Catch the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis!

Redbone 2001 Tournaments


ISLAMORADA - Sunday, May 20, was a perfect day for an open-air ride along the Florida Keys' scenic Overseas Highway, and hundreds of motorcyclists took advantage of the great weather to enjoy the view, pick up playing cards and raise money to help "Catch the Cure" for cystic fibrosis.

The bikers were taking part in the first ever Great Ride/Redbone Poker Run hosted by the Mercury Redbone Tournament Series and Caloosa Cove Resort in Islamorada.
The event stemmed from the recent series of Great Strides Walks sponsored nationally by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. During the local event, hosted by the Mercury Redbone Tournament Series on the Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon, participant Richard Savolidis, an avid biker, suggested "a great ride."

Redbone Director Gary Ellis liked the idea, and the Great Ride/Redbone Poker Run was set for May 20.

Bikers taking part in the run had the option of arriving from the north or south. The northern route began at the Last Chance Saloon in Florida City, with stops at Alabama Jack's on Card Sound Road, the Caribbean Club in Key Largo and the Ocean View Lounge in Islamorada before ending up at Caloosa Cove.

Bikers beginning their journey from Key West or the Lower Keys picked up their cards during stops at Coconuts on Big Pine Key and Gary's Bar in Marathon and the Wreck Bar on Grassy Key before also arriving at Caloosa Cove.

Once at Caloosa Cove, poker run participants and visitors to the event enjoyed a cookout by Pig Out Barbecue which included hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecued chicken breast sandwiches.

In addition, the bikers could enter their rides in the event's motorcycle show, or take part in the "Harley Olympics," a series of games designed to test motorcycle driving and riding skills. Continuous entertainment was provided by the Bilge Brothers.

Savolidis said he was happy with the turnout for the first-ever Great Ride, which drew more than 200 bikers and raised more than $1,000. "It turned out, all in all, being a real good event," Savolidis said. "We were very pleased with the turnout. For that many people to show up on the first poker run was incredible."

Savolidis said he plans to make the Great Ride an annual event, and promises it will improve with each year. "This was our first time out, and it was a learning experience," he said. "Next year will be even better."