The poker run is a special race or rather, event, which has people riding a plethora of vehicles, from motorcycles to snowmobiles visit 5 to 7 checkpoints and pick up playing cards with the goal of having the best hand in the end. While individuals are not timed, the entire event is. It is worth noting that poker run races have various types of vehicles and that only vehicles in the same category are allowed to compete one against the other and you cannot have categories mismatching, such as a motorcycle vs a skateboard.
How is a bicycle race different? It isn’t really, except that it has people on bicycles rather than motorized vehicles. Passing checkpoints and getting cards is mandatory but whether you win or lose depends entirely on chance. This is why actually winning such an event is more of an honorary title than an actual victory. Skill or physical prowess isn’t deemed high here, even though you have to put in some work to move around and get the cards.
The real victory here is that all of these kinds of events go towards a good cause such as charity. Almost all such events are held for charity purposes, raising awareness and helping diagnose and fund research of potentially terminal illnesses.
There are very many poker run races and here are some of the notable ones, at least the ones where you can ride the bicycles.
Ride the Alps – Germany
This was a very popular race which is getting more and more coverage. Germany is one of those countries known for their love of cycling and with a very fitting terrain, they organize a lot of races. They also organize poker runs. The Ride the Alps poker run of 2012 was a very long, 270 kilometer long poker run which went over a really difficult mountainous terrain. This was a race for professionals, only, as amateurs are unlikely to be able to finish it. It has been a successful event ever since.
Draw for Sight Poker Run
This race was held in 2017 and was amazing. The name itself should be self-explanatory, as you draw cards and ride to help fund the Lions Club Sight Projects as it is organized by the Chestertown Lions Club. The goal, as with any poker race, is to collect cards and finish the race. They had organized food stops and a sag wagon, as well as a map and a marked route. There were two routes available, a 57 kilometer one and a 96 kilometer one. Both have parts of them going through the historic Chestertown and the beautiful scenery of the Upper Kent County.
Talk to your local cycling clubs and you might just find a poker run in your area.