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The storms were playing in the Gulf of Mexico and around Cuba but that didn’t stop the bikers from coming out for this great event. The ride through the Keys in September is something that you do not want to miss. Riding with the tropical breeze, the blue ocean on either side of you as you ride through the small unique islands over the famous Seven Mile Bridge, with great views and places to stop for a cold one, or delicious food along the way. Most of these places are filled with your fellow riders and have something special going on. The threat of rain was not going to stop the bikers or the party. Hell, it rains in Florida all the time. You just pull into one of the party stops and wait until it passes. Then, of course, when you get to Key West, the main event, there’s more partying.

Though it is not an official poker run stop, the Last Chance Saloon is always one that is made. It sits at the end of the Florida Turnpike and the start of the Keys. I always stop at the Caribbean Club in Key Largo and also at the Holiday Isle in Islamorada, which were official stops this year. All the other run stops, and those you have visited in the past and have mafia friends at, have parties going on, and all of it together makes for a totally enjoyable ride and a great day.

There are so many bars and restaurants that they all can not be listed but some of those that had special events were Crabby Bill’s Biker Babe Bike Wash, The Schooner Warf Bar had their tattoo show, plus the Leather and Lace, Chrome and Steel show, and of course SloppyJoe’s held the bike show.

I have to mention the famous Hogs Breath Saloon and my hangout, The Bull—both cater to bikers all year long.

In addition to the poker hand, if you got three of a kind or better you got a chance to roll six special dice and if you rolled H-A-R-L-E-Y you won a new Harley or $20,000 cash.

All of the money raised goes to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute and Key West Sunrise Rotary Club.

I am proud to say that Phil Peterson is a personal friend of mine and a finer person you will never meet. He, his family and staff spend a lot of time putting this event on and it shows by how efficiently it runs. Thanks Phil.

I have been making this run since the late ‘70s and can usually be found in the window of The Bull Bar on Duval Street, with camera in hand. You may be in one of my pictures.

For info on Key West runs contact Miami H-D at 305-651-4811; www.miamiharley.com or Rogue at www.bikerrogue.com.

Hope to see you there next year.




This article is from Biker Number 213 August 2003 an Easyriders magazine.

Photography by Rogue.








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