Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Rallying

Despite their existentialist philosophy -- free individuals are handcuffed by society’s contractarianism -- bikers sure do get together often. And when they do, they inevitably drink a lot of society’s beer and ogle a fair number of society’s bikini-clad women. The cognitive dissonance continues this weekend in Key West, as 10,000 bikers descend from the specificity of their normal lives into the leather aggregate that is a good old-fashioned biker rally. The 35th annual Key West Poker Run begins its Miami segment Friday at Phil Peterson’s Harley-Davidson dealerships (19400 NW Second Ave. and 19825 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami), where entrants can register and pick up their “poker cards.” On the drive south, riders will pick up cards at various locations to make poker hands. The best 10 players this year will be eligible to compete in a hold ’em tournament; the winner will receive a brand-new Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 custom motorcycle.

Other events over the weekend include a biker bash at Sloppy Joe’s, a tattoo contest at the Schooner Wharf Bar, a bikini show, and Sunday morning’s culminating event, the “blessing of the bikes” in Mallory Square. Visit www.petersonskeywestpokerrun.com or www.fla-keys.com for more information.
Sept. 15-16
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P. Scott Cunningham