I was born and raised in Port Dover, a small Ontario town on
the north shore of Lake Erie. The permanent population is about 5,000
people but the population doubles in summer months as cottagers come to
enjoy the white sandy beach and the outstanding boating and fishing in Lake
Erie's Long Point Bay.
I began my career with Royal Bank of Canada in Port Dover in
1967 and moved away from Port Dover in 1968 when I was transferred to
On November 13, 1981 (Friday the 13th) a Port Dover
motorcycle enthusiast got together with about 25 of his friends to share a
few brews and some biking stories at a Port Dover bar. They had a
great day and decided to get together every Friday the 13th. The next
time it was a little bit bigger group . . . and it has grown steadily every
In 2007 an estimated 40,000 motorcycles and 150,000
people made the trek to Port Dover on Friday July 13th.
The event is now so large that the town is closed to
non-resident traffic. If you do not live in Port Dover you must park
at one of two huge lots outside town and catch one of the regular shuttle
buses to the main street. Three streets in town are set aside for
motorcycles only and other streets are designated as "One Way" for
the day so that some amount of normal traffic can flow.
I made my first "Friday the 13th" trip back home
on June 13, 2003. Wow - was I blown away! It was a cool day with
light showers so the crowds were lighter than anticipated - estimated at a
mere 40,000 - 50,000 people. It was the biggest thing I had ever seen
in my home town. Here are a few pictures from that day.