Back in July 2020 I had headed north on my 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade for a quick trip up to northern Ontario to experience whether I liked riding the big, bloated tourer on long trips and to visit the Abitibi Canyon. That trip was cut short by my own stupidity. I’d forgotten to check the condition of the tires and half-way through realized that the rear tire was bald. I scuttled home in the pouring rain, experiencing some irritating, almost show-stopping electrical issues on the way. If the suspense is killing you and you simply must read the full story, I wrote about it in my book “Riding in the Time of the Plague”. With a new rear tire installed and the troublesome electrical gremlin evicted, my thoughts once again turned northwards. I'm usually riding one of my old Guzzis, but I'd bought the Cavalcade for an absurdly low price as a two-up tourer, and somewhat to my surprise, found I really like it. The weather forecast promised a spell of warmish weather, and since the leaves in our area were just showing the first signs of turning, I figured that the cooler temperatures further to the north would mean that the leaves would be spectacular. I wanted to ride up the Lake Superior coast, explore a couple of favourite inland routes and enjoy the mind-freeing experience of riding quiet roads through inspiring scenery. More importantly, a good friend had just announced that he’d acquired an old Russian motorbike and sidecar. He’d even posted a couple of short videos showing him chuffing around his garden on it. I needed to see that bike. His house was on the way. I could cadge a meal and a bed for the night. A perfect excuse – as if I needed one. And there was one more destination I had in mind. A curious thing that had caught my attention while cruising the internet one day: something a little strange and possibly a little intimidating – but more of that later. The capacious hard luggage of the Cavalcade swallowed my camping gear, rain suit and extra clothes with room to spare. On my other bikes I usually have all kinds of misshapen objects strapped to the back with bungees and elastic netting, so it made a real change for my travel bike to be in stealth mode. Nobody could tell whether I was just heading down to the corner, or across the continent. Usefully, the side cases and top box were adorned with large, chromed, industrial strength locks, so I could safely park the bike and forget it, fairly confident that my stuff would be intact on my return.