Friday the 13th is the Granddaddy of all motorcycle events in Ontario, and with the next one occurring in the best time of year to ride, mid-September, it's not to be missed!
PD13 often competes for the largest one-day motorcycle event in the world, and this year there are a few important new details to note, and some incredible bands and some rumours to dispel!
Routes and Road Closures
For routes to get to and take after the main event, we highly recommend the CruiseTheCoast.ca website. They even have a Friday the 13th route. Getting into Port Dover and finding a spot to park is a different matter. Based on previous years, we expect the best routes in to be Highway 6 from Hamilton, Silver Lake Drive/County Road 5 from Brantford, and Highway 6 from Simcoe.
Music and Rumours
This year there are some incredible bands in the lineup for PD13 - first up is a truly “Epic” Eagles tribute band, appropriately named “EPIC EAGLES”! A killer Led Zeppelin band called “Ozone Baby” will rock your socks off. In honour of the late, great Gord Downey, there will also be a Tragically Hip cover band called “Practically Hip”. And for amazing local flavour, check out Felicia McMinn.
Finally, we need to put some rumours to rest—apparently, someone has been spreading the idea that parking will be paid this year. This is FALSE. Parking is free, as it always has been. For complete details on parking at PD13 visit this great post.
Attendance and Where to Stay
The Kinsmen Park is open for camping and is the most popular option for camping for those coming in the night before or staying until Saturday. Camping is $20 per person, per night, with an additional $20 for people with trailers or RVs.
Typically the event sees over 100,000 riders in the thick of summer so be prepared to either get there early or wait in line. The locals do an incredible job of moving traffic through the city and making sure everyone has a spot to park their bike so they can enjoy the beach, and check out the pop-up shops and bikes lining the street. You can bet there will be no shortage of custom chrome.
Friday the 13th, September 2019
While there is another Friday the 13th in 2019, it might be a bit chillier. Still, the December Friday 13th will probably draw a good number of folks and prove that Canadian riders are a pretty hardy bunch. Check out these photos from April’s 2018 event.
There are a few live cams available for the event. Some are live now, and some go live closer to the event, so don’t be surprised if you click on them and they’re not live yet. They will be.
Norfolk County Tourism has a live cam of the pier in Port Dover: https://www.norfolktourism.ca/port-dover-webcam/
This one of Main Street should be interesting: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/main-street-port-dover
Check out this four-hour video to see what PD13 looked like in 2018:
What Started Friday the 13th in Port Dover
There are all kinds of stories about how Friday the 13th got started, but the truth is that a fella named Chris Simons, a lifelong biker, and owner of a local bike shop, got together with 20 or so other biker friends at “The Commercial Hotel” (now known as Angelos) they had such a killer time that they agreed to meet every Friday the 13th from then on. This will be the 65th PD13 since that date. If you’re feeling inspired, you should start your own tradition with your riding buddies!
Friday the 13th Port Dover T-Shirts
“Been there, done that, got the t-shirt”—if you’re a biker, you know you have to get the t-shirt to prove you were there. While this year's shirt hasn’t been announced yet, we know you’ll all be eager to see the new design.
This is The Year
Last year's July Friday the 13th was hot! So much so that some riders decided to stay home. With this one taking place at the ideal time of year for riding, you can be sure it'll be a big one. So if you have fear of missing out—don’t miss out! Hit the beach in Port Dover (and get the t-shirt too!).
This video of me trying out the Suzuki M109R gives you a good idea of what Dover is all about. See you there!