KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Motorcyclists from throughout the United States are to travel one of America's most scenic highways to raise money for charity during the 41st annual Phil Peterson's Key West Poker Run, set for Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 19-22. The 2013 run features three Florida Keys cruising days so participants have more time to explore the island chain.
Traditionally drawing riders on up to 10,000 bikes, the popular ride features a unique route down the 113-mile Overseas Highway from mainland Florida to Key West. Offering long vistas of breathtaking sea and sky, the roadway incorporates 42 bridges spanning the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico.
Beginning Sept. 1, bikers can register to ride at Peterson's Harley-Davidson of Miami, 19400 NW 2nd Ave., and Peterson's Harley-Davidson South, 19825 S. Dixie Highway. Online registration is accepted before that date at www.petersonsharley.com.
Participating bikers receive poker sheets when they register and draw cards at designated stops along the route. The first stop opens at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, and riders must check in at the final stop in Key West by 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.
Entrants who draw the 10 best poker hands are eligible to play in a winner-take-all round of Texas Hold 'Em set for 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept., 21, at the Rose Tattoo Bar, 618 Duval St. The winner is to take home a new Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle or $6,000 cash.
A section of lower Duval Street and Greene Street are to be closed to car traffic from 11 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, and again from 7 a.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, so bikers with weekend parking passes can park on the street to display their bikes and enjoy a street party.
Other attractions include a Thursday night "Upper Duval Crawl," a Friday and Saturday bike merchandise market, Saturday's "Biker Bash" and custom bike show, an oceanside Sunday brunch and parties throughout the weekend at Key West resorts and watering holes.
The Poker Run is a fundraiser for the Diabetes Research Institute and charities of the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club.
Event information: www.petersonskeywestpokerrun.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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