I saw the clutter in the van and I figured its about time the Higgs Beach campers came back too, I suppose. It's not just the idle rich and hard saving vacationers that visit the Florida Keys in winter. Anyway that van was the seed that grew into this essay, a consideration of what makes for suitable wheels in a Key West. A Vespa sidecar perhaps?
An MP3 scooter perhaps? No longer imported they are built by the people that build Vespas. I rented a 250 version in Rome, where it was excellent for coping with cobbles and streetcar tracks. It had a top speed around 75 but aside from the initial expense it apparently eats brake pads thanks to its weight and is a very complicated and clever piece of machinery. Not good value for money in streetcar-free Key West.
I saw this venerable six volt VW Van, similar to one I owned for a few years in cool damp California, down to the Grateful Dead sticker. It was horrid in winter as cold and damp made starting it an iffy business unless you had a hill to roll down. The interior was great for camping and I took it more than once to Mexico and all round California, until I got tired of the starting issues. For Florida the lack of air conditioning and a cruising speed of maybe 55 would make it terrible for Key West as go-to-mainland car, and awkward to drive around town. No good, but cute and terribly nostalgic.
This orange thing is idiotic but people love their high gas consumption, noisy knobby tires and leaky cloth roofs. Ungainly for Key West's narrow lanes and thus not worth it.
Ah yes, the ultimate in Key West wheels, a bicycle, pedaled powerfully.
A thousand cc Kawasaki might do quite well, like this one parked at Key Line Square, if you can stand the modern squared off styling. However you could run most of your errands in first gear and pass most vehicles on the road. It's over powered, consumes too much, and around here where roads are flat and straight, it would be overkill. It might pull women, though, there is that.
A moped is good and sensible though one should lose the beer can before riding. Drinking and riding is not good nor sensible. It was probably dropped off by some intoxicated passerby, who mistook a scooter for a recycling bin.
Guest houses and hotels offer guests the use of free bikes, attesting to the popularity of pedaling in Key a West.
This woman who looks like a bush was painting her bicycle to make her machine distinctive. I wished I had stopped to talk to her, wondering if she knew of the late Captain Outrageous.
I am falling in love again with Three-in-One oil a simple true lubricant, easily applied and effective. WD 40 is not a true lubricant as it is designed to displace water, hence it's name. This bike could use some penetrating lubrication.
Check out the dude below on Duval Street. This is why some people argue cycling is the way to get around Key West.
Locals ride too, I barely caught these three young tear ways enjoying their home town on bikes. A great way to grow up in the 21st century. Parents in this town give their kids more freedom than most in fear filled America. To see them loose on their bikes reminds me of the best part of my youth, being free to roam.
A well organized bike can transport your worldly chattels at speed.