For the superstitious, Friday the 13th is probably not a day one wants to ride their motorcycle, or do anything for that matter because omg so unlucky! For the motorcyclist however, this is the day you ride to Port Dover Ontario.
Why Port Dover? Good question. I’ve heard that it was a bar owner who said he’d give a free beer to any rider who came by on Friday the 13th, I’ve heard that a local bike shop owner started it, and I’ve also heard that a local rider and some of his friends started it, who knows… All I know is that the town has a population of 6,500 every other day of the year, Friday the 13th this year however the population rose to 100,000-150,000 depending on whose estimates you wish to believe, with over 50,000 motorcycles throughout town. The Toronto Star claims that it’s the biggest one-day motorcycle rally in the world. It was certainly very busy.
Nearly every street you walked down had bikes lining the edges, the more interesting bikes however tended to be along main street. Most of the interesting bikes weren’t my style and I wouldn’t want them, but I could appreciate aspects of them. I think by the end of the day I was almost maybe interested in some Harleys, but I think that’s only because you tend to base your judgment on what surrounds you, and Harleys were the predominant bike there. In fact, some bitch on a Harley parked right next to my bike, so close in fact, I couldn’t even tilt mine up to get it off the kick stand without bumping into hers. The polite Canadian in me forced me to expend far more effort than should have been necessary to avoid so much as touching her motorcycle with my mirror or something.
Other bikes however… While I can appreciate the effort that might have gone into them, I didn’t ever consider riding them. Pretty much any of the bikes (trikes) with 3 wheels I wasn’t interested in, and some of the erm accessories the owner added made the bikes look gaudy as hell. Others were just amusing.
There was one bike that had me really interested though. It wasn’t the type of bike or style, it was just that it was blacked out entirely. Which of course reminded me of of the band Disaster Area from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The band has a space ship that’s entirely black, everything including the lights were black. They of course crash it into a near by star as the finale for their stage act.
With such a gathering it’s expected that there’ll be law enforcement around, and sure enough there was plenty. An interesting thing however, on the way down my friend and myself were stopped by a police check point. They wanted to just ‘check over’ our bikes to make sure all the safety equipment was working, such as signals and the horn etc… What they were really looking for were illegal modifications such as baffles removed from exhausts or expired tags, looking for some extra income via tickets. As usual, law enforcement can be a bag of dicks, but neither of our bikes were illegal in anyway so it was mostly a waste of everyone’s time. In Port Dover, it seemed the police came from as far away as Thunder Bay Ontario, presumably they were the officers who road motorcycles up that way.
It was a crazy hot day (for Canada) and even though we were next to Lake Erie and there was a strong breeze off it, you only were able to feel it when you were right next to it. The crowds of people and hills around Port Dover provided far too good a cover for the wind. I wish I could have spent longer there taking photos but I couldn’t afford to keep buying drinks, and a storm looked to be approaching, and I work shift, so I’m on nights this week and really needed to sleep. All in all an enjoyable day. I’ll leave you with this boring video of my friend and I leaving Port Dover and passing by a small chunk of the motorcycles that showed up.