Friday, March 16, 2012

Rude Boy

I was following this Harley look-alike out of town on the Boulevard, but I got tired of his loud pipes so I swung off onto First Street got tangled in school zones on Flagler and lost a bunch of time leaving Key West earlier this week.

But before we went our separate ways I noticed his Illinois tag and as usual I was forced to wonder why do people do this. Rude? Really?

I met up with the motorcycle by chance at the gas station at the end of my street 27 miles away. That happens a lot in the Keys where driving choices are limited. You keep meeting the same vehicles, and in this case I suddenly discovered why the absurd specialty tag suited this rider.

I am not fond of people who cock block gas pumps while they are busy inside the inconvenience store doing some light shopping. It took a few minutes to fill the Bonneville but Rude Boy was nowhere to be seen. Living down to his name inside the Shell station.

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Daytona Bike Week Residue

Motorcycles, quite aside from my Green Bonneville (in the foreground) have been all over Key West:

Highway One also has been packed in all directions for what seems like forever. This is a typical stretch on Cudjoe Key:

Spring Break has a lot to do with it, but let's not forget that Daytona Bike Week runs through Sunday Up North, and Key West is a popular side trip for the adventurous rider.

This is not a week to look for Triumph Bonnevilles on the highway, but it is a week of relaxed riding styles on the 42 bridges of the Overseas Highway.

It's an odd irony that Florida requires seat belts on slow moving SUVs and family loving slow minivans, but doesn't require motorcyclists over 21, with health insurance, to wear helmets.

Motorcycles must have their headlights on at all times whereas the lights on requirement is only a gentle suggestion for cages (motorcycle talk for cars).

It's all about the open road, in the flat, straight, Florida Keys.

A lot of it too is showing off your ride in the sun.

For some dude like me allergic to crowds and attracted to practical everyday motorcycles, the rampage through the Keys is a source of wonder.

Pirate bandanas and doo-rags are the clothing preferred by many of the adventurers.

But I was impressed when this intrepid traveler actually stopped and asked for directions. You know the joke about why the Israelites wandered the Sinai for forty years? Because Moses was a man and couldn't bring himself to ask for directions.

And then there are the non bikers still riding around Key West on two wheels.

I never understand why parents think it's okay to ride without a helmet when the law mandates their kids wear one. Isn't learning by example how they are supposed to raise the new generation?

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