More Than Friday the 13th

The Backroads of Ontario's Southwest

Don't just go for the event, go for the ride

When you think of motorcycle events in Ontario, most people think of Friday the 13th. But the surrounding area has killer motorcycle routes as well - don't just come for the event. Come for the ride as well.



Part of Ontario’s South CoastNorfolk County is an ideal motorcycling destination on the north shore of Lake Erie. Riders can “Cruise the Coast” from Lowbanks in Haldimand County, through Port Dover, home of Canada’s largest one-day motorcycle event, to New Glasgow on the western-edge of Elgin. All motorcycle route roads are paved and offer scenery unique to the area with a wide variety of hills, twists and turns.

Because Norfolk County is one of Ontario’s southernmost points, the milder weather is often quite generous, giving motorcyclists a riding season that lasts much longer than most of the province.

Norfolk County

Historically, the area dates back to the 1700’s when many of the towns along the Lake Erie shoreline were ports for grist and lumber mills.  The hamlet of Vittoria, located in Norfolk County was once the Capital of Upper Canada. The Port Dover Harbour Museum sheds light on the history of the area including Lake Erie and the many ships sunk within it.  Backus Mill, located in Port Rowan is one of the few mills remaining not to be burned during the War of 1812.

lighthouse_and_water_port_dover

Today, Norfolk County offers a range of activities for all types of travellers; ziplining, ATVing, hiking, camping, bird watching, cycling, scuba diving, boating, fishing, dinner cruises, skimboarding, museums, theatres, festivals and events - not to mention that Norfolk County is one of Ontario’s largest growers and has a reputable culinary and wine business, and of course miles and miles of white sandy beaches and clean water.

port_dover_beach

Find your adventure in Norfolk County and “Cruise the Coast” of the Lake Erie shores. Call for your free pocket-size, waterproof “Cruise the Coast” map at 1-800-699-9038 or visit www.norfolktourism.ca.

Canada's Largest Motorcycle Event - PD13

Chris Simons, the originator of the PD13, invited 25 friends to join him at a local bar in Port Dover on Friday the 13th of November, 1981. Having such a great time, they made a pact to meet every Friday the 13th.  Each year,  the number has continued to grow.  In 2008 at the July Friday the 13th event, Norfolk County Tourism staff determined that over 12,000 motorcycles and 100,000 people descended on the quaint Lake Erie town of 5,500 people.

crowds_on_street_at_pd13

2013 delivers two Friday the 13th events. Over 150,000 people are expected for the September date but there are a lot of die-hards that will be there for the December one as well. Bikers are actually flying in with their motorcycles from Europe for this incredible event and to tour Ontario's wide selection of motorcycle-ready roads.

pd13_three_buddies

The borders at New York and Michigan have increased staff for the days surrounding Friday the 13th for the groups of riders that'll be coming from the USA. Ontario is becoming more and more well-known for it's motorcycle routes, which makes PD13 a key summer destination for bikers from all over the world!

Featured articles