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Riding to the Florida Keys for my Brother's Wedding

Photos, video, and article by FastFred Ruddock

Rick aka Stump in Daytona


The excuse for this long ride was my brother’s wedding in Key West. Most sane individuals might naturally wonder why anyone would visit the keys on mid-summer. The distance from my house to Key West is just over 771 miles. I broke the trip down into two days and spent some time with my friends Rick and Jeani Jessen in Daytona. The curse of technology required me to work remotely Thursday morning in Daytona and Thursday afternoon in Miami; the scenery sure beat the home office but this was an unexpected delay. I arrived in Key West and had my tent pitched by 10:08 PM before join Kyle and Shannon for a few drinks in Old Town Key West.


Shannon and Kyle at Garden of Edden

West Martello Fort

Southernmost Point in USA

Bill, Mom, and Nieces

Haley and Kylie
Friday morning I found a WiFi hotspot and check for more work orders prior to sight seeing. One of the “cooler” spots was the garden at West Martello Fort. I spent the remainder of the day visiting with my Mom and Dad before the evening wedding aboard a sailboat. I drank wine on the boat and got a pretty good buzz.

Bride and Groom

Mom and Barbara

Pop and Barbara

Bill and Mom

My site at Boyd's Campground

View from my tent
Saturday began with a refreshing dip in the pool at Boyd’s Campground. The WiFi and the campground sucked but the pool was much cooler than expected and filled with salt water. I washed laundry while enjoying the pool. Most of the folks at the campground were visiting from Europe enjoying our depressed dollar. The remainder of Saturday was spent playing biker tourist. Just prior to the Sunset Celebration found the best happy hour at Kelly’s brewpub within walking distance of Mallory Square. The Wheat and IPA were the best but the Red Ale was smokier than expected.

Key West Art

Gingerbread made of Gingerbread men

FastFred at Milemarker 0 on US 1

Southernmost Brewpub


I saw the Key West Catman and his trained house cats jumping through flaming hoops and such; you may wish to see for yourself in this week’s videos. I also saw a dog climb a ladder and walk a tight rope. After his feats the dog collect dollar bills from the audience and placed them in a bucket. There were plenty of freak shows but the animal shows were the best. If you visit Key West be sure to arrive at least an hour before sunset at Mallory Square.

Key West Catman

Dominique's Flying House Cats

House cat jumps thru flaming hoop

Sunset Celebration in Key West

Old Key Highway above older RR

Seven Mile Bridges to Lower Keys
Sunday morning I rose with the sun and rode straight back to Charleston only stopping to take a few photos of the Old US 1 Bridges and couple of meals. By chance I met Bruce Arnold of “Long Distance Rider” at the Last Chance Saloon in Florida City; we talked about the big issue of "division within the ranks" that currently cripples the Motorcycle Rights Community. The ride to Daytona was brutal in the sun and heat but the final leg was better after sunset. Riding just over 771 miles in one day was not too bad really.

Old Seven Mile Bridge

Old Seven Mile Bridge

Pigeon Key

Florida Keys Memorial

Florida Keys Memorial

Daytona near sunset

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