Friday the 13th



Port Dover, ON



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 Hamilton, ON

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 year. 

 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.

Parking lot at The Arbor - a popular hot dog stand near the beach

Main Street near the beach.

Walker Street at the beach.

Walker Street in front of The Erie Beach Hotel.

I went back August 13, 2004, a clear sunny day and it was huge.  Here are some pictures from that day!

Lots of custom bikes - note the skulls moulded into the gas tank. Exotic paint jobs!
Almost 100% air brushed! A 3 wheeled motorcycle made from a 1960 Chevy!  A man and wife drove this V8 beauty up from Florida!

October 13, 2006 was a cold and blustery autumn day, but the crowd was still substantial.

If you like the smell of leather and the throaty roar of a Harley Davidson (and the occasional whine of those Japanese bikes) then Port Dover is a good spot to go on Friday the 13th.  It's beginning to rival Bike Week in Daytona Beach, FL and Sturgis, SD

June 13 was the only Friday the 13th in 2008.   There were an estimated 30,000 bikes and 150,000 people in Port Dover that day.

It was WILD!

Here's a 5 minute video from June 13, 2008


And here's some news coverage from that same day:


If you're interested, here is where Port Dover is located - just get yourself to the area of this map and then follow the bikes!


Check out the official Friday the 13th web site by clicking here!