Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moncton - The Bike Club, Toys for Big Boys and the sights of Moncton

I left Charlottetown at about 11:30 AM after a disturbing and frustrating call with Purolator. When it absolutely must get there - do NOT use this company. If you don't care if you ever get your package then give them a shot but from my experiences with this company - they never deliver on time and are more likely than to to loose your items...anyway I digress.

On the road - finally, I thought I was going to get some much needed wind therapy. After a delay on the Confederation Bridge we finally got under way and after some time I ended up behind this Fish Co-op Truck - a semi, that started loosing all kinds of fishy salt water all over the highway, me and my motorcycle.

When I was finally able to pass this guy I tried to signal to him that he had problems but typical of too many drivers today he thought I was a crazy lady and tried to pass me not once but twice....NO way I was getting behind him again...so I left him to continue spewing his rotten and foul smelling load all over the highway - and sadly any other unsuspecting motorist.

Once in Moncton I found the Harley-Davidson/KTM/Honda dealer Toys for Big Boys and had them put on a new rear tire to replace the new rear tire that was on the bike but completely worn out ( Check out this Blog post for all of the details: http://beltdrivebetty.blogspot.com/2010/08/road-trips-and-your-motorcycles-tires.html)

The staff at this shop is so friendly and it didn't hurt that one of the kids from the Bike Klub works here (Mark Vale)  and it also didn't hurt that Brian Stuart the man behind Harley tech talk works here too.

The Betty Bike
What an honour it was to sit on the bike that was named after me...
After getting my bike sorted, Mark Vale drove me to the High School so I could meet the Betty Bobber and some of the kids who are already confirmed to be part of the 2011 Bike Klub.
Pictures don't do her justice that is for sure...

I had the pleasure of meeting Paul, Chelsea, Keegan and of course Mark Vale - these are the 4 confirmed members of the Klub for the 2011 school year and more will be confirmed next week.
 I toured the shop and Mazz had their projects out on display for me to see.

He explained that the Bike Klub has use of the shop equipment but only has a small space to work in. He also explained that they could use a couple of really good bike lifts, a locking tool box and tools of their own as sharing them with the other classes that use the shop can be frustrating and discouraging.

Some of the equipment in the shop that the kids have access to...
 Mazz is a dedicated teacher who wants to see these kids flourish...
 Mazz's Classroom

Stephanie is the mom of one of the former students of Bike Klub and has stayed involved as a chaperon and supporter because she see the value of what the Bike Klub offered for her son.

The kids of the 2011 class so far:
Me with Keegan
 Keegan who rode his pedal bike to the school straight after work and arrived out of breath just to come meet me. Talk about an honour!
Chelsea & Paul
Chelsea & Paul
With Mark Vale
Mark Vale
What a special treat it was to see these kids - different ones from the ones we had come to Grande Prairie but none the less - I feel a little like they are my kids - and I felt so humbled and honoured to meet them it was great to see Mazz and Stephanie again too!

Now, back to the Harley Shop to retrieve Black Betty and find out the damages to my credit card...

The Harley-Davidson demo truck was at Toys for Big Boys and it was a busy day at this dealership as a result.

When I got to the shop Brian and Mark had my bike ready - new tire on and Mark was just washing some of the chum spray off of it for me.

Brian explained to me all about my tire and what had happened to what I thought was a new tire (read my news blog to find out more about what happened to the tire and why: http://beltdrivebetty.blogspot.com/2010/08/road-trips-and-your-motorcycles-tires.html)

Brian had a tech sheet for me complete with we bite information and took the time to explain to me what had gone on.

The young men at the service counter were fantastic from the gent who took the call from Red Rock about me needing to get a tire changed to the young man who was my service adviser (Josh Cormier) - great staff. I can't say enough good things about them.

$300 later and I was on a much safer bike to ride...my clutch handle had even been lubed as was my kick stand (after riding in all that rain they were a tad squeaky) Young Master Vale did a great job for me.

I paid my bill and on the way out I was reminded to take extra care in corners for the first little bit...

What wonderful care and concern - it is no wonder why this shop is so busy! What great staff.
If you ever find yourself in need of a souvenir or work done on your bike and you are in their region..They are a Honda, KTM and Harley-Davidson dealer.

Toys for Big Boys
633 Salisbury Road
Moncton, New Brunswick
Phone: (506) 858-8088
Fax: (506) 382-5601

 Now to find my hotel....

Next morning - after a fabulous sleep, Stephanie picked me up an took me all over Moncton.

We stopped back at the dealership to take pictures with the staff because the ones I had taken the previous day did not turn out well.
team of angels
The team of angels who looked after me yesterday...
with Brian Stuart
Brian Stuart - technician extraordinaire and manager of Harley Tech Talk!

Stephanie and I
While Stephanie and I were there her good friend Roy Powers showed up and so we took more pictures!
Roy and I
Stephanie & I
Main Street Moncton
Main Street Moncton
 The Statue devoted to John Salter, first Mayor of Moncton
Mayor of Moncton
The Chocolate river
The Chocolate river - called so because it brown and the banks are mud...this leads to the bay of Fundy

I love old architecture and there is none finer than in churches...as you can see....

Now no trip to Moncton is complete unless you go to Magnetic Hill and let your car go backwards up the hill, in nuetral with your feet off the brakes and the gas...what a rush!

entrance to Magnetic Hill
The entrance to Magnetic Hill where you can also eat a Beaver Tail...

The sweetest, gooiest creation on earth! It's like an elephant ear but you can choose from about 8 different toppings. They are so sweet and rich!

The Arch above and below is made from all kinds of things like canteens, pitchforks, trowels etc...

Centennial Park
In Centennial Park
A train coming through the wooden bridge also in the park
an anchor in the park and below the island...
Moncton is a gorgeous old city - not as old as some but still old compared to many in Canada and it has a a vast history...take the time to visit - you will be glad you did - I want to thank Stephanie for taking me around! Your chauffeur skills and tour guide skills were awesome!

Until later...ride safe

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moncton

Customer service - I had thought before I left on this trip that it really didn't exist any more but I have had some of my faith restored on this trip. From the H-D shops in Charlottetown and Moncton to the many hotels/motels I have stayed at I have discovered that there truly are places where customer service still lives. The Holiday Inn Express in Moncton is such a place.

Caprice was the gal behind the counter who took care of me when I checked in. She asked for my name, found my reservation, we got my paper work filled out and then after she explained all of the amenities of the hotel - the pool, sauna and gym, she asked if there was anything else she could do to make my stay better. I asked about water and a bucket so I could give my bike another going over... (the H-D Shop had washed it, but I wanted to go over it again and use some Hogswipe to really clean her up and get her shining for my trip into Digby in a day and a half).
My Stuffs on bike delivered to room
A bucket and rags was delivered to my room...
Started to settle everything in the room
I got everything off the bike and started to settle in...

The room was well appointed, everything a guest could hope for was there except the Internet in this room would not work - not the wireless or the hard wire...

I called the front desk to see if there was something I was doing wrong...but it appeared I had everything right on my end - Caprice came down to the room to see if there was anything more that could be done and no, there was not - she explained they were just switching to a new service provider and they were having a few challenges in this wing so would I mind if they moved me to the other side of the hotel where she knew the Internet was working as the technicians had just finished the upgrade. She explained that unlike this room the one they wanted to put me in did not have a drive up but that i would be able to see my bike from the room.

I agreed to the move as the Internet is kind of important to what I do. Caprice got a cart, we loaded all of my stuff and she hauled it to the room while I moved my bike.

I get to to the room only to find it is a suite not a room and wow, the place was huge!
Huge Room with a kingsize bed

A king sized bed, two night stands, a big closet, a bathroom you could hold a party in, a kitchen and a living room with a desk and office chair - SWEET!

And yes - I could see my bike from the window. As promised the Internet worked perfectly - Caprice had actually ensured that by testing the connection BEFORE I was transferred to the room.

Thank you Caprice for the fantastic Customer Service - this gal, like Michelle in Moncton really delivered and I am so deeply appreciative of the commitment to customers she exhibited. Another Customer Service Super Star!

I finally got a bit of a chance to take in some of the Hotel as I had the need for a little something in my tummy and was delighted to have a muffin from the front desk (where they have coffee and tea with real creamer available all night long).

Moist and delicou
Moist and delicous - the muffin was a rare treat at 4:30 in the morning

The travel and tourism information and an ATM along with a guest computer in the enormous lobby were a few things I took note of. I am going to try and take advantage of the gym and the sauna later today...
The Sauna in the HotelThe Gym Area 

I took a walk around the grounds - this hotel/motel has everything a person could want from play areas for the kids to picnic areas - even a gazebo!
Play area for Kids - Spot for a picnic

Parked my bike here
Notice the bikes parked here?
I also noticed two bikes from New York State here as well...
Honda Truck
The Honda Truck caught my eye - seems bikers in this neck of the woods stop here a lot!

The Breakfast area - I have not as of yet been treated to such a feast for breakfast. Hot cinnamon buns, danishes, sausage patties and eggs, yogurt, fresh fruit, coffee and tea, juices...it is amazing!

Breakfast Area
This is one of those gems folks - now trust me when I say all of the hotels I have stayed in have been really good but this one was exceptional - however I want to reiterate again that of all the amenities in the world mean nothing without good staff and Caprice - you made my stay!

If you are in the Moncton area - I would highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express...give them a try and tell the Belt Drive Betty sent you - use your BDB Club membership card to take advantage of the special rate they offer our members....

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moncton
2515 Mountain Road
Moncton NB E1G 2W4
Toll Free: 866-867-6070
Fax: 506-859-6070
Web Site: http://www.hiemoncton.com/

Until next time - ride safe...