Saturday, June 12, 2010
Important Additional Information for IFMR Tour Riders
Greetings/Bonjour IFMR Tour Riders --
We are now only a week away from the start of the trip to Montreal and less that two weeks from the start of our IFMR "Atlantic Canada" tour. All but a couple of minor details have been finalized and I'm ready to leave for Montreal this coming Thursday. I've just finished updating the Itinerary Summary and the Key Contacts List, which I am sending you in an email. Please print copies of both documents and this message and bring them with you, so that I won't have to carry copies with me on the motorcycle trip to Montreal..
There are a number of other things I want to tell you about now; and I'll be reminding you of them again during the tour.
We want to start every morning on time in order to complete the day's journey -- and especially lunch stops -- close to the scheduled times. Please be fueled and ready to depart at the time indicated. If your motorcycle needs to be refueled every 150-180 miles (245-290 km), plan to refuel at every lunch time.
Most Canadian highways have 100 km/hr speed limits, though major highways often have higher speed limits. Police are generally tolerant of 5-10 km/hr above the posted limit, except in towns and school zones. While on the highways the tour group will generally travel at about the same speed as other traffic. Riders who wish to travel faster or slower than the tour group, or want to make their own side-trip, are welcome to separate from the group, but they must tell the tour leader before doing so and they must plan to arrive at that evening's motel not more than 30 minutes after the group's scheduled arrival time.
In Quebec and some other parts of Canada, groups of motorcycles traveling together are required to ride in a 'staggered' (alternating left-right-left) pattern for safety and maintain a safe distance between motorcycles. However, when the group is riding in towns with traffic signals, members of the group should try to stay closely together to avoid getting separated by traffic signal changes and other vehicles.
Riders should remain alert to the location of the riders behind them, especially when the group turns at an intersection. Make sure the rider behind you sees you making the turn before you proceed. If necessary, wait until the rider behind you reaches the intersection and starts the turn. Otherwise, that rider and the riders behind may become lost.
WATCH OUT FOR WILDLIFE ON OR NEAR THE HIGHWAY. Canada has lots of large animals -- especially deer and moose -- that may suddenly cross the road and can cause very bad accidents. Even smaller animals can be dangerous to motorcyclists. BE ALERT! Especially in wooded or mountainous areas.
Due to recent financial restrictions, Quebec Tourism recently stopped providing road maps free to tour groups. However, visitors centers will provide road maps free to individual visitors. Bill Smith advises that there is a Quebec Tourism visitors center near the Hotel Imperia, where tour members should be able to obtain road maps for their personal use during the tour. Arrangements have been made for road maps of the other provinces along the tour route to be provided to group members when the tour arrives there.
The Itinerary Summary and Contact List I've sent you provide useful information about each day's travel, lunch, dinner, and lodging; but circumstances may change and adjustments may be required as the tour proceeds; and there are many details not included in these summary documents. To make sure all riders have a clear picture of any changes and of other interesting details for the next day, the tour leader will have a short meeting of all riders every evening before dinner to review and discuss the next day's activities. Be sure to attend these meetings.
We have two major ferry rides -- the first crosses the St. Lawrence River on Day 3 and the second crosses the Bay of Fundy on Day 11. It is necessary to arrive at the ferry terminal an hour before departure to provide time for check-in and boarding of all vehicles and passengers. DO NOT BE LATE ARRIVING AT THE FERRY OR YOU WILL BE LEFT. Advance reservations for each rider and motorcycle have been made for our group; and credit cards can be used to pay for the ferry fare during check-in.
There is also one long toll bridge, nearly 10 miles long, between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI). No toll is collected when crossing to PEI; but a 'combined toll' for both trips is collected before vehicles are allowed to cross the bridge back to New Brunswick. Credit cards can be used to pay for the bridge toll at the toll booth.
If for any reason you decide to leave the tour at a different time or place than originally planned, be sure to notify the tour leader (and Vince Byrne) so that existing reservations can be cancelled. Otherwise, you will be billed by the hotel as a "No Show"; and some hotels require at least 48 hours advance notice to cancel without fee.
At various points during the tour we expect to be joined by local Rotarian motorcyclists who will ride with our group for a few hours or a few days. We welcome these Rotary fellowship opportunities, as well as the opportunities for our tour group to participate in several local Rotary fellowship events along the way. Please make our temporary tour members feel welcome.
I think this is going to be a Wonderful IFMR tour, and we all want to make it a SAFE one. Don't hesitate to ask me questions at any time. I look forward to seeing all of you VERY SOON.
:-) Bob Shriner
IFMR Tour Leader
Posted by Bob Shriner at 8:08 PM