Tuesday, 17 June 2014

It was a dark and stormy night.

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.


  1. Wow, so many people. By the video I would say if you didn't know where you are heading, you could just follow the bikes.

    I can't believe it is such a huge event. Dark skies sure didn't keep people away, that is good for the economy of the little town.

    1. Trobairitz:

      You're right. Anywhere within 20 miles all you need to do is follow the pack. It is a huge event and great for the town's economy.

  2. Canajun:

    I can't help but notice that all/most bikers are not wearing ATGATT. Even here all I see are running shoes and jeans. Does no one value their safety anymore ?

    That's a lot of people in that little town. Wonder why they aren't having this event for the next 4 years ? Guess they don't need the revenue

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Bob:
      The town loves the revenue, but Friday the 13th is on the whim of the calendar and the next one in the summer months isn't until 2018. They will still get crowds on any Friday the 13th, even in winter, but they're not nearly as large.

  3. That is a definite Crowd.

    How can anyone not like these events?? :)

    (Sometimes I need earplugs too)

    1. Coop:
      Lots of people - and earplugs would have been handy on more than one occasion. To the cops' credit, they let the event unfold without hassling people for illegal pipes, etc. which can put a real damper on festivities.


Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.