VME Isle of Vashon TT: Vashon Island Poker Run

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VME Isle of Vashon

The Northwest Classic Old Bike Event

What, you missed it again?  VME's Isle of Vashon?  Nooooo?  Why?  Didn't know when the date was?  Where was it listed?  

Since the late 80's, VME has been hosting an annual poker run and event on Vashon Island every summer.  Known as the Isle of Vashon TT, the event has grown very popular over the years.  The event is typically held the Sunday before, or the Sunday after labor day.  

VME no longer makes the date public knowledge, in an effort to keep the crowd size down. The club only lists the date of the Vashon event in its newsletter 1-2 months beforehand.  If you're a member you'll be in the know, or you could join the club otherwise.  As former president, Jim O'Keefe once informed me, "You don't need to have an old bike to join the VME, you just have to be enthusiastic about them."  So, for an annual membership rate you can join VME and receive the newsletter. 

But word of mouth travels and one can usually find the date out simply by asking around.

Back to the Isle of Vashon TT event.  This is a day filled with old bikes indeed, with all kinds of nifty memorabilia ferrying its way early in the morning to the event from either West Seattle, Southworth or Tacoma.  You'll see bikes from vintage British and American fare, to 60's Japanese models, many restored to top condition.

The day begins with participants paying the entrance fee and getting in on the poker run.  At the fee point in the middle of town they throw a dart into a board with 52 playing cards and their score card will be marked.  Participants are provided with a map of the island which will lead them to four other check points.  At each check point they draw a card and their scoring  card is marked.  

The final check point is at the Sportsmen's club where players pick up their fifth card and have their score card marked once more.  May the best hand win.

Once inside the grounds of the Sportsman's club players can pick up some lunch and see a broad array of vintage motorcycles on display.  They vote for the bike of their choice in the People's Choice award which is tallied and given to the winner at the end of the day.  

Also in the afternoon are a series of competitive events.  In the past these events have only been open to pre-74 models.  The events may include how many times can one kick start your bike in 60 seconds, crab walking backward to ones bike before moving it forward to the finish line by using their kick start to propel the bike, as well as a race for the finish where the slowest rider who can keep his feet on the pegs wins.  The winner is determined by who wins the most events, a hat is often passed and the collection goes to the champ.

But whether you join the club or not, pay to ride the poker run or not, the local businesses are happy to have your presence. We recommend you start your morning off with an early breakfast at the Hardware Store restaurant near the registration site.

SR!/Summer 00 (revised 2008, 2014)

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