Atlanticade 2008

November 1 2008

The second year of the five-day Atlanticade Motorcycle Rally started on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 with smokin’ hot weather, but after only one day into the festival, the weather turned wet for rally goers. Despite this, close to 1,000 participants paid the all-inclusive $25 rally fee and it is estimated that over 4,000 motorcycles took part in the multi-day event. The registration package included money saving coupons and entered your name into several draws including overnight stays at various hotels and a Kymco Scooter. Those who simply ‘showed up’ were unable to enjoy many of the planned festivities since wristbands were required to participate in many of the rallies events.

The Atlanticade motorcycle festival (, offers a multitude of events for riders to participate in, including bike games, sponsored breakfasts and dinners, Vendor Village, Northeastern Bike Building Championship, show n’ shines, street parties, organized burnout competitions, Yamaha demo rides and much more. But most of all, Atlanticade is about riding. There were many organized poker runs and scheduled rides in all directions leaving the host city of Moncton, New Brunswick.

While I wasn’t able ride to the event, I was able to snag one of 16 new Yamahas from Big Blue, the Yamaha demo truck, for a group ride on the first day of the event. The steady wind blew crops as if they were waves on the water through the beautifully serene rolling countryside of eastern New Brunswick during the afternoon ride. Our first stop was in Sussex at the newly opened second location of Annapolis Leather Barn before continuing onto the Bay of Fundy coastal town of Alma on the eastern edge of Fundy National Park. Collins Seafood, located right on the shore and within a stones throw of the local fishing wharf, hosted an amazing lobster dinner, which included the best smoked salmon I had ever tasted. The lobster was served on newspaper in a cardboard beer can flat—a classic presentation.

While the weather reports generally stated an 80% chance of precipitation, they were wrong. One hundred percent would be more like it as the skies opened up many times during the weekend. The weather was unsettling but it wasn’t the only major hiccup during the rally. Opening ceremonies took place at noon on Wednesday but at 10 a.m., the organizers found out that the Vendor Village and the Northeastern Bike Building Championship competition had a change of venue due to politics and paperwork. Instead of Vendor Village and the Bike Building Championship being held in massive tents located downtown, decisions at City Hall forced the event coordinators to relocate to the Coliseum on the edge of town. This arrangement had organizers scrambling to accommodate the vendors and the Bike Building Championships. They frantically mapped out a new floor plan while desperately trying to contact vendors and builders with updated information. Local radio stations were helpful in letting the public know of the new venue but unfortunately the printed schedules and programs contained the original plan.

The changes resulted in a lighter than anticipated weekend for those hanging out at the Coliseum since many of the rally participants from out of town didn’t know where to find the venue. In hindsight, it wasn’t a bad idea to move to the Coliseum considering the rain and the top quality, and quantity, of custom motorcycles that were on hand for the custom bike show.

The Northeastern Bike Building Championship was a fund raising event for the Bernice MacNaughton High School Bike Klub. Bike Klub organizer and teacher, Marc Mazerolle and the Bike Klub kids unveiled their finished bike named Betty, which was built completely on donations. The Bike Klub are selling raffle tickets on Betty in order to get to the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge. They are the only Canadian school to have ever been invited to the competition.

Tickets are still available at (

The Bike Klub did an outstanding job looking after the organization and presentation of the competition. The International Master Bike Builder’s Association was enlisted for the official judging making this show an IMBB sanctioned event. Judges for the show were Jeff Starke from IMBB, legendary Canadian master builder Bob McKay, and local mechanical talent Shane Scott. Eighteen bikes were in the centre ring for competition while many others, worthy of competing, sat on the sidelines in builder’s booths for display purposes only.

Taking first place in the Pro Builder category were Fred Vallancourt of the The Rat Shop from Saint-Come, QC. Bernie Michaual took second place with his bike built by local talent Luc Leblanc from Kent County Custom in Shediac Bridge. G&M Cycle from Edmundston, NB scooped up the very worthy third place trophy.

Custom painted helmets by area painters were also in the competition and were auctioned off at the Sunday morning awards breakfast to raise money for the Bike Klub. Motorcycle Mojo purchased the helmet painted by Heath Morell from EZ AIR FX Extreme Airbrushing. Unbeknownst to us, Heath’s helmet won first place during the custom bike awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The helmet is now proudly displayed in our boardroom.

Bike Klub is an after-school programme that is geared towards, but not exclusive to, “at risk” and “introverted” kids. The message of respect, for themselves and others, is the key focus of the Klub. Members range in age from 14 – 18 and the Klub runs two times a week for 3 hours per night and every other Saturday for 6 to 8 hours. This hands-on activity continues for the duration of the school year, and during the summer the Klub tours with their creations to various events. Because the Klub is not considered an extra-curricular school activity, it operates exclusively on donations.

The city of Moncton supports the five-day event by allowing Main Street of downtown to be blocked off for motorcycle and pedestrian only traffic from early Friday evening to late Saturday night for a street party. The rain held off while bikers and locals filled the street for an evening of live music and outdoor patios at local bars and restaurants.

During the weekend license plates were seen from as far away as Georgia, Alaska, and even one from Ireland. Paddy Tyson took the long distance honour as the rider from the farthest away. Paddy, being the stand-up guy he is, made an announcement at the awards breakfast to try to find the next farthest person to give the award to since he admitted he was just passing through on his world travels and didn’t feel right accepting the award.

While you can complain about the weather, it remains a waste of breath because it is out of everyone’s control, but the growing pains that the organizers of Atlanticade experienced were handled very well, and I think all of the rally’s participants enjoyed the weekend from what I was hearing.

To get a better idea of the event filled week, check out Biker TV in the new year for the event coverage.

Atlanticade donated $9,500 to its chosen charity, the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada ( A big thanks goes out to all the companies who sponsored the rally, those who paid their meager $25 rally fee and especially to all the volunteers. See you there next year. MMM


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