Friday the 13th
Port Dover, Ontario
While I didn't
get to ride to this one, it was still very interesting. It happened
that in the summer of 2001, I was vacationing in Canada with my family.
We stopped at a motel and asked if they had a vacancy. The desk
clerk laughed and told us we wouldn't find a vacancy for miles around, "tomorrow
is Friday the thirteenth".
After admitting our ignorance of this significant statement, she went on
to explain that all the rooms would be occupied because of the motorcycle
rally in Port Dover. Obviously this meant that we had to detour from
our planned route, and pass through Port Dover.
We finally managed to find a room for the night. The following morning
we were awakened by the sounds of motorcycles firing up. We went outside
and saw two men getting ready to leave. We talked with them while
they loaded up their bikes and found out one was from Western Canada, with
a charming Canadian accent, eh. The other was a truck driver from
We proceeded to Port Dover, a small town of about 5,000 inhabitants on
the northern shore of Lake Erie. Sure enough, the streets were filled
with bikes. I just had time for a few photos and to pick up a tee
shirt and an "Official Souvenir Bikers Edition" of the local Port Dover Maple Leaf
newspaper. The paper mentioned that a video was being made of the event
by Go Video
The legend is that a group of local bikers got together at the Commercial
Hotel for beers one night in November of 1981. They had such a good
time that they decided to do it again, and since it happened to be Friday
the 13th, they agreed to meet again on the next Friday the 13th. Over
the following 20 years there have been 35 Friday the 13th rallies, and the
estimated turn out for this one was 100,000 people! A bit of a strain
on such a small town.
Had to admire the red Virago
These rallies have occurred on Good Friday, as well as in the winter months.
These hardy northerners don't seem to let the snow and cold keep them
from having a good time.
I now have a special tee
shirt to wear on every Friday the 13th. It usually attracts questions
Rides & Rallies