday they'll be leaving.
Key West is used to managing the flow and because this is the low low visitor season other traffic is light which is good for the motorcycles.
Nevertheless these big old cruisers seem to overwhelm some of their riders. This machine on William Street kept me idling in my car for quite a while while he blocked the narrow street trying to maneuver into a car-sized parking spot. My 500 pound Bonneville is like a toy compared to these monsters, and I don't envy them their bulk.
Even as the town fills up with thousands (20,000 the Chamber of Commerce hoped) of Harleys and a few other minor brands, the local fleet of hard working two wheelers claim a few dark corners for themselves.
There is quite a lot of free motorcycle parking around town, even away from Duval.
And parking is art and parcel of the main reason for gathering in Key West - standing around talking about motorcycles.
I like the "Biker..." signs that sprout everywhere. The term refers in the popular imagination to Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen and the Sons of Anarchy.
Not really this lot, wilting in the 85 degree humidity, poor dears.
Lots of gleaming chrome, no rust, no wear and tear on these Chariots of the Gods, thundering like Vulcan at his celestial forge.
The forces of Law and Order are on High Alert trying to keep speeding down and prevent bad driving practices. Very dreary for those of us who like to speed under the radar, just a little, on our way to work.
Locals ride appropriately as they know where the radar lurks.
I shall do my best to blend in as I commute this week. I shall take no pleasure in hearing at work how many "no eye protection" tickets the officers give out on the streets of Key West. I am just an'umble dispatcher and ride with a proper motorcycle endorsement, eye protection and valid tag. And I shan't be speeding either.
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