The road to Key West

Tomorrow I ride my new 2017 Honda Africa twin from Miami to Key West. I have reservations to spend the first night at the Navy lodge.

The last time I rode a motorcycle to Key West the old 7 mile bridge was still in use; I was a teenager sporting a full head of hair and Florida had a helmet law.

My 1972? Honda CB 350 was the second Honda I owned and the bike that took me across that old bridge on several occasions.

At age 15 I owned a brand new Honda CB100. The dealer would not sell me anything bigger than a 15 brake horsepower bike. Harley made a 125cc bike then and the Miami dealer refused to sell the bike to a 15 year old with cash in hand. How times have changed.

Today I ride a brand new 2017 Honda Africa Twin at 998cc’s across a new 7 mile bridge. It is so new today at 550 miles it got its first oul change.

Three teenagers riding Hondas used to ride from Miami to key west camping the first night at key largo, john pennekamp state park.

Distant memories I now recall are a) when you hold your finger inside the tent when it rains your tent will leak. B) We used to (wot) wide open throttle it across that old bridge. C) The old bridge was so low you could at times see sharks swimming from the road as you rode by. D) Our only fear was breaking down and getting attacked by clouds of mosquitoes or no seums.

Henry Flagler’s overseas railroad down the east coast of Florida opened the state to the world. His old railroad is what became the road from Miami to Key West.

His overseas railroad, the first land route ever from Miami to Key West. A devastating 1935 hurricane brought 200 mph winds and a 17-foot storm surge, washing away miles of his railroad. Last year hurricane Irma hit this place and today you could still see boarded up old mobile homes whose time has come and gone just like that old bridge.

The Seven Mile Bridge was easily converted by the state of Florida to an automotive bridge.

The new bridge opened in 1982.

What started out as several guys riding from key west to san diego by way of the southern border, has now grown to possibly twelve of us. More to follow.