He is Gregory S. Graig from Markham, Illinois, USA; she is his latest-generation Moto Guzzi California. Last summer they took a fantastic trip together, recounted by Gregory to the Guzzisti friends in the Moto Guzzi World Club, signing with his biker name “King Kong Ickki”: “I loaded my bike on an Airbus 310 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, en route to Paris, France on June 24th, 2015, and returned home in Markham on the first of August after more than a month touring Europe, through France, Italy, and Spain. After arriving in France, I retrieved my bike from customs, got directions to the nearest gas station, refueled, and then, having reached the French capital, I stayed in the hotel for four days, visiting the city, where I had already been some years before. Then, I left Paris via the E-15 and rode to Villefranche-sur-Saône and the St. Etienne area. I stayed there 4 days riding to Lyon and back to explore France.”
“Then I went straight to Italy via A6, E611, A40, E63, A9…I stayed in Como for four days, taking a tour of the surrounding area and visiting Mandello del Lario, where Moto Guzzi was born. I signed the guest book with my “street name,” namely my biker name from the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club 1986, Chapter 3, Chicago, Illinois, which is King Kong Ickki”.
“Then again I travelled by A9, A50, A7, E25, E80 in the direction of Menton, France. I stayed there for four days to see the area and the Principality of Monaco, riding on the streets of Montecarlo…then following the A8 after Menton on the way to Marseille. I drove around to discover the area, where I stayed 4 days; I was amazed at the variety of ethnicities of people I saw there! I left Marseille via E15 en route to Barcelona, Spain. My wife and I have visited Barcelona several times, but this time it was just me and my motorcycle! I stayed in the capital of Catalonia for 5 days, riding to places I hadn’t been before as well as visiting places around the city. Next stop: the Principality of Andorra via E9, A66 just to say I’ve been there and also went to Toulouse, France leaving via E72 en route to Merignac, France; a beautiful tour with 3 days of stay, then I left via the A83 en route towards Nantes, staying another 3 days touring the area. I left via E60 en route to the port city of Brest. I had read stories about Brest, so I wanted to go there.
Then leaving the E50, E401 on diverting in Saint-Malo, beautiful city, then the A84 towards Caen, where I stopped only one day (I hope to return and see more); then via A13, E44, A28, E402 on the Calais route for another stop of four days, visiting the area always riding my bike. The final journey by E15 with return to Paris, parking for 5 days and returning to Toronto, where I then drove up to the house, in Markham in Illinois.”
But the “on the road” summer wasn’t quite finished for Gregory: “After being home for a week and my wife and daughter going to Los Angeles, California, I took off via I-80, I-76, I-70, I-15, US101…stayed 14 days and returned to Markham via US 101, I-40, I-44, I-55, I-80. On I-40 outside Flagstaff, Arizona is a well preserved meteor crater, I had been there years ago…and wanted to get more pictures.”
“Then I rode to Washington DC for the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March (considered the largest African American demonstration, ed.), and rode around Maryland to see some of the state…” And Gregory, who has also won awards and trophies for his motorcycle trips, concluded by saying: “My MG California and I are one!”.