Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Meet the Smallwood

Under pallid florescent light and surrounded by clinical décor, people pace; sallow, tired, arms folded and tense.  In the corner a man braced against the wall rocks to-and-fro.  Elsewhere, another sits on a metal bench, staring blankly forward at nothingness, his legs in a sewing machine jiggle.  At a table a woman works through a…

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – The Irish Loop

This is the Newfoundland you’ve seen on every postcard ever sent, craggy red rock coasts, crashing blue waves, white foam, and seabirds mid-glide…

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Cape Spear, NFL

This is it, the end of the road. Literally. After 4801kms of travel from Toronto, the Multistrada is the eastmost motorcycle in North America. Cape Spear is (arguably) the most easterly point on the continent. In the mute of the overcast it is also barren, peaceful and contemplative.

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Sepia and Purple

Sepia tones of sunset have given way to the purples of dusk, casting the rugged moraine into subtle relief. One hundred and seventy kilometers from St. John’s on the highway one, Newfoundland becomes a heartbreakingly and beautifully desolate terrain of glacial erratics and tolts.

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Leif Ericson

Channel-Port-aux Basques, NL – In the deepening dusk light, women shaped like baking-powder biscuits look on disapprovingly, while children on bicycles wave and give a thumbs up. The Multistrada’s basso exhaust note reverberates through the tight winding streets, which serpent across each other in a tangle never un-knotted by city planners.

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – The Cabot Trail

Thwack!  Something hits me in the neck, hard.  Happens all the time riding, whatever it was probably just bounced off.  Three minutes later the rain starts, and I hunch my shoulders against the onslaught and “sting”.  Not just “sting”, the kind of sting that sends you careening to the shoulder.  The sort of sting that…

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Hot and Cold Running Llamas

After a while all the hotels blur together. Amenities begin to lose definition, as long as accommodations are clean, dry and comfortable they serve a purpose. Some are nicer than others, but after a while the running down Deltas meld with the aspiring Days Inns while Best Westerns roam the wilds of variable conditions and service. So, what do you do to stand out? How about hot and cold running llamas? Stonehame Chalets in Scotsburn, NS has it sorted.

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Histories

I know the man’s voice with its lecture hall delivery and resonance.  His white hair, with a hint of wild to it.  His jutting lower jaw.  Here in PEI, nearly the other side of the country the odds of running into an acquaintance should be slim.  Yet, despite probability forcing doubt on recollection, I know…

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – Confederation Bridge

Not even I should be able to get lost on PEI. At 224km long and 64km wide, lost takes a lot of doing on PEI. And yet here I am, subject of my own refusal to u-turn, on a red dirt road that the GPS shows as “almost” connecting to the 13? Or was it the 2? Or the 225? So then, the Ducati Multistrada isn’t an adventure bike… PEI’s dirt roads, a vivid surreal clay red that V. van Gogh would approve of, say otherwise.

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – On Roads

Percé, Quebec, no bones about it; this is a tourist town like so many others, save for coastal splendour that would make a landscape painter weep with frustration at being unable to capture its grandeur and subtlety, and an amazing driveway…

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – The Foam on the Bang

Gaspé Peninsula — Between hotelier Evelyn Pouliot of “Saint-Maxime Petit Hotel” and I, we’ve worked out the literal translation for her restaurant recommendation here in Mont-Louis – “The Foam on the Bang.”  Some things sound better in the original we decide, “La Broue dans l’Toupet” is one.  Figuratively, it’s a restaurant term for freakishly busy,…

Ducati: Many Roads of Canada – The Saint Lawrence

In 1535, as part of his second trip to Canada, Jacques Cartier became the first European explorer to sail the inland part of the Saint Lawrence.  Later, in 1613, the river served as the primary route the exploration of North America’s, pioneered by French explorer Samuel de Champlain.  Those facts from social studies never had…