Dover revs up for Friday the 13th

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - FRONT PAGE - JA­COB ROBIN­SON

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 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.

HANDOUT

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

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