Official news and information site for the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians (IFMR) for the Rotary International Convention in Montreal, Canada, June 20-23, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Photos from Tour Riders

The photos shown earlier in this blog are merely a small sampling of the many, many photos taken by tour members during the trip.  However, since the ride ended other riders have begun uploading their photos to Picasa web albums and sharing them with the rest of the tour group.  Here are links to the Picasa web albums that have been forwarded thus far, for all to enjoy; and others will be added here as they are received.

    Bob Shriner     

          Bev Shriner          

     Ken & Jean Brandt

          Bob & Bev Johnson

    Wiecker Spelde   

          Aage & Ulla Krogh

    Paul Vandemeulebroecke

           Bill Smith         

    Terry & Norma Skoglund

         Ian & Sally Trigg

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to Montreal

  After taking the ferry from Digby, NS, to St John, NB, on Sunday morning, as expected the U.S. riders who were riding their own motorcycles headed for home rather than returning to Montreal.  I and all the riders on rental motorcycles continued onward up the scenic St John River valley as the temperature rose to near 90 F (near 30 C), stopping for lunch at a Mexican-style bar and grill in downtown Fredericton and then spending Sunday night in Woodstock, NB, where we were again treated with a luxurious catered dinner of baked salmon, prime rib, and roast chicken, with various potato and vegetable side dishes, plus desserts and fresh fruits.

  On Monday we continued northward along the river under overcast skies and occasional spritzes, stopping briefly to visit the world's longest covered bridge in the village of Hartland and for lunch in Grand Falls at the Hilltop Restaurant overlooking the falls and gorge.  That evening we were guests at the weekly meeting of the Riviere du Loup Rotary Club where we exchanged banners, learned about the community service and international service projects their club is involved in, and told them about the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians.

  Today we left Riviere du Loup early and rode in dense fog, tinged with smoke from the forest fires in northern Quebec, until we crossed the St Lawrence River at Quebec City and found sunnier skies and much warmer temperatures on the north side of the great river.  We stopped again at Donnacona for lunch then hurried on to the Montreal area to check in the rental bikes and complete our tour with a leisurely and luxurious 'farewell dinner' at the Imperia Hotel.

   What a glorious trip it has been . . . and what great new Rotary friendships we have developed with everyone who participated in the tour.

   Here is a photo taken at Hamel Honda of everyone who completed the tour on one of the rental motorcycles they provided.  The two gentlemen standing in the back row at left are one of the dealership owners and the sales/rental manager.  The dealership, like other groups we visited during the tour, have been eager to document their participation as part of their own history; and we have been glad to oblige.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Visiting Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg

  We visited Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg today.  Peggy's Cove is a scenic former fishing village said to be the most photographed site in Nova Scotia and perhaps all of Canada; and the weather was great for our visit.  Here are some great photos taken at Peggy's Cove by Paul Vandemeulebroecke that give some sense of its scenic beauty.

   From Peggy's Cove, we continued on to historic Lunenburg, once a thriving ship-building and fish processing center and now designated as a World Heritage Site, where we had lunch in the Old Fish Factory now converted into a waterfront restaurant and museum.  We also said goodbye to Nova Scotia riders Peter Clarke and Greg Trefry who had been with us since soon after our arrival in Nova Scotia.

   We continued on northward across the peninsula to tonight's stop, the Digby Pines Resort, near the Digby-St John ferry which we'll board tomorrow morning.  Upon arrival at the hotel I received an urgent message from Ken Brandt that Raymond Plue had hit a patch of gravel on a curve near Bridgewater and had gone off the road.  His bike was badly damaged but fortunately Raymond had only some 'road rash' and bruises.  Later I talked to Raymond by phone and he told me he was planning to return to Halifax and fly home since his motorcycle could not be repaired in time to finish the tour and ride back to Missouri.  Fortunately, his has been the only injury on the trip and there have been no mechanical problems with our motorcycles.

   Here is another of Paul's photos, this one taken at the Digby Pines Resort soon after our arrival.

Greetings & Update from Historic Halifax, Nova Scotia

   After a wonderful ride around Cape Breton Island on the Cabot Trail, we headed for Halifax yesterday, stopped for lunch and a tour of the Museum of Industry at Stellarton, and arrived here in Halifax late yesterday afternoon.  Except for some early morning mist on a couple of days and some scattered fog on parts of the last leg of the Cabot Trail, we've had great weather all along the way. Here's one of the many photos taken along the Cabot Trail, none of which fully captures its scenic beauty.
   Three riders from the Halifax Harbourside Rotary Club, led by Clarke Paynter, rode up to Stellarton to meet us at lunch and rode with us back to Halifax; and we have two riders from Wolfville who met us at Pictou and have ridden with us throughout our visit to Nova Scotia.  At Stellarton we were treated to a catered lunch and a visit to the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry, including a "photo op" arranged by the museum to help publicize the museum and our visit.  Here's one of the photos taken during the photo session.
   We're leaving Halifax this morning in bright sunshine, heading along the coast for Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, and then across the peninsula to Digby; and the weather forecast for the next several days is 'more of the same'.  
   We're heading back north across New Brunswick and Quebec towards Montreal after today, with only three more nights on the road until we get back there on Tuesday.  
   Everything has gone well so far, except for the usual inevitable minor glitches all along the way.  Only about another 800 miles or so to go . . . .    
   Great trip, great fellowship!  
   Details later (after we get back).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Having a Wonderful Time but can't keep up in the blog

   We have arrived at Prince Edward Island and are having a great time; but we've had several days with little or no internet access so it's been impossible to keep up with the blog.  I'll have to add more info to fill in the blanks when I have time AND internet access.  Meanwhile, here's a photo of the entire group taken just before we left the Hotel Normandie in Perce, QC.  Some of our European riders will be leaving the tour soon to return home so we wanted to make this photo before they leave.

    We've had mostly good weather; but the last 36 hours has been soggy and overcast from Gaspe, QC, onward to PEI.  However, it appears that the sky is beginning to clear and we hope for good weather for the next several days as we head for Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail tomorrow.  Tonight we are headed to the Lobster Supper at New Glasgow, together with a group of local Rotarians.
    We have had great fellowship 'meet and greet' opportunities with local Rotarians all along our way.  We had lunch yesterday with Rotarians in New Richmond, QC, then had breakfast this morning with Rotarians in Bathurst, NB; and tonight we had Lobster Supper with PEI Rotarians. Here's a photo of our Dutch and Belgian tour members enjoying the lobster supper.  It's been a great fellowship trip! 

     Check back in a couple of days and perhaps I'll have been able to fill in some of the 'back story' with more detail.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Days 2 & 3 -- From Quebec City to Parc Gaspecie

Our first stop after leaving Quebec City was at the Canyon de Ste Anne, a spectacular gorge and  water falls about 30 miles east of the city near the village of Ste Anne de Beaupre.

   From this point onward the road became increasingly mountainous and scenic.  We stopped briefly for lunch at La Malbaie and rode on to the historic village of Tadoussac, one of the earliest French settlements in North America, where we visited the historic Catholic chapel de Tadoussac, which dates from the early 1600s, then continued on to Forestville, where we spent the night.

   With such a large group (over 20 motorcycles), it can be difficult keeping everyone on course, especially when changing hiways.  At times the group could be spread out over more than a mile of highway.  Here's a photo taken near Baie St Paul, QC, when we stopped to make sure everyone was accounted for before turning off onto a secondary hiway for the ride thru the mountainous Les Eboulements region. 

   This morning we crossed the St Lawrence River on an hour-long ride aboard the catamaran ferry from Forestville to Rimouski, then followed the south shore of the river to Matane, where we had lunch.  By mid-afternoon we arrived at the spectacular Parc Gaspecie and checked in to the world famous Gite de Mont Albert, surrounded on all sides by high mountains and forests.  Later we enjoyed a luxurious four-course dinner in the hotel's 4-star dining room.  Here is a view of the mountains surrounding the hotel in the Parc Gaspecie.

 So far we've had great riding weather, occasionally under overcast skies, but without any rain.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tour Day 1 -- Great ride, great fellowship, and no rain!

  The weather forecast for today was for rain; but it proved to be merely cloudy and we made the first day's ride from Ste Eustache/Montreal to Quebec City safely and without getting rained on.  While the tour leader went to check on routes to exit from the city without getting trapped in rush hour and construction zones, most of the rest of the group gassed up their motorcycles and rode to the Old Town area to explore for a couple of hours.

  Here are some photos taken as the group loaded their motorcycles in the morning to begin their tour, as well as from a stop for a rest break along the route.

   In the evening the group attended a fellowship with Rotarians from the local Quebec club, who provided a bus to transport the group to and from the fete/dinner.  A group of visiting Rotarians from France also attended the event, which was held in nearby St Nicolas,where the club sponsors a special camp "Grand Village" for handicapped children and adults, which provides respite for parents and camping experience for the participants.  We had a great fellowship dinner, enjoyed a songfest around a campfire with the campers, and a fireworks display to celebrate St Jean Baptiste Day, the national holiday of Quebec. It was a great evening of international fellowship.

Above, campers enjoying a songfest with a folk singer.  Below, Quebec PDG Yves Fecteau welcomes IFMR-NA president Bob Shriner and the IFMR tour group to Camp "Grand Village" at the dinner.

VIPs, ordinary Rotarians and motorcycle riders all visited the IFMR booth

Past RI President Cliff Dochterman stopped by the IFMR booth on Wednesday morning for a brief visit during his House of Friendship tour on his 'motorcycle'.  He's shown here talking with Bill Luring, IFMR-NA member from Vermont, who was helping man the booth.

Below, a pair of Rotarians from Bangladesh stop to have their photo taken with Bob Shriner, as did hundreds of other Rotary visitors from all around the globe.

Above, DG Ron Marion, from Bob's home district 7610 in Virginia, tries to pose as a motorcyclist during his stop at the IFMR booth.

During the convention we met and talked with hundreds of Rotarians from all across the world, including many IFMR members from other parts of the world.  We also added 35 new IFMR-NA members who joined during the convention.  We were especially pleased to enroll a number of new members from Canadian provinces as well as from various parts of the US.

Wednesday was the final day of the convention and we closed the IFMR exhibit booth, as did all the other hundreds of groups who had exhibit booths in the House of Friendship.  Tomorrow we leave on our tour of Atlantic Canada!