The weather guessers were telling us to expect a nice, sunny day for our trip to the Friday the 13th celebrations in Port Dover. This was going to be an extra special event for us as June 13 was also my grand-niece's 1st birthday, which she (and her mom and dad) had travelled from the UK to celebrate in true PD13 style.
It was going to be a quick turnaround from Ottawa so we trailered the bike to my brother’s place in Waterloo on Thursday, intending to get an early start Friday morning. Right. Friday morning dawned (or would have if not for the black clouds) with the crashing of thunder and drumming of a torrential downpour. Sunny indeed. It looked like we were going to be rained out, or at least very wet by the time we arrived in Port Dover.
We gave it some time and fortunately the rain stopped by about 8:30, but the cloud cover remained with us all day. Which really isn’t a bad thing when you’re spending several hours wandering about in the open. Getting a later start than planned, we hit the road, along with thousands of other bikers. (Click image to see video.)
With the requisite Tim Horton’s stops for coffees and the traffic congestion through neighbouring towns, we arrived about 11:30, to be greeted by the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen there. Early estimates put the numbers somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 people swarming this small town whose entire population struggles to pass 6,000 people on any given day. Perhaps the surge in attendance was due to the fact that this is the last summer PD13 until July 2018 – 4 years down the road – but whatever the reason it was a struggle sometimes just to walk around the town.
We connected with the rest of the family who had driven down and proceeded to enjoy the sights and sounds typical of any biker rally (although the 1-year-old wasn’t too keen on all the open exhausts blatting at high decibel levels). Four hours later, souvenir t-shirts in hand and memory cards full of photos, we made our way back to where we’d parked the bikes and headed home – mission accomplished.
Here are a few of the many images that caught my eye.