It might still be March but there were hundreds of motorcycles on the streets of Port Dover last Friday for the first of two “cold weather” Friday the 13ths in 2020 – the next event is in November.
At left: Hundreds of bikes made the trip to Port Dover for Friday the 13th last week. Photo by Earl Hartlen
There were no street closures and bikes and other vehicles shared the roads. There were no parking restrictions for motorcycles and bikes parked all along Main Street.
With many more bikes attending, the last “warm weather” event in September 2019 had removed bike parking from two blocks of downtown to ensure the safe movement of emergency vehicles. There were no restrictions last week or at the last event in December 2019.
Sidewalks were busy as people looked at the bikes and visited the local stores and restaurants. Line-ups were seen at some restaurants.
With some rain overnight, the morning arrivals started slowly but built throughout the morning. A large crowd was here by noon. Those along Main Street said bikes continued to arrive throughout the afternoon with the largest crowd thought to be in the mid-afternoon.
Eight vendors were registered to set up in Elmer Lewis Parkette. KRGinsure staff made the trip to Port Dover from Kitchener area but received a call from their head office to not set up the booth as a just announced company policy over the coronavirus.
Port Dover Kinsmen’s t-shirt for each event is always popular and they sold their full supply.
St. Paul’s Church cancelled a planned breakfast over concerns of the coronavirus.
On the Fringe Leather store on Main Street is always a popular stop by many bikers. It was busy throughout the day and remained open and busy until 9:30 Friday night.
Joseph Chehade of Scarborough told the Maple Leaf he booked the day off from his job at Scarborough General Hospital to make his first long ride of the season to Port Dover.
The Maple Leaf’s live stream of Main Street saw 6,700 unique viewers tune it during the day, each for an average of just under seven minutes. The Maple Leaf also continued its tradition of publishing a special newspaper for the event.
Police were visible throughout the event in vehicles and on the street but in much lower numbers than seen at the summertime events.