Monday, July 16, 2012

PD13

PD13Last week I took a bit of a holiday and rode to Waterloo, ON to visit family and take in the Friday the 13th celebrations at Port Dover. Total mileage was about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) there and back and, thanks to the blisteringly hot dry summer we’re enjoying, done without ever having to pull out the rain suit, although some thunderstorms came perilously close.
Port Dover route
So on Friday the 13th we (me, two of my brothers, and two friends) met bright and early at Tim Horton’s to ride to Port Dover together. When we arrived at about 9:30 the temperatures were already in the 30-degree range (86F) and still climbing. Fortunately we carried some water with us and there was plenty on sale at streetside.
We spent a few hours strolling (actually more like shuffling the crowds were so heavy) the streets, checking out the bikes, visiting the various vendor booths, and buying tee-shirts (As I keep explaining to the spousal unit, one can never have too many Friday the 13th tee-shirts.)
Get Your Official Shirts
By 2:30 we’d had enough of the heat and the crowds, and with a BBQ to go to in Kitchener that evening decided to call it a day and head home. But even as we left Port Dover we met a steady stream of bikers still arriving most of whom, I expect, were planning to partake of the evening’s festivities (i.e. warming bar stools). And in anticipation of that exact eventuality, the OPP were busy setting up RIDE stops along the route as we rode by. (Incidentally, the OPP were out in force for this event and did a great job of managing and directing traffic flows in and around Port Dover. I heard of no heavy-handedness, as is sometimes reported, by the police, so kudos to them for a job well done.)
It’s always difficult to get an accurate measure of crowd size, but published reports placed it at about 140,000 people and about 100,000 bikes converging on this small lakeshore town. Having said that though, I thought there were more bikes and people this year than the last time I went when the estimate was 175,000 attendees. But who’s going to quibble over +/-35,000 of one’s closest biking buddies – best to just say there were a helluva lot of people and a helluva lot of bikes in a very small area. 
I had my GoPro recording much of the ride in and out of town, but it will take me some time to edit the hour or so of video down to something manageable. In the meantime, here are a few snaps I took while wandering the streets ogling all the fine equipment on display.
Here’s a sign we’d like to see more often:

Every street and side street had bikes parked along both sides and sometimes down the middle. And more were arriving every minute, all day long:
Web DSCN4815 Web DSCN4816
This year there seemed to be a lot of really fine tank art (here are some of my favourites):
        
There were some outstanding (and unique bizarre) customizations:
 Web DSCN4770 Web DSCN4809 
And people who wanted to be noticed, including the Horny Tattooed Guy, Zebra Woman, and Thong Man, back for his 23th successive Friday the 13th Rally:
  Web DSCN4799
If you want to go out in style, there were even a couple of options for you to consider:
 
Since this was the 3rd Friday the 13th in 2012, and they were each exactly 13 weeks apart, some were trying to determine whether that was an omen of some sort. Perhaps it was because we had a fine day of riding and people (and motorcycle) watching along with many, many other like-minded individuals. And you can’t beat that.
Now we just have to wait 14 months for the next one (September 13, 2013).

2 comments:

  1. Nice pics- looks like a cool event

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  2. No Name - It is a fun event. Basically you get a few hours of riding, looking at cool bikes, and checking out a wide range of weird and not-so-weird people. It's a great way to spend a summer day.

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