From Tuscany (California) to Rimini (South Carolina) and 78 Italian-inspired destinations in between, an Ohio motorcycle enthusiast lives la dolce vita American-style
John E. Frick, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based business owner, passionate motorcycle enthusiast and long-distance endurance rider, will be enjoying his next two-wheel adventure on a new Moto Guzzi Norge 1200. Moto Guzzi’s distinctive sport touring bike has been awarded to Frick for winning the “Grand Tour of Italy in America,” a unique motorcycle tour created by the American Motorcycling Association (AMA) as part of its AMA Road Riding Cycle Trader Tours With KOA Along The Way program. The “do it yourself” tour was designed to appeal to riders who appreciate both the thrill of the ride and the joy of discovering new destinations – in this case all inspired by Italian locales and culture.
Participants were challenged to chart their own course from an official list of destinations, ranging from towns like The Vatican, Louisiana, to venues such as the Tuscany Motel in Wildwood, New Jersey. Embodying the relaxed pace and spirit of Italy, the tour stipulated no time or mileage limits, allowing riders to travel at their own pace. Riders documented each official stop with a photo to provide proof of their visit. One point was earned for each destination in a participant’s home state; two points were awarded for stops visited in adjoining states, and three points for all
Competitors with 25 or more points earned a commemorative pin and were entered into a special sweepstakes. In addition to the Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 grand prize, sweepstakes winners received “motociclista style” wearables from Moto Guzzi’s new line of retro-inspired sweaters, as well as modern riding gear designed for the serious enthusiast.
All registrants received a complimentary Moto Guzzi towel, collectible pin, and a coupon redeemable for a new Moto Guzzi hat.
To claim his Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 grand prize, Frick visited more than 80 locations over the course of seven months. Stops included Argenta, Il; Milan, TN; Rimni, S.C.; Rome, MS; Genoa, WI; Verona, ND; Tivoli, NY; Sardinia, OH; Parma, MO, and, of course, Italy, TX. Frick also visited more than 25 Motor Guzzi dealerships, as well as Italian-themed locations such as the Italian-American Banquet Hall in Livonia, MI, and an Italian festival in Nutley, NJ.
“For me, every phase of the Grand Tour was fun, from planning and riding to finding a unique or interesting object for the photo to document the visit, even the record-keeping,” Frick said. “The learning element of the tour was certainly a big part of the attraction. For example, I previously had no idea that there is a city in Italy (population 32,000) with the name of Nola. So I decided to visit Nola, Mississippi, which may have a population of 10!”
With plenty of roads leading to Rome – or hundreds of other Italian-inspired destinations – Frick’s adventures prove that the Italian spirit is thriving on U.S. soil. And, when enjoyed on a legendary Moto Guzzi motorcycle, it’s double the dolce vita.