The last time I rode to Key West from Miami Beach I had just crossed the bridge onto the island, and from a nearby car, overheard a report saying that an approaching hurricane had just prompted a mandatory evacuation. I fueled up, turned around and headed home.
I'm sure that the riders heading south for the 39th annual Key West Poker Run, a fundraiser for the Diabetes Research Institute and charities of the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club, will be able to stick around longer and enjoy the closest thing we have to Jimmy Buffett’s fictional Margaritaville.
Set for Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 15-18, the event should attract about 10,000 riders who’ll travel south for more than 110 miles on the Overseas Highway (aka US 1) as it leaps from mainland Florida to the end of the line in Key West, the southernmost destination in the continental United States.
This is a ride I’ve done many times and one I like because as you hop from island to island across 42 bridges you’re soaking in amazing vistas of Florida Bay and the Straits of Florida. It’s like riding across a liquid Death Valley.
A section of Duval Street will be closed for motorcycles and a Biker Bash is one of the events. One tip: September in the Keys is hot, hot, hot and if you wear leathers, you’ll melt like a popsicle. Look for more information on the Poker Run at petersonskeywestpokerrun.com and for information about the Florida Keys at VISIT FLORIDA.