Support Bikers ride looking to set world record
A group of Southwest Florida motorcycle enthusiasts, along with others from around the country, are poised to break a world record this summer.
Members of Support Bikers — a community dedicated to helping motorcycle lovers support businesses, motovloggers, and other resources run by fellow bikers — are attempting to set the Guinness World Record for longest group poker run.
Motorists will begin their voyage on July 30 at Twisted Fork and Bert’s Black Widow Harley-Davidson in Port Charlotte. Their route will include stops in Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming before arriving at Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota, on Aug. 6 in time for the first day of the famous motorcycle rally.
Cape Coral residents Sonny “The Badger” Gartin and wife Angie “Mama Badger” Gartin created Support Bikers and have been motovlogging their motorcycle experiences and lifestyle for nearly a decade. The husband and wife duo have amassed a following on social media and are excited to be able to share this experience with motorcycle lovers both local and afar.
“This event is going to be an epic, once in a lifetime, bucket list ride across the United States,” said Sonny, co-founder of Support Bikers with wife Angie. “With a group of like-minded bikers out to set the World Record, make memories, and answer the call of the open road, ending in Sturgis for the opening day of the world’s biggest biker rally, it doesn’t get any more epic than that.”
A poker run is an event where participants (usually motorcyclists, boats, snowmobiles, or other means of transportation) visit a series of checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each location. The goal is to complete the best poker hand from your draws across your trek.
Currently, more than 80 motorists from multiple states, east coast to west, have registered to take part in the ride that will span more roughly 3,200 miles.
At each stop there will be a “card-pull party” where participants will draw their card for that designated stop.
“It’s going to be eight nights of partying,” Angie said.
The current Guinness World Record for the longest event of its kind is 3,122 miles, set by Richard Gibbs in Ipswich, UK, on July 19, 2014. The route between Florida and Sturgis will meander along an indirect path to pile on the miles and exceed the current record.
Support Bikers was set to host a local poker run throughout Cape Coral and Southwest Florida last year with the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, but was put on hold due to COVID-19.
Angie said one day Sonny came up with the idea to go big with the event and at the same time fulfill the dream of attending the Sturgis rally. After doing some research, he applied online for the Guinness record and after some months, got the approval.
While it’s still up in the air if an official Guinness representative will be on-site due to travel (based in the UK), Support Bikers will still be able to submit all information and requirements needed virtually to obtain the certificate.
The record-breaking ride is also aiming to raise funds for a good cause. The World Record Poker Run will fundraise for BikerDown, a non-profit organization that was established in 2011 with a mission to assist motorcycle accident victims. BikerDown provides emotional support to family members of injured or killed riders, medical equipment, and even financial advice to help victims keep creditors at bay as they recover. One of the card-pull events will be at Biker Down in Colorado, where 10% of sales that night go directly towards the cause.
“We wanted to have bikers supporting bikers,” Angie said. “They step up when others can’t and help support families.”
Angie and Sonny recently held a fundraiser for local veterans to help raise funds to help them participate in the world record run. They hope to stop at local VFWs or American Legion posts along the way for a lunch to help continue to give back.
Visit supportbikers.com to sign up for the ride. The registration fee is $175 for a solo rider or $200 for a rider and passenger. Registration is open until May 31.
Visit followthebadgers.com for more information and social media accounts for Sonny and Angie.
–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj