When I was fourteen I played ball wearing funky colored board shorts that stretched all the way to my knees. Nobody wore them back home, then. My hair was bleach blond and long as hell. All I did was windsurf and water ski, because I was banned from the one thing that I really wanted to do...

My father laid down a very specific, life threatening law for me shortly after my seventh birthday - just after he'd caught me running around the couch in our living room with my arms stretched out in front of me as muffled engine noises came from my mouth. He asked sharply, "What the hell are you doing?" I stopped dead in my tracks, stood there still, and looked up with just my eye balls. "I'm riding a purple Honda?" He paused for a moment, looked up at the fireplace, than came back at me and delivered THE LAW. He said very calmly, "If I ever catch you on anything with two wheels and a motor, I'm gunna' fry your ass."

my Dad drove a tank in the war, and in life

So the first day I ever rode a motorcycle was about a month after he moved out, when a neighbor of ours brought home my brand new GS550E, on a trailer. I was 18. I started racing in three years time. They called me "The California Kid" from about 14 years old, till... well.....untill the day me and my new family left for the west coast, actually. I was 38.

--

Ever since I was a kid I knew California was where I belonged. Nobody in my family was into bikes while I grew up, and nobody in my family is into them now (But I'm still not done growing up, so there's still hope for them). Basically, I rarely fit in. But eventually I did find a place where I fit. A place a big part of me eventually began to call "Home..."

THE RACE TRACK.

I can't say it was the tracks back east that did it to me - that broke me of such a crippling shyness that simply walking through a restaurant was a struggle for me. And I can't say it was the bikes that did it - that taught me I could do what I set my mind to. It must have been the people, then. And the people are what we miss.
So what are we doing for this AFM break? We're going back.....
TO REPRESENT CALIFORNIA & the AFM.
TO REPRESENT DUCATI & MOTOITALIANO.
AND TO WIN!



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Eric "GoGo" Gulbransen, Tracy Gulbransen, Matthew Pilla, Motorcycle racing, AFM, Ducati 749R, 999R, race story, MotoItaliano