Daily Trip Update For 1999 TransCanada Motorcycle Ride
Arriving home from the 48-30 ride, Bob said, "next year I'll take the PolioPlus message across Canada". And so it continues...... Another ride, and another journal.
Thursday April 29,1999
The sun was shining for a change, but a cool breeze was blowing outside the headquarters building of the California Highway Patrol. Rotarians, CHP officers, BMW Motorcycle executives, and friends, were gathered to observe the presentation of a donation of a 1999 BMW R1100 RT Motorcycle. Presiding over the ceremony was CHP Commissioner Dwight "Spike" Helmick, the honorary Chairperson of the 1999 PolioPlus Ride. The brand new BMW was flanked by two CHP motorcycles of the same style. Commissioner Helmick spoke about the impact of Rotary's PolioPlus Program and the opportunities ahead to support such a worthwhile project. He introduced Bob Mutchler. Bob spoke about the 1999 Ride, Rotary and PolioPlus. Mr. Tony Felice of A&S BMW Motorcycles in Citrus Heights spoke about supporting the effort to eradicate polio by donating the motorcycle to the PolioPlus Ride. The keys were then handed to Bob Mutchler, who will be responsible for its maintenance. The media was very enthused about the project, and was represented by Fox 40, Ch31 and the Sacramento Bee.
Friday June 25, 1999
A fundraising dinner on behalf of the PolioPlus Ride was held at the home of Rotarians Steve and JoAnne Lemmon. They also prepared a fabulous meal, with deserts to die for. Fortunately, Bob did not consume the sweets. That left more for the rest of us!! The weather was perfect and the attendees were photographed for the Sacramento Magazine in the spacious and beautiful garden. There was a delightful group of Rotarians (Cliff Dochterman, Tom Campton, Bob Wassum, Fred Croy, And Many More, even Bob Mutchler), Mr. and Mrs. Tony Felice of A&S BMW Motorcycles, Family and Friends. A lovely evening.
Saturday June 26, 1999
Gathering at Calif. Capitol, 6am Saturday Morning
Escorted by California's Finest, the trip begins!!!!!
6 A.M. was too early to be anywhere on a Saturday morning. However the sun was up, and so was Motorcycle Bob, Jon Grant, Dave Boles and Richard VanVleet (TV and movie actor). For the three motor CHP and one patrol car officer, it was probably late, as they had just gotten off shift. The KCRA-TV3 cameraman was ready for action and an assemblage of Rotarians, friends and family were on hand to watch the entourage depart the Capitol for adventures to the North. The cameraman proceeded with an in depth interview with Bob, and taped the action as the group headed out with police lights flashing. The CHP escorted the riders as far as the County Line.
From Yreka, Ca came a call from Bob. "Man, what a motorcycle! The leaner on this sidecar is absolutely fantastic. It's the first time I've ever been able to ride like a solo bike."
In Oregon, Bob and Dave proceeded on to Seattle, Washington. They decided to find the ferry terminal and finally found some helpful folks in a tattoo parlor that gave them directions. (I hope they did not have to get tattoos in exchange for directions.) The weather was fairly cooperative in the NW with only an occasional drizzle and comfortable temperatures. Their mileage was 792. This begins the second of Motorcycle Bob's PolioPlus Rides to help eliminate polio. We hope our Rotary Friends in Canada will be able to make good use of Bob to help them in their efforts towards the PolioPlus Program.
Sunday June 27, 1999
PORT ANGELES, WA
The Bob and Dave Duo left their accommodations in Edmond, WA and headed for the ferry to Kingston. They boarded with two minutes to spare. Kingston proved to be a quaint seaport community. (Maybe something similar to Cabot Cove in Murder She Wrote?) The 75 mile ride to Port Angeles was accompanied with rain. Since they were an hour early for the ferry to Victoria, they decided to go for a meal. They dined at a place called Omelets Plus, that "looks like a converted service station". The restaurant received two forks up for the "finest meal ever" in a restaurant. "They really treated us right". During the ferry trip to Victoria, Bob spent the time going over the bike and sidecar. He was pleased to find everything tight and solid. Motorcyclists that they have met so far seem to be envious of the 1100, and are very impressed with the sidecar and it's capabilities. Bob gets very excited every time he talks about this combination of bike and sidecar.
After finally getting through customs, but that's another story, the Devilish Duo wandered about Victoria. "It is beautiful, clean, charming and very historic." The Victoria Coast Hotel is a "wonderful place with views of the harbor and mountains. Bob spent some time catching up on messages and phone calls. Bob and Dave then went for dinner...fish and chips, of course!
Monday June 28, 1999 Day One
With a 6:00 a.m. wake up, Bob made his own pot of coffee. The Duo met Victoria Rotarians Deirdre, Susan and others at the Ferry Terminal at 10:00, where Dennis the Channel 6-TV reporter, and a local newspaper reporter did an in depth interview. Bob spoke about PolioPlus and Rotary International an that it now costs $.50 to vaccinate a child, instead of the 9 cents previously. The Customs Agents came out and wished Bob and Dave well. The awesome twosome then drove downtown, walked around and found some great espresso. They took lots of photos. (As soon as I get lesson #2 the photos will appear on the web.) Later, Bob spent time checking over the bike and sidecar. With all the lights connected, it looks like a "Christmas tree" going down the highway. After some computer work, they went down to the pub and imbibed in a pint of really good ale. They have received a great response from the public. For example, the gal that made the fantastic mocha got very excited when she found out about Bob and the PolioPlus Ride. It turns out that she has been a recipient of the Victoria Club's Scholarship program for four years and is a clarinetist and dancer. Then the waitress at Denny's offered her 3 year Employee Pin for Bob's PolioPlus Ride pin. He was going to give it to her anyway, but she insisted on the trade. As this was the actual kickoff, Bob was very impressed with Victoria, Their Rotary Club and all that they are doing in their community and in Rotary. "They were very kind, extremely friendly, and everyone wants to know everything about the PP Program and the Ride and me and the bike and the sidecar..." He and Dave have been giving out Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and Goodbye Polio Bumper Stickers. The television interview was syndicated and shown across Canada.
Tuesday June 29,1999 Day Two
At 7 a.m. Michelle at the Espresso shop managed to provide a mocha or two for the departing duo. The Bob and Dave team caught the 8 a.m. ferry to Vancouver. They were met by Mel Endelman, Past President and Governor's Rep. Dave then headed South, back to Sacramento, while Mel, riding his Virago motorcycle, escorted Bob the 33 miles into the city. "I doubt I would have made it into the city without Mel." Bob attended the Vancouver Club's installation (demotion?) meeting held at the elite Hotel Vancouver. He sat with the Executive Board. "I was very impressed with the protocol, formality, smoothness and fun of the meeting. They asked Bob to speak, which did not require much coaxing, nor was it difficult for Bob to find a topic. Bob met DG Chris and his lovely wife Penny; and had an interesting conversation with Robert the chef and Michael the doorman. Motorcycle Mel and Bob then headed for the outskirts of town in the direction of Hope (the town). It rained all the way to Hope, and then all the way to Cache Creek where Bob spent the night. The bike "is running great and the BMW raingear is perfect".
Wednesday June 30, 1999 Day Three
Prince George, Coast Inn of The North, Doorman Michael, Chef Robert and Mel Endelman
A very muddy motorcycle, sidecar and rider arrived in Prince George right on time, where a "grand reception" was waiting. Gordon Bliss arranged for numerous media and a proper press conference ensued. The message of PolioPlus is certainly being spread to the people of Canada. They are responding as only the generous and hospitable Canadians do- wholeheartedly. The Canadian Government will match every dollar raised for polio immunization, resulting from Bob's efforts! WOW!! What a great opportunity for the Canadian Rotary Clubs to enlist public support and make double the money. (I hope RI has enough Paul Harris Pins.)
After more interviews and visiting, Dr. Rob Cormack treated Bob for a pulled muscle. Turns out they are both musicians and Dr. Rob plays bass in a 60's band. Rotarian Gordon Leighton, manager of the local communications company, arranged for a huge lovely room for Bob at the Coast Inn of the North, with all the bells and whistles. Even chocolates, chilled water and a thick cozy bath robe. "They've treated me like royalty!"
The Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are such a special treat that some clubs are going to use some for fundraising. Bob has been giving them out all along the way. Also, the bumper stickers are creating quite an interest, as well as the PolioPlus Ride pins. To all who have supported and donated, THANK YOU. We can raise the money, we can finish the job!
Thursday July 1, 1999 Day Four
Bike Rally at Dawson Creek
By 8 a.m. Motorcycle Bob was leaving Prince George on a wet but uneventful run into Dawson Creek, arriving at noon. (If you're familiar with that trek maybe Bob should now be "Bob and the Blue Streak".) Two newspaper reporters were waiting to interview him and then came the roar or hum of motorcycles as Bob led a fundraising bike rally to Fort St. John, where everyone cleaned up their bikes for a "Shine and Show". Much appreciation go to President Bruce Blanz and Che Pinkerton for making all the arrangements, including the media blitz beforehand. A sizeable amount was raised for the PolioPlus Program from the rally / show and donations for the jelly beans, bumper stickers, and PolioPlus Ride Pins. Thank you Rod and Nancy Ritchie of Oroville, CA for donating the pins. They are a big hit. Together Fort St. John and Bob were able to inform the public and raise funds. That's what the Ride is all about.
Accommodations had been made for Bob at the Alexander Mackenzie Inn; also the meeting place for the FSJ Rotary Club. Before the meeting, Bob's parents, Bob and Alice, and the some of the Fulton's visited with Bob. They enjoyed coffee together in his room, which was completely furnished including a kitchenette.
The meeting was a special meeting held in honor of Motorcycle Bob. Guess who the speaker was, and what the topic was? Bob had the opportunity to talk with DJ Jay, Rotarian and radio DJ. Next door to the Inn is an adult entertainment club (AKA strip club). Interestingly, Bob's room was on the same floor as some of the dancers! (I can't imagine why the FSJ Rotary Club might have higher than usual numbers of Rotarians "making up" at their Club." While Bob was snoozing in his room, the Blue Streak was tucked in at a Muffler Shop across the street.
Friday July 2, 1999 Day Five
Up at 5:30 and over to the muffler shop to check out the bike. Then breakfast at the Mackenzie Inn with the folks and friends. A very cold (35-40F) and very wet ( hard rain with occasional "sheets" of water), ride into Edmonton. Bob had trouble finding a room. It's a long weekend there in Celebration of Canada Day. Finally the reception clerk at a hotel told Bob that "I will find you a room". After numerous phone calls, a room was finally found. The kindness was from a non-Rotarian from India. The "room" was practically an apartment, completely furnished. Thank you dear Samaritan. Figure this one out: two pizzas for less than one? Guess what Bob had for dinner.....
It is sad that one person's ego got in the way of the four way test. Because of that, there were no activities in Edmonton. Yes, it created an inconvenience for Bob, but it was a loss for the Rotary clubs and people of Edmonton, and ultimately, the children.
Saturday July 3, 1999 Day six
Motorcycle Bob left Edmonton by 9 a.m. an rode by the W. Edmonton Mall, which was "very impressive, vast and extensive". The ride to Calgary was again in driving rain but this time with cross winds which seemed to come from every direction. However, upon arriving at the Highlander Hotel, there was a warm, friendly reception of DG Curly Galbraith, Larry Dornan, Ted Valentine, Dist. 5360 PolioPlus Chair. Stan Cichon and others were waiting. Bob gave everyone pins and jelly beans. Bob and Stan Cichon enjoyed a relaxed lunch together where they were able to talk about PolioPlus. When polio is totally eradicated, global savings from the cost of immunization alone, will be about US$1.5 BILLION. Mr. Cichon was impressed with Bob and his dedication to the PolioPlus Program. He pledged that District 5360 will raise C$200,000.00 in this Rotary Year for PolioPlus. Now add the matching money from the Canadian Govt. and wow. Go Canada go. Is this great or what? I wonder if any of the other districts will pledge to match or raise the ante???? Mr. Dornan took Bob shopping for another pair of gloves to give the others a chance to dry out. Back to the Highlander Hotel where the management made Bob very comfortable for the night.
Bob is so impressed with the BMW and the Hannigan Sidecar. The bike cruises through the wind as if there isn't any and mountains are molehills. He has never been able to ride without a sidecar, due to the results of polio. This sidecar has a "leaner" mechanism that allows the bike to lean side to side like a solo bike. Otherwise Bob has to push and pull the whole rig through corners. But no longer. Thank you very much A&S and thank you Hannigan.
Sunday July 4, 1999 Day seven
Without coffee Motorcycle Bob departed Calgary at 7:30 am in the rain, of course. About 60 miles outside of Calgary the sidecar found a rather large round, depression or sink hole in the road. Those do nasty things to rear mounting brackets. With broken hardware Bob and the Blue Streak eased into Regina very carefully and on time. A full blown reception was waiting at the City Hall Courtyard. There were City Council Representatives, DG Peter Peters, Past DG's and Past Presidents, Rotarian Ron Jones, friend of Frank Woods from Folsom Ca, and other great folks. The print media were there and carried an article in the Leader Post. Also there was radio and 2 of the 3 TV stations had crews out. It was a landmark day. Bob had not seen the sun in 8 days. And then the Rotarians and people of Regina showed what hospitality really means. DGN Eugene made numerous calls and spent a lot of time finding a welder who would come out on a holiday Sunday and work on the broken mount. He finally found Welder Ron, who after he got off work for the day, would try to do the job. Two hours of labor produced a solid fix. Ron didn't even charge for the job, but Bob and Eugene both remunerated Ron. Then Eugene would not allow Bob to reimburse him. The Canadian Hospitality continued when Jacqui McAfee, Sales Manager with the Sands Hotel in Regina, provided Bob with a suite, complete with gift basket and welcome card. And.... dinner at President Lyle's home that included the "best Roast Beef I have ever eaten, fork tender and fabulous flavor". Let's not forget the "Saskatoon berry pie" that Bob absolutely fell for. "Regina Rotarians really went above and beyond. Eugene really went out of his way to help me." With wonderful people like this, Regina must be full of caring individuals ready to help the PolioPlus Program. Let's hope the people will support their Rotarian friends and neighbors in this effort
Monday July 5, 1999 Day Eight
Bob carefully left Regina at 6:30 am (shall I say it?) in the rain. The Blue Streak was fine, but riding the previous day with limited capabilities took its toll on the rear tire. So Bob gently rode on to Winnipeg. About 10:00 am he had near heart failure or system shock or hallucinations. The sun came out......and seemed to stay out. He rolled into Winnipeg about 1 PM (1300) and rolled on into Wild Wood Sports, the BMW Dealer. There was one tire left that would fit the rear wheel. Paul and his staff did an excellent, professional and quick job of changing the tire. They even washed the bike so it would look nice for the press conference.
Having found the Vasa Lund Park Meeting a little early, Bob followed Manager Mark's directions and found a mocha. His first since Vancouver. I know he's been going through withdrawal. Back at the park for a television interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company. I understand they aired quite a lengthy portion of the interview. Hopefully, many people are now aware of why we need to finish this task. No one should ever have to be at risk from this disease or it's immunization ever again!
Club President Brian of the Winnipeg-Charleswood Rotary Club conducted his first meeting of his presidency. A packed house. There were representatives from all nine Winnipeg Clubs to help celebrate the Ride and promote the program. Each Club presented Bob with a check for PolioPlus. How exciting! It totaled several thousand dollars and Bob requested that they forward the checks to RI. As it had been a long, eventful, sunny and positive day, a bed was looking very appetizing to our guy. Bill and Susan Harrison took him home with them and tucked him as he has another day in the saddle tomorrow. Thank you all. We appreciate the generosity and hospitality. It is imperative that we make every effort to support this program, especially now. The World Health Organization estimates that US$1 BILLION is needed for the 1999-2005 time frame to eradicate polio. The need will be the greatest in 1999 through 2000.
Tuesday July 6, 1999 Day Nine
5:00 A.M. came very early for Motorcycle Bob. Bill Harrison prepared some really good coffee which made a great beginning for another full day. Bob and the Blue Streak were back on the road by 6:20. In Kenora, the manager of the Travel Lodge set up a press conference. The Kenora Rotary Club pledged $5,000 to PolioPlus. After interviews with 2 newspapers and television, the TV reporter filmed him leaving and followed/led for eight miles. Now not every community has an 18 foot Moose for a landmark, but Dryden does. So where else do you have a press conference and talk with newspaper and radio people? No, not in the station. The Dryden Rotarians were out in support of PolioPlus with another check. Again Bob urged them to turn it in to get the double coupon from their Government. Thank you President Joanne Misner, Past Pres. Will Vermeer, Frank Harrison, Geordie McEwan, and Larry Neely.
Then on to Thunder Bay where his timing was right on. He arrived just as the television reporter was setting up her camera. Two print reporters were there also interviewing and asking about polio and PolioPlus. Pres. John Stephenson of the Port Arthur Rotary Club and Past Pres. Dave were there to meet Bob. Pres. John took Bob for Chinese food, where Bob had "the best egg foo young; they made it just the way I like it". They talked about using the bumper stickers for some fund raising and that Canadians that want to donate should make out their checks to PolioPlus and send them to their local Rotary Clubs.
Some 3 Million children who might have been polio victims, are walking and playing normally due to the efforts of the last decade. That's a lot of suffering that was avoided as well as certain poverty and untold potential medical expenses.
Wednesday July 7, 1999 Day Ten
Jack, Dave & Nancy Jack West & Bike
The reason that Thunder Bay was so named may have something to do with the colossal thunderstorms in that area. Well, it sounded good. They woke up our Iron Horse Rider, so why not go ride in it at 6:30 am? The trusty steed carried our Rotary Rider (crazy person?) into Sault Sainte Marie at about 4 p.m. President Dave and his wife Nancy and Bruce Dewhirst were on the lookout when they crossed paths with Bob. They chased him down (probably in a Chevy, since Dave's the dealer) and led him to the Travel Lodge Suites where a newspaper reporter was waiting for him. The newest Paul Harris recipient in the downtown Club is the owner of the Suites and he upgraded Bob's room to luxury, first class. Jack West from the Stratford Rotary Club had biked down to and will escort Bob to Stratford on the 8th. Dinner at an Italian restaurant with Dave and Nancy and lots of Rotary talk. Back at the hotel were more interviews with radio and TV. Tony provided Bob with juices and arranged for beverage and Danish for the morning. After a soak in the Jacuzzi, a much needed sleep was on the agenda.
Thursday July 8, 1999 Day Eleven
With a pot of coffee and maps to study, Motorcycle Bob and Jack West schemed and dreamed the days agenda. I guess at 5:15 a.m. one can believe a lot of different things. The goal was Stratford for a 3 p.m. press conference. The local television station filmed their arrival. A reporter tried in vain to keep up with the Roto Bikers, but there was no hope for the poor fellow. Both of the local Stratford Rotary Clubs presidents and other Rotarians were waiting. The local newspaper did an interview and took lots of photos. Filmed again on the way out of town, Bob and Jack headed towards Toronto.
They parted company and Bob headed into Toronto where accommodations had been arranged for him at the Royal York Hotel. A very luxurious and grand hotel in the old style ( 75 years), it has hosted world leaders and royalty. Bob found some dinner across the street at The Fish House. His waiter recognized the Rotary emblem on Bob's shirt and introduced him to Monette, the manager. True to form, Bob talked at length with her about the PolioPlus Ride and then again with some of the other patrons. The Cajun Trout that he devoured was "incredible". Everyone else seemed equally impressed with their meals. Back to his "roost" for a nights rest.
Friday July 9, 1999 Day Twelve
Trying to outwait Mother Nature, Bob gave it up at 8 am and left Toronto for Montreal. About half way there Bob got stuck in a 10 car accident pile up that delayed his arrival into Montreal until 3 p.m. He then proceeded to get completely lost. He called the Holiday Inn in Old Montreal, the location for the evenings meeting and his lodging. He spoke with Shirley, who carefully guided him in the right direction and successfully achieved a safe arrival. He had seen six accidents, five of which had been in Montreal. "It seems as though the drivers just point the car and step on it." I think I'm glad I don't have to pay car insurance there if it's based the same as it is here in California. Bob put the Blue Streak to bed and then Shirley showed him to his suite of rooms. Oh wow! After cleaning up and doing a little laundry, Bob was the guest speaker for the Clubs' "Changing of the Guard", (demotion). Governor Lionel and PDG Willy were among the many dignitaries. $700 in checks were presented to Bob and the PolioPlus Ride. DG Lionel pledged another $7000 to PolioPlus and invited Bob to come back and help with other PolioPlus efforts. There was a disc jockey playing dance music during and after dinner. Dinner was a ten course Chinese Banquet of "incredible" food. An adjacent room was full of deserts! A chocoholics paradise!! There were about 125 people enjoying a fabulous evening of Rotary, with President Lee handing over the gavel to President Carlos. Bob was very impressed with the hotel as there was a lovely koi pond that meandered through the dining room complete with bridge and real fish!
Bob would like to convey his apologies and appreciation to all who waited for him. He realizes it was an inconvenience and would like to thank you for being so patient. Unfortunately he is unable to meet time schedules when the weather or the traffic is not cooperative.
Saturday July 10, 1999 Day Thirteen
Breakfast was enjoyed in the company of Michelle Wong, from the Old Montreal Rotary Club. Very honored to have been given the checks the night before, Bob asked Michelle to accept them and submit them so that they would get the double benefit. Bob's goal has always been to help the clubs and Rotary any way he can to benefit PolioPlus.
Onward...Mother Nature 12 , Bob 1. At 11 am the CBC filmed Bob arrive at the St. Hubert Restaurant parking lot in Quebec City. There was a question and answer period and Club President Gilles Marcot presented Bob with a Club Banner. Then Gilles and M. Beaulieu hosted Bob for lunch. A very interesting discussion about Rotary, the City and the Ride. Pres. Gilles then escorted Bob to his lodging for the night, a Monastery/School. After putting the Bike up and luggage in his room, they went for a tour of Old Quebec. Having read virtually all of James Fenemore Coopers' books, the history of the city that Gilles was imparting to Bob really came to life and was very impressive. The Order of the Marise (sp?) Brothers provided a very satisfying dinner and a nice respite from the big city hubbub. As their English was limited and Bob's French, though improving, is still quite limited, they did manage to converse very well.
Sunday July 11, 1999 Day Fourteen
Ah yes, another win for Mother Nature, through New Brunswick. However, about 50 miles west of Fredericton it stopped raining so our Fearless Friend could dry out before arriving. Bob managed to get lost (why not?, he's never been there before and I think he just decided to take the "scenic" tour), but found a very lovely woman and asked directions. She said that Bob should follow her and she took him to the Police Station. It was also the meeting place for a media interview and photo session. Greeting him were President Fred, Rotarian and Deputy Chief of Police Colin Tucker. The newspaper reporter said that as far as he knew, this was the first time there had been any news coverage regarding PolioPlus in Fredericton. It is an honor for Bob to be part of bringing the news to the people in this area.
Remember the rain that Bob left outside of town? Apparently he talked long enough for it to catch up with him and he had the pleasure of riding to the Sheraton in it. Must be his magnetic personality. After checking in, Bob and Colin enjoyed a beer or more, and talked Rotary, PolioPlus, fundraising projects and general chit-chat. Bob parked the Blue Streak in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton. ( I'd have oil leaks on the carpet if I did that with my bike.) Mike, the assistant manager apologized for not being able to park the bike outside under the Portico. Bob did not mind it being in a warm dry room. Derek the manager did his best at insuring Bob's comfort and a huge basket of fruit and goodies including a welcome card were waiting for Bob in his suite.
Bob is very impressed with the Blue Streak Combination of BMW bike and Hannigan sidecar. The sidecar is aerodynamically designed so that Bob feels no wind deflection. The two machines are a perfect match.
Monday July 12, 1999 Day Fifteen
Well, pea soup fog was the excitement for the 6 a.m. departure, and for 80 miles. Somewhere on the way to Halifax a detour had to be made to find fuel. Bob pulled into the only service station in a town 15 miles off the highway. A lady came out to unlock the pumps and recognized Motorcycle Bob from the news. She wanted his autograph and neighbors came out and a big to-do was made. The message is definitely reaching our wonderful neighbors to the North. Back to his schedule to reach Halifax. Being ahead of himself, Bob crossed paths with the RCMP Officers who were to escort him into Halifax. He managed to find his meeting place, The Holiday Inn. Bob was met by Rotarian and Inn Manager Joe Gillivan and Club President Valerie.
She is their first woman president, and the club is the second oldest club in Canada. Joe personally checked Bob in and insured Bob was comfortable and his needs were more than met. President Valerie took Bob to lunch at a fish restaurant. Bob said from now on "it's Halifax for haddock". After a great lunch and wonderful conversation, Bob wandered around town and found a real Mocha.
Tuesday July 13, 1999 Day Sixteen
Sleeping in? On a Tuesday? Unheard of. Especially until 7 a.m. However, Bob had to prepare a high profile day. It takes time to work miracles. The talk radio interview at 8:30 went well. He then went for a walk and found the credit card he had lost in the gutter earlier. Lucky seems to be an appropriate adjective. Then Motorcycle Bob was the guest speaker at the Halifax Rotary Club Meeting. He enjoyed talking with DG Wayne and PDG Ed about Rotary, their district programs, fundraising and PolioPlus.
Bob then took the Blue Streak to the Halifax BMW dealer for a complete tune-up and preventive maintenance check-up (LOF). With the Blue Streak ready for the remainder of the trip, Bob joined Maryanne and her husband Bill for a tour of Halifax and dinner at a lovely seafood restaurant. Bob loves fish and seafood, if he didn't before this trip, he does now. Topics of conversation ranged from Rotary to politics and socialized government, and much more. A delightful evening of good food and fellowship.
Wednesday July 14,1999 Day Seventeen
It's 0500, uniform of the day ..., everyone be on the walk in 5 minutes...
Sorry about that, I was reliving the nightmare of basic training. 5 A.M. does that to me. But our hero was up, enjoying his self brewed coffee and packing. 6:15 he was loading the bike; 7:00 "got gas"; and finally "got gone" at 7:10. Easy Rider cruised down the highway to the Confederate Bridge. Now this is a bridge. It is seven to eight miles long and is the longest freestanding bridge in" ice infested" (?) water in the world.
Across the bridge, a posse, I mean a motorcycle escort of Rotarians were waiting to take Bob away. Even "Bush", Past President of the Charlottetown Rotary Club, Burger King Owner, and Retired RCMP was waiting to see the Blue Streak. "Bush" led the ensemble on a tour through the harbor and then on to Montague. The Montague Rotary Club had asked Bob to be their speaker. Bob chatted with President Lester, then "Bush" led the squad back to Charlottetown, to the Quality Inn on the Hill where "Bush" booked Bob in for the night. Hal Begin provided Bob with an enormous suite of rooms. Bob was soon to find out why.
Bush and friends came up for visit (motorcycle talk?). Over the phone a news interview. Back to visiting with new friends. Then another interview via telephone for a feature story for tomorrow in ST John's. Wayne, the local newspaper reporter called and came by for a quick interview, an hour or so. (Is it time for a beer yet?) Maybe not, but a brief break for some fresh air and to see some sights. Arriving back in his room, DG Wayne arrived with Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Bush arrived back and told funny stories about being a GSE Team Leader to Japan. Every one was having a good time, but spoil sport needed some sack time. He and Bush went over the remaining itinerary. Party pooper then went to bed. He thinks he's going to sleep in again. We'll see about that..........
Friday July 16.1999 Day Nineteen
Saturday July 17, 1999 Day Twenty
The "Super Royal" Hospitality Continues
The ferry docked in Argentia and Mighty Mutchler and the Blue Streak were the first to disembark. Some 60 motorcyclists welcomed him to Newfoundland with a revving of engines-Hondas, Harleys, BMWs, all kinds. They all rode together through Whitbourne, where a majority went there separate ways. About ten bikes escorted Bob "at high speed" into St. John's. The owner of the Harley Shop found a tire for the Blue Streak, but C&C Motorcycles installed it. The Harley Owners Group made a donation to the Ride and other folks were making donations as well.
Rotarian Jeff Snow, a humorous and charming gentleman took it upon himself to be Bob's guide, and they toured the area including a visit to Cape Spear, the easternmost point. Jeff is "an incredible host". Bob learned some more history: St. John's is the oldest settlement in North America, having been inhabited since the days of Leif Ericcson (sp?). Then on to night's lodgings; the Winterholme Heritage Inn, a Bed and Breakfast owned by Dick and Ruby Cook.
They donated the Honeymoon Suite. (And here I am in California.) This B&B is "luxurious beyond belief". How about a Jacuzzi in your room? The Cook's daughter made a welcome sign and placed on the pillow. Then came the visiting, talk radio and newspaper interviews, and Rotary fellowship with PDGs, DGs, Past Presidents and current Presidents and regular Rotarians, the ones that make it all happen. Motorcycle Bob's official PolioPlus Ride across Canada is now completed.
Sunday July 18, 1999
But it's not over until it's over. Loaded, packed and ready to roll by 7:30 a.m., Motorcycle Bob said farewell to Dick Cook. Dick gave him a signed print by famed Newfoundland artist and led Bob out to the highway. The journey home begins with seven hours of scenic terrain that looks like photos of Norway; with fiords, pines, and crags. Don't forget moose dodging. It is the most hazardous part about driving there. Channel Port aux Basques was the destination to catch the ferry. Five hours to wait provided plenty of time for Bob to find some dinner. Fish? No. Flipper pie? No. Escargot? No. Pizza? Yes, from Pizza Delight. The ferry left on time at 2330, (11:30 PM) and Bob tried to get some rest. The ferry and crew happened to be the same that had provided transport the opposite direction and between the other ports.
Monday & Tuesday July 19 & 20, 1999
In the wee hours and three hours early, the ferry arrived at North Sydney. The Blue Streak headed straight for refueling. That took a while, since the station did not open until six. But soon there were others waiting also. Bob stopped at a Tim Horton's Donut Shop for coffee and a bagel. He then discovered he was completely out of Canadian dollars. They didn't take credit cards, and his only American money was in large denominations which they wanted to discount horribly. Rummaging through pockets he finally found enough C $ to pay for his gourmet breakfast. He asked for directions to get to Kentville and ended up taking the other kind of "scenic" tour. This road was a "wagon train trail, no a cow path; with potholes and frost heaves" all the way to Kentville. Just another challenge for you Bob.
Roger and Suzanne Sevigny, co-hosts to Bob sent the following account of Bob's visit to Kentville:
Thank you Roger and Suzanne for a fantastic recollection of events. Bob was absolutely enthralled with the hospitality. The Ueffing's home, where Bob resided, overlooked the Kentville/Wolfville Valley with incredible views of the trees, farms, roads and the Bay of Fundy.
Pictured above, left to right, top to bottom, Suzanne and Joop Euffing, early morning view from Bob's bedroom window at Euffing's home, Bob and Lola-the 4 1/2 pound lobster, Lola riding the Blue Streak.
Shown above, the Angeline Chapel just outside Kentville, NS
Arriving in St. John, New Brunswick, Bob headed straight for Augusta, Maine. Another visit with Customs provided this little story.
Where have you been? Riding across Canada for PolioPlus.
Are you a Rotarian? Yes.
Where are you going? Back to California.
Oh, my Dad's a Rotarian, in Yuba...
Yuba City?, Yes.
What's his name? Bill. I'm his youngest son, Roscoe. If you're a Rotarian, you must be okay!
Motorcycle Bob arrived in Augusta, Me at 7:00p.m. Waiting for him was a TV crew and Motorcycle Rotarians Bill McKenna and Bill Judkins. After a good interview with the media, check in at the Holiday Inn, Bob ate some dinner and headed back to his room for a long nap.
Thursday July 22, 1999
(Bob and Patti's 87th Anniversary-we celebrate by the month)
Okay, up at 0500; coffee, packing, and waiting, (really sounds like the military). The Two Bills showed up and at 0700 (7 a.m.) away they rode, off into the morning to the Gardiner Rotary Club Meeting and breakfast. Bob was the speaker and talked about the Foundation, Rotary, and PolioPlus. Bumper stickers were sold and the Club matched the sales, dollar for dollar. Go Go Gardiner!!!
Then the Two Bills and Bob and the Blue Streak rode to Portland, Maine. At the BMW Dealership both front and rear MC tires were replaced. Many thanks to the Rotarian that donated the rear tire and to Street Cycles BMW for donating the labor to install the tires. At 1p.m. our guy was back on the road. Bob had intended on attempting a new world record for the NY-SF run, for his return to California. However, he was asked to come to Evanston and do a meet and greet. So Bob headed for Evanston, IL and RI Headquarters. He rode all night, minus a three hour nap somewhere in Ohio.
Friday July 23, 1999
Arriving in Chicago at 2:30 p.m. Bob became intimate with the Chicago version of the "California Parking Lot". It took two and a half hours to go 7 miles, in 100+ degree heat and humidity. At 4p.m. Bob called RI to inform them of his whereabouts and to let them know he was on his way and would be there as soon as possible. He arrived in Evanston at 6 p.m. escorted by a Great Lakes Thunderstorm complete with blowing garbage. The only person there was a security guard in the lobby who knew nothing. No message, no we'll-see-you-in-the-morning, nothing, nada. Bob was not amused, so he went across the street to the Evanston Holiday Inn and spent the most amount of money for the worst room. He ate dinner at the Irish Pub across the street. The highly publicized crab and mushroom casserole was made with artificial crab and rather overpriced. But the beer was great and watching the expert dart players was very entertaining.
Above left, the Blue Streak in front of RI Headquarters.
Above right, sunset over Evanston, IL
Saturday July 24, 1999
Bob tried until 11:00 a.m. to reach someone/ anyone from RI. No joy. He then mounted the Blue Streak and headed West, non-stop to Folsom, Ca to home and family, and Michelob Classic Dark.
Sunday July 25, 1999
Midnight being the witching hour, he found that he was to remount his trusty Blue Streak and ride to the Natoma Inn, where his wife was waiting....