Over the years the Zombie Bike Ride has become one of the most popular events associated with Fantasy Fest. This is despite the fact the ride is organized as an independent advance event, similar to Goombay, before the main carnival party called Fantasy Fest really kicks off.
To approach the route after work required me to trail groups of costumes pedalling toward the south side of Key West. Originally the ride originated at the Stock Island bike shop Recycle, which organized the event. That soon proved to be a bad idea when thousands of riders showed up, 7500 last year according to people who count such things. Crossing the only bridge into and out of Key West with an immense slow moving line of bicycles proved impractical. Not to mention the pre-ride gathering at the side of the Overseas Highway...Something had to be done.
So they moved the kick off location to Pines Park next to the East Martello Tower on South Roosevelt Boulevard. The ride sets off shortly before sunset with police closing the roads as they go and eventually, in the fullness of time the bicycles and their costumed riders have a street party on Lower Duval where the bars are centered.
This year I took up a position where I could park my scooter easily as I came straight from work and road closures prevented easy access to the start line where I would usually hang around for a little while. As it was I caught bicycles going "the wrong way" toward South Roosevelt to join the crowd departing from the proper spot.
As you can see from this long line of pictures the costumes are the thing and this is an entirely child friendly event.
Cars prohibited. Once can only imagine the driver's astonishment at being so ill informed about the wifdely publicized event that actually closed a main road for a while...