Historic Main Street will be buzzing with all kinds of motorcycles this Friday the 13th.
For five years, Barry Radu, Co-Founder of the event 'Friday Da 13th' has been bringing bikers together while raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.
Although the event has been running for a number of years, Radu says this is only the second time Mother Nature looks to be cooperative. "Our first event was September 13, 2013, and it was just an evening thing from 5 o'clock on. We ended up having 200 motorcyclists show up on two weeks notice but over the last four and half years we have not had one good Friday the 13th where it wasn't raining, wasn't cold...this is going to be our first one."
With nice weather, Radu is hoping to attract hundreds of bikers from all over Alberta to come and park on Historic Main Street. Even though Radu resides in Airdrie, he says he picked Cochrane because of its homey feel. "People want to go there anyway; they love the atmosphere of the old-fashioned stores and the ice cream. We should be able to fill the town with motorcycles."
Radu says they are not a club or a non-profit organization, it is just an event to raise awareness without demanding funds from participants.
Spurred from his wife's battle with kidney disease, Radu knew he wanted to create awareness about the importance of the disease and organ donation. Kidney failure placed his wife on dialysis in 2011 and four and half years later she received a kidney transplant in which, today, she is doing phenomenal with. "During the dialysis, I knew there wasn't a major awareness for organ donors and I kept thinking what can I do as a motorcyclist?! There is a lot of charity rides motorcyclists' can attend and give money to, but I wanted something that was unique for Alberta where it could be once or twice a year that would get people to come out and support the cause."
The idea of Friday Da 13th isn't solely his though; Radu, says Port Dover, Ontario has run a Friday the 13th event for over 25 years and sees over 100,000 people come to the town which normally has a population of 5,000-10,000 people. "It started as five guys meeting in honour of a friend who passed away who said let's do it the next Friday the 13th and then all of sudden it just catches on"
While Radu feels our's could be just as successful, we need the weather to cooperate. "Our's had we had good weather it would be huge already but the only factor is the weather, but this one will put us on the map."
Radu will be set up base at 'A Little Taste of Country' on Historic Main Street after 10 am and encourages bikes of all kinds to come to Cochrane and show support of Friday the 13th. "Any kind of motorcycle; three wheels, two wheels it really doesn't matter and I am hoping to fill the street. I truly don't know what to expect but I know it's going to be big."
There is no set agenda for the event except to encourage bikers to come out and park while letting onlookers check them out. There is also no reason to worry when you see the onslaught of bikers in town. "People on motorcycles are dentists, lawyers and business people; it's not what it used to be. Come out and see what a bunch of motorcycles look like."
Radu also encourages anyone who has had a transplant or donated an organ to also come down and share their story. For more information you can check the event out HERE.