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Bruce Howland

GWRRA#:  275382
Date of Birth: Nov. 3, 1951
Place of Birth: Hayward, Ca
Raised in: Castro Valley, Ca
Currently Living In: San Ramon, Ca

 As a kid growing up in Castro Valley, I was always on a bicycle.  In my sophomore year of High School I was stopped by the CHP for doing 35MPH on Castro Valley Blvd. ( a 25 MPH zone) I purchased my first motorcycle that summer, a 1967 Honda 160cc Dream.
Bruce's Bio Image2I had a few friends who rode Honda 50cc scooters and also a 125cc Vespa and we all had loads of fun zipping around town. I recall one girl’s father wouldn’t let her date me because I had a “big bike” and he knew about bikers, because he used to be one.  Alas, about 90 days later I crashed the bike when passing a panel truck that had pulled over to the right side shoulder and when I passed by, he turned left into a driveway.  It was a couple more years with the help of my dad before my mom let me have another bike. 

Bruce's Bio Image4  After graduating from High School I purchased a 1969 Triumph 500cc Daytona. Bruce's Bio Image6 My intentions were to ride across country to Woodstock. When the bike broke down just outside of Elko, Nevada, I found out about “negative ground” electrical systems, “Zenner Diode Heatsinks” and Neutral light sending wires when they rub on a drivechain.  The following month, I was busy on a Saturday morning wrenching on my Triumph when my dad walked into the garage, said: “What a beautiful Saturday for a ride, too bad you’re wrenching on that British bike”.  Then he hit the electric starter on his brand new Honda 750cc and rode off.  I had my own Honda 750 within a month for $100 down, total price was $1,295.00.  I rode that bike for four years before meeting my wife, Susan.  When I met her the bike had been painted black with lots of chrome with a padded chrome sissy bar.  Her parents were reluctant, but her mom liked me and we were married in 1973.
By 1976, the Kawasaki 900cc had entered it’s 2nd model year and I traded up. By then, we had been on a couple long rides and we added a full Vetter fairing, Calafia hard bags and throttle lock to make  long distance easier.  On a trip with my dad to Victoria, B.C. coming downhill into Port Angeles,Wa. I discovered the “dreaded Kawasaki front wheel wobble”.  Bruce's Bio Image8Luckily I didn’t crash.  Within a couple years, Kawasaki changed the steering head geometry and I sold the bike and purchased a 1Bruce's Bio Image10979 Yamaha XS 1100: four cylinders, air cooled, shaft drive. I added color matched Full Vetter fairing with Calafia hard cases and trunk, air horns, throttle lock and oil cooler.  Our first daughter was born in 1980 and the bike was rarely used.  By 1986 I had put about 6,000 miles on the bike when our 2nd daughter was born and Susan asked me to sell the bike because my job was “being a Dad”.  She said that when our youngest was 18 yrs old we could get another one.  I forgot she said that and when our youngest was 21yrs old, in 2007, I reminded her and she said OK lets go get a Gold Wing and we did.

Bruce's Bio Image12One day while riding in Fremont we happened upon a CA2Q member who rode with us to Sunol and he told us all about CA2Q and what a great group of folks they are.
We came to our first meeting in Nov.2007 and continue to stay, because they are a great group of folks, who love to ride.