Seven motorcycle enthusiasts, members of the local ABATE of NE (American Bikers Aiming Toward Education) participated in the U.S. Poker Run held July 30 to Aug. 6.
Brent Bussell, Jason Speck, Dwight and Tracy Coleman, all of Imperial, Brad Dinnel of Wauneta, Kyle Norman of North Platte and Brian McNeff of Brule joined the over 140 bikers from all over the U.S. on what the sponsoring organization “Support Bikers” called an “epic journey.”
These area bikers represented southwest Nebraska, in the journey from Port Charlotte, Florida to Sturgis, South Dakota—a trip of over 3,300 miles in eight days.
Dinnel said 144 bikers registered for the long ride, but 110 actually finished and drew their last card.
“The object of the ride was to beat the Guinness Book world record for the longest poker run,” Dwight Coleman said.
“The current record to beat was 3,123 miles with six people,” Dinnel said. “This Poker Run set a new world record of around 3,300 miles with 110 people.”
Three of the area riders had their motorcycles shipped to Florida and flew there, while four rode their bikes to Florida before beginning the long journey.
Dinnel was one biker who rode his bike to Florida and put on over 6,000 miles.
“I ride a lot, so it didn’t bother me—it was actually relaxing for me,” he said.
“It was enjoyable exploring the southeastern U.S. on two wheels. There will be a forever bond created among all of the riders that set a new world record with this poker run,” he added.
Day one of the trip started in Port Charlotte, Florida where the first card was drawn, and they stopped in Columbus, Georgia for the night.
Day two they traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, then on to Eureka Springs, Arkansas the third day where another card was drawn.
Day four, the bikers rode to Amarillo, Texas and on to Durango, Colorado on day five.
Day six, the riders reached Golden, Colorado, but had to take a detour due to the mudslides closing Interstate 70, Dinnel said.
Day seven took them to Cheyenne, Wyoming and the fourth card was drawn.
Day eight, the last day, they finished the journey in Sturgis, South Dakota, drawing the fifth and final card at Buffalo Chip, a 600-acre campground for motorcyclists for the 10-day music festival during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The group of riders from southwest Nebraska agreed it was a trip to remember.
“It was awesome. One of the funnest things I’ve ever done,” Bussell said.
He said he met lots of people along the way and saw many places he wouldn’t have if he hadn’t gone on this trip.
“It was an amazing experience,” Bussell added.
Dwight and Tracy Coleman went as a couple, with Tracy being one of a small number of women in attendance.
“My favorite part was meeting new people. There weren’t very many women there, but they were all nice,” Tracy said.
She said they saw a lot of beautiful scenery—a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
“We also rode in rain, sleet, hot weather and saw some funnel clouds,” she laughed.
“Eight days on a motorcycle is a lot, but I would totally do it again,” she added.
Dwight said it was a great trip, and he enjoyed it.
“But I was tired and sunburned and glad to be there,” he said.
Seven area bikers participated in the U.S. Poker Run