News

Dover ready for Friday the 13th motorcycle rally

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

This is the Kinsmen official T-shirt design for the upcoming Friday the 13th biker rally in Port Dover. Contributed Photo

This is the Kinsmen official T-shirt design for the upcoming Friday the 13th biker rally in Port Dover. Contributed Photo

PORT DOVER - 

The bike brigade is set to descend upon Port Dover.

Friday will mark the first PD 13 motorcycle rally since January and only warm weather gathering since way back in May of last year.

Organizers and local service clubs are expecting tens of thousands of people and their rides to line the streets of the south coast town in a tradition that dates back to 1981.

“At this time we've prepared for what we call a 'warm event month' which means we need to prepare for whatever could come, so we have parking outside of town, shuttles, roads are closed for vehicle traffic,” said Amie Ferris of the Port Dover Kinsmen. “Everything is being done as if it was a warm, summer month.”

The long-range forecast is sunny with a chance of showers and a high of 21.

“(The weather is) really unpredictable this time of the year,” Ferris said. “We've had a really good September and October so hopefully that stays with us for Friday and we have a good turnout.”

A Kinsmen beer tent will be posted at the Erie Beach Parking Lot behind Dave's World and camping is available at the former Doverwood school and Kinsmen Park on the east end of town. The Lions Club will offer parking at Silver Lake Park.

The Kinsmen's official event T-shirt has a heavy Halloween theme - it depicts a skeleton rider holding a flaming pumpkin head with the famous Port Dover Lighthouse in the background. They'll be available throughout town while vendors are set up in Powell Park and food trucks line Chapman St.

At the corner of Main and Walker, the 'Molson Main Stage' presents the likes of Port Dover native Felicia McMinn, Tragically Hip tribute The Practically Hip and Back in Black, an AC/DC tribute.

“You're already starting to see things get set up,” Ferris said Tuesday afternoon. “(On Wednesday) the ball will really start rolling when the beer tents start going up and the buzz will be even higher at that point in time, but it's already starting. We're already seeing deliveries happening in town so people are talking about it and preparing for it.”

So too are the police. Norfolk Const. Ed Sanchuk said a heavy OPP presence will be on site.

In an attempt to curb drinking and driving, spot checks will cover every possible way in and out of town, Sanchuk added.

He urged motorists to be aware of the array of incoming visitors to Norfolk.

“We're asking everyone please, take those extra seconds to check your blind spots (and) when you come up to an intersection make sure you look both ways and give yourself another two seconds because those seconds can and will save lives,” he said.

“In previous collisions that we've seen, people are looking and can see a motorcycle down the road but they don't realize how fast it's travelling and they pull out in front of it.”

Sanchuk went on to say it's become common for police to witness motorcycle drivers either texting or using their phones to take photos while on the road. That's not going to fly, he warned.

“It's not going to be tolerated because they're putting themselves in jeopardy along with everyone else on the roadway,” Sanchuk explained. “Let's use some common sense, let's focus 110 per cent on driving.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Kinsmen Club for the event can visit facebook.com/pdkinsmen/ or email portdoverkinsmen@hotmail.com.

jrobinson@postmedia.com