2017-05-18 / Scene

Otter Lake may set world record for largest motorcycle poker run Saturday

By NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com

OTTER LAKE — More than 1,000 motorcyclists are planning to converge on the sleepy town of Otter Lake this weekend in an attempt to break a world record. Fifteen-hundred bikers of every stripe will gather in the Marathon Township village Saturday, May 20 to raise money for several charities and, with any luck, earn a spot in the history books.

Motorcyclists from Lapeer County and beyond will gather in Otter Lake to attempt to break the world record for the “largest motorcycle poker run (with a single start and end point).” The current world record for such a feat is listed at 1,494 motorcyclists, and the call for Saturday’s run aims to reach 1,500.

Businesses in Otter Lake are especially excited for the event — the town of only 400 residents will play host to nearly quadruple that amount on Saturday, and bars, diners and other businesses are preparing for the influx of customers. “We’re going to have a tent outside and we’ll be making food all day,” said Kozi’s Kitchen head chef Kris Zalewski. “It’s going to be a really fun time.”

A “poker run” is a style of organized event, typically with motorcycles but can also involve a variety of other means of transportation, that requires each participant to visit anywhere from five to seven checkpoints. At each checkpoint, the rider will draw one playing card from a deck, and at the end point, each rider aims to have compiled the best poker hand.

The event aims to break more than just one world record. In addition to the most riders in a poker run, the horde of riders will attempt to break the record for the most motorcycle horns sounded simultaneously, the current record being 1,425, and the record for the most people turning their shirts inside out, which is currently 614.

Participants and supporters can take part in 50/50 drawings, vendor booths, a silent auction and live entertainment. First bikes ride out by 10 a.m. and will return by 4 p.m. The event is organized by Cardinal Wishes, a not-for-profit foundation focused on helping patients and families with end-of-life care and meeting the last wishes of hospice patients. In addition, a scholarship program is offered to high school seniors deciding on a career in health care because of their personal life experiences.

The proceeds will benefit hospice patients under the care of Cardinal Wishes as well as the Outreach East emergency resource center, the Great Lakes Burn Camp and the Great Lakes Boxer Rescue. Cost to participate in the event is $20 per motorcycle and $15 per passenger.

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