When temperatures and temperaments are down, it’s also the right time to go down… to the southernmost point in the lower 48 – Key West, Florida.
For most, Florida can be a polarizing state but one common thread is that it offers winter riding refuge for the poor saps and souls north of I-80. Pro Skateboarder, GREG LUTZKA, rallied some snowbirds together to migrate south this winter, starting from Miami and rolling down to Key West and back.
FOR THE 2 RIDING DAYS, WE SET OUR ROUTE:
Along with photographer DREW MARTIN and videographer JORDAN LOVELIS (with his assistant MAX JUNK), to bottle up and bring back a bit of Florida sunshine through photos and video.
DAY 1 – MIAMI – KEY WEST
Packs were light, as this quick 2-day trip was set to maximum leisure and maximum sunshine. The crew did a quick rental pickup at EagleRider MIAMI and snuck out of the city before Miami gridlock could grab ahold of everyone.
Once the Keys were in sight, stress laxed and the pace slowed down. The general speed limit throughout the key-hopping cruise is around 45 MPH. A refreshing pace for the Sportster and Softail models chosen by the riders for the journey. Two great cruiser candidates are the IRON 1200 and LOW RIDER Harley-Davidson models. Alex had never been on a Harley-Davidson before this trip but felt right at home after a few hours on the Iron 1200.
The 113 miles (181 km), overseas highway, named U.S. Route 1, connects the Florida Keys together and offers entertaining stopping points along the way. A few selections include Marker 88 on Plantation Key, a beachside seafood and cocktail hangout, Island Fish Co. on Marathon Key, a tiki-themed seafood spot on the water, and HOG Heaven in Islamodora, a roadhouse grill with plenty of smoked BBQ.
As everyone thawed out from a healthy dose of Florida Key sunshine, it was a race to the southernmost point buoy in Key West to catch the last rays of the day’s sunset. A hot tip while visiting the southernmost point buoy is to park a few blocks away, as parking is rare and limited around this tourist magnet. The famous southernmost point concrete buoy has been standing since 1983 and has withstood several hurricanes, definitely worthy of an Instagram or Facebook post (to rub it into all the family and friends back home underneath a few inches of that dreaded white snow).
DAY 2 – KEY WEST – MIAMI
Bellies were rumbling along with the bikes in the morning, so we crept over to the Banana Café on Duval St. to fuel up on coffee, benedicts, and crepes.
The Florida Keys Scenic Highway takes you along multiple islands and the world famous Seven Mile Bridge, the longest bridge along the way. Heading back up, the squad elected to take a few pit stops around Seven Mile bridge and other scenic key bridges to take in ocean views and snap a couple photos.
If you’d like an excuse to take a detour off the main drag, stop by the EVERGLADES SAFARI PARK for an airboat tour or throw a leg over a water hog and stop by MIAMI WATERSPORTS to rent a couple of jet skis on your way back up to Miami.
Coming back to the congested streets and downtown of Miami may not be your favorite part of the trip, but there is a secret spot that will make take your breath away with sunset views. So that’s what we did.
We headed to Virginia Key and parked at Hobie Island Beach Park (only 20 minutes away from Downtown). You cross a beautiful bridge with great views all around and then enter a mini paradise where time seems to slow down and the sand is as white as you’ve ever seen.
While back in Miami, take a cruise over to Miami Beach to try out some heavenly Cuban and Haitian food, admire local art, shop, and relax on the beach.
This route offers leisurely cruising, aimed towards the rider who needs an escape from the frozen tundra or the rider in search of new views. This crew’s riding experience varied from never riding a HARLEY-DAVIDSON before to crunching some serious cross-country miles on an H-D. Although this ride may not offer the most complex riding, it does offer a colorful escape from colder climates and more than enough of an excuse to ditch work and soak up some sun.
Join CLUB EAGLERIDER, accumulate some rental credits and use them to pay for the bikes next time you want to go riding. This is the most affordable way to ride different bikes in different cities. You can learn more about Club HERE.
None of our lodging was expensive, bikes can be paid for with CLUB EAGLERIDER CREDITS, and it’s truly an attainable adventure that even someone who just started riding 3-6 months ago can complete safely on any size motorcycle.
We’ll bring more adventures like this to share with you. For now, ride safe and we look forward to seeing you at one of our RENTAL LOCATIONS.