Two and a half years ago, I met Gary France. He was on the last day of a 5-month long, 21,000 mile journey across the United States on a Harley-Davidson. And when I first got a look at him, he had every one of those 21,000 miles on his face.
Today, his book, "France in America", goes on sale...
The extraordinary 21,000-mile journey to explore the hidden corners of 27 American states unfolds through a down-to-earth record of what he saw, who he met and what he felt on the road, backed up with an impressive photographic inventory.
We met in Oceanside, CA. Stopping for a bite at Pizza Port in San Clemente, my friend Jack and I picked Gary's brain about motorcycle riding in jolly old England. From there, we took him along Ortega Highway, ending at Lookout Roadhouse for a view of Lake Elsinore. And that was it. He had to get back on his way up to Los Angeles, which was only another hour's ride north, to finish the trip.
At the time, I had written a blog piece about meeting Gary entitled, "The Unwritten Language of Motorcycling".
Subsequently, Gary wrote a blog piece about riding with Jack and I, "Motorcycle Philosophy and the Ortega Highway".
I can't help thinking about Gary's trip across the United States as I'm a month away from taking a 6-month road trip my own. Maybe someday I'll make it across the Atlantic to ride with him in the mother country.
Here are some photos of mine I took of the meeting...