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Daytona Report - Monday, March 2


by Marc Cantin ,

It's not the destination, it's the ride!

That is a saying we bikers live by, and you can use "bike" instead of destination, and the saying still holds true. Except that this "ride" from Montreal to Daytona has turned out to be the trip from hell - or nearly so!

I am writing this at 7pm on Monday evening, from the comfort of seat 30D on this Allegiant MD80, 30,000 feet above New York, on my way from Plattsburg NY to Sandford, an obscure little airport south of Orlando, Florida. Ooh, I forgot to tell you- I am 24 hours behind schedule.

It started on Sunday when I got to the Montreal airport at 1pm, only to be told at the Delta Check-in that my 3pm flight to Atlanta was cancelled because of a severe snowstorm in Atlanta.

Here is what happened next:
· I was then booked through Cincinnati, scheduled to depart at 4pm., with continuation to Orlando at 8pm.
· That plane arrived in Dorval at 5pm, due to a mechanical issue at the previous stop
· The plane still had a problem, and a mechanic was recalled to fix the thing. This meant my connection to Orlando was now out of the question.
· We boarded at 8.30pm, and were told that the co pilot would not take off as he was too close to the maximum consecutive duty hours, but they were looking for a substitute
· At 9.30pm, they cancelled the flight and told us that all Delta flight from Montreal were fully booked until Thursday. They gave us a 1-800 number to call and rebook.
· I tried to call the Delta 1 800 line but never got to talk to anyone.
· At 11.30pm, I booked the last seat on a direct Allegiant flight from Plattsburg (NY) to Sandford (FL), leaving at 5.30pm.
· When I got to the Montreal bus terminal at 7.30am on Monday morning to catch a ride to Plattsburg, I was told that all buses to the US were cancelled because of... snow. That one cleared up and we were on the road by 10am.
· The Plattsburg airport terminal has no food, so it was a truly horrible delivery pizza for lunch.
· At 3.30pm, we were told the flight was overbooked and offered a taxi ride to Burlington (VT) and a flight that would land at Orlando International after midnight. I did not take up the offer.

And here I am over New Jersey by now!

Philippe Champoux, our trusty photographer, lived through a similar saga on Sunday with Air Canada, but they got him to Tampa, an extra 2 hr drive to Daytona, by 2pm today.

And Alain, who shared my Delta adventure yesterday, and then got "cancelled" again at 6am this morning, is aboard this flight and my ride to Daytona in his rental car.

Hey - Some of those Harley Guys are OK!

I should be in my room by midnight. The plan for Tuesday is to pick up an XR1200 from The Motor Company fleet in Daytona, and hit some of the high sports while trying out the machine.

See you tomorrow!

Photo Credit : Jupiter Images