Wet weather dampens festivities for bikers on Friday the 13th in Port Dover
Mother nature not cooperating this month, but close to 200K people expected in July
Despite this weekend's wet and dreary weather, hundreds of bikers will be making a pilgrimage to Port Dover today in what is now a well-worn tradition.
Const. Ed Sanchuk from Norfolk County OPP is on the ground in Port Dover today, and says he only counted three motorcycles on the road early this morning.
"The telltale sign right now is if mother nature is not going to cooperate, we may not see that influx from traffic and motorcyclists," he told Craig Norris, host of CBC Radio's The Morning Edition.. "However, we will see people still attend Port Dover as they do year after year after year."
Hordes of colourful motorcycle enthusiasts have been flooding into Port Dover on Friday the 13th since 1981. The event sees many bikers travel from across Ontario and south of the border to visit the community of about 6,000 people.
The forecast is calling for rain throughout the day today, with temperatures topping out at 8 C. Rain and freezing rain is in the forecast Saturday and Sunday, with amounts up to 45 mm.
The OPP was already called a single motorcycle collision on Thursday, Sanchuk said. Thankfully, there were only minor injuries.
"We're just asking everybody if you're travelling to Port Dover today, make sure you're visible, make sure you have comfortable clothing on, make sure you dress warm, but more importantly, make sure you put your technology away," Sanchuk said.
The biggest event of the season in the area is likely coming up in July, when that Friday the 13th is expected to draw close to 200,000 people. Sanchuk said police are already planning "non-stop" for that.
So what is it that makes the event so special?
"It's just the atmosphere," Sanchuk said. "Everyone that comes down here has forged relationships over the years, and I can tell you it's been going on for over 20 years, and just the amount of people that come down, not just from Ontario but from across the province and into the united states. It's just amazing to see."
There are some road closures in effect Friday for the event. The OPP says Main Street in Port Dover between Nelson Street and Walker Street is closed. Market Street East, Market Street West and Chapman Street West will be closed to vehicle traffic.