The Florida Keys, An Ostentatious Crane, and Yours Truly Gets Tossed Out Of An (alleged) Motorcycle Shop!

Dateline Key West, Florida. Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider, after breaking camp and having a really tasty breakfast burrito at Doc’s Diner in Key Largo, has finally made it to the third “End Of America”. Although the official trip to the corner monument will have to wait until tomorrow, Yours Truly has arrived in the area. My plan is to hang out here and around Florida for a few weeks seeing the sights and visiting friends. Yes, the ‘Wing is already chomping at the bit to hit the road again, but he’ll just have to be patient.

The ride down was absolutely beautiful. The Keys are a string of islands that run South from the mainland of Florida and are connected by very long bridges. The weather is hot (90+ with 75-90% humidity), the ocean clear and warm (76-80 degrees), the traffic not as bad as I thought. There is only one way down here and back, so Yours Truly expected it to be a real slog. In fact, traffic moved along at 45 – 50 pretty consistently so it wasn’t bad at all.

The sunsets here remind me a lot of Hawaii.

Sunset 3

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

This Crane hangs out on the pier and waits for fishermen to toss him the little “non keeper” fish! What a hoot!

White Pelican

And now to my motorcycle shop story.

Before leaving Seattle I called Key West Honda. I knew I would be needing an oil change and a basic check of systems on the ‘Wing. I was told just come on in, they’re set up for travelers. I called again from Pensacola…same story.

I wasn’t in the least surprised about this excellent service. I’ve had many, many times when, while on the road, I’ve needed a tire, an oil change, and even an emergency valve job in Las Vegas on my ’84 GL1200 Aspencade. So I didn’t question, I just told Mission Control that I would drop in and wait while they did the job.

Today I arrive and find the “Honda” shop is an unmarked brownstone building with no service bay, no big bikes, no retail at all, and a junk pile of little Vespas and such all over the place. It was cluttered with junk, dirt was everywhere…..basically just an open room with crap all over the place.

Then the old guy sitting in a dirty chair behind a dirty counter says “What do you want?” as I walk in. I told him and he says his guy is out for an hour and besides he doesn’t think he can do it right away anyway. I told him I had called not once, but twice, and he said he didn’t care who I talked to or what I was told. I could wait if I wanted but there were no guarantees he could do an oil change on my ‘Wing.

That’s where Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider lost it…just a little. I looked around again, told the “gentleman” that this looked like pretty much a fly-by-night outfit anyway so I’d pass. He then told me he wouldn’t do it for me anyway and “Take your S H _ _ and get out of here.” So I did. Frankly, my bike was worth more than all of the junk he had piled up combined, so I wouldn’t have trusted anyone associated with the place to go near it anyway.

I’m actually kind of proud of this little interaction! It accomplished two things. First, I can warn all of the Blue Knights International, Trip Advisor, and a myriad other business reports, including Honda Corporate about Key West Honda. And Yours Truly has always been called a “straight arrow, too nice”….Etc. all of my life. I finally got thrown out of a business! If you want to call this junk yard a business that is…but still, it makes me kinda proud.

So for the next few weeks Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider will become Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Tourist. I shall endeavor to keep it fun and interesting as always however.

Ride On,


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