Motorcyclists show up in small Ontario town for traditional Friday 13th rally
A motorcyclist tradition in Port Dover, Ontario seems to have gone ahead, at least for a few riders, despite officials asking people to stay away.
Every Friday the 13th since 1981, motorcyclists have converged on the small town in southwest Ontario. This year with COVID-19 cases on the rise, Norfolk County officials asked the motorcycle enthusiasts to stay home.
#FridayThe13th fixture Paul ‘Thong Man’ Nurmi made allowances for #COVID19, riding through Port Dover wearing scrubs and a face mask.— J.P. Antonacci (@jpantonacci) November 13, 2020
While not a ghost town, the feared masses did not descend on Dover, as bikers largely heeded the county’s plea to stay away for safety’s sake. pic.twitter.com/IfIneFKx1j
"As the mayor of Norfolk County and a resident of Port Dover, I fully appreciate the importance of this event to our area, particularly for small local businesses who are already struggling," Mayor Kristal Chopp said in a media release.
"But a large gathering this week could lead to even more restrictions imposed by the provincial government. That’s why we’re asking people to please skip this event. We’ll be here ready to welcome you all back when it's safe to do so."
Crowds at the ride have numbered in the tens of thousands in past years.
It seems a least some bikers decided to ignore the town's pleas. Around noon on Friday, bikers were spotted in town — some were apparently lined-up to buy a t-shirt.
Starting to get a bit busier in Port Dover for Friday the 13th. A long line of people are waiting outside of a shop to buy gear. The hot commodity is a tshirt that says “Screw Covid” @CHCHNews pic.twitter.com/6cWOuQI9Wj— Kelly Botelho (@botelhok) November 13, 2020
Some couldn't help but express their anger at the bikers flouting the rules.
However, it looks as though this year's crowds were down a bit.
At least one motorcyclist made a point of saying she would not be attending this year.
Happy Friday the 13th! I've always felt it is a lucky day! Yes, shame we can't ride🏍️ to #portdover . Respecting Covid-19 protocols in place; bikers asked to stay away. See ya next time! ★#MOTORESS for #motorcycling #Friday13th #PortDover #PD13 pic.twitter.com/iS2VQQYtbp— Vicki Gray - MOTORESS (@MOTORESS) November 13, 2020
The rally’s roots go back to Nov. 13, 1981 when Chris Simons suggested to a few motorcycle buddies that they meet for a few beers at the Commercial Hotel (now Angelo's of Dover). Word spread and about 25 people showed up. Even more riders came the next Friday the 13th and the tradition continued to this day.
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