The weather was not ideal, but an estimated 30,000 bikers from throughout Ontario and upstate New York braved the cool and wet weather to make it to the motorcycle pilgrimage at Port Dover known as Friday the 13th.
The biggest biker gathering in Canada evolved from a private party held by Chris Simon on Nov. 13 the Friday 13 Dover has become the place to be on Friday 13 alike, no matter which month that may fall on — sometimes twice a year.[tweetable]At one time members of the Hells Angels and the Outlaws would converge in large numbers. [/tweetable] Although rival gangs, they would set their compounds far apart to lessen the possibility of violence and they stayed pretty well to themselves.
In its many years, there has never been a serious outbreak of violence despite the large amounts of beer tavern owners report selling. There was certainly a lot of police presence around, as usual, but everything was peaceful and friendly and there were no major incidents to ruin the party.
It’s the participation that counts. The majority of bikers simply come to show their machines, buy a Friday 13 there still remain a good number of overnighters who stay till the last Harley is revved.
Either way you slice it, Port Dover’s Friday 13 shopkeepers, who were once leery about all those motorcycles and leather jackets coming to their quiet little resort town. But now, they welcome the riders with specially made th Friday 13 other things too.
Six Nations’ own rider Rob Carpenter came on a poker run with his motorcycle club and was riding his Harley Davidson Elite Deluxe. “It is a mixture between a Fatboy and a Heritage Classic” said Carpenter. “It’s more camaraderie than anything. Its just a good reason to get together.” says Carpenter. “We have people from all over; Chatham, Windsor. It’s always a good time.”
Rob Shirk from Hamilton has been coming for the past 12 years and says he will not miss it.
“I come to ‘em all,” he said while sipping a Country Style coffee in the New Credit Plaza. “This is a good stop over spot here where we can get gassed up and have a bit of a break.”
He certainly wasn’t alone in his assessment. Thousands of bikes of all sizes, colours, shapes and brand names filled the parking lot all day from the early morning and into the evening with day-trippers coming back down Highway #6 from Dover on their way home.[tweetable]The next Friday 13th of 2013 will be in December, [/tweetable] but even then, the cold weather will not detour the faithful in their pilgrimage to motorcycle Mecca.