Brammo Blog: Ride for the Cure—Taking the Turquoise Trail to Madrid for a Cause

4 04 2014

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0-Blog post something  something…I’ve lost count.

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So Saturday was a group ride to Madrid. The ride to Madrid is, as you know if you are a frequent reader of my blog—which is my mom and my split personality (split personality just mentioned that he hates the blog and never reads it…so it’s me and my mom)—one of my favorite rides. I love that ride to Madrid.

This will be, as usual, a photo blog with very little writing by me…which, judging by the happy grunts and squeals that suddenly appeared in my head, Jason (my other personality) approves off.

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The ride is a large group ride that starts from various locations with everybody ending up in Madrid. Madrid was prepared with food and beer and music and, thankfully, one of the most beautiful days ever. New Mexico has many beautiful days, but the spring can be dicey. Often the winds blow at gale force. But Saturday was sunny and calm and just gorgeous.

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The ride was a benefit to raise money for the Cancer Center at the University I work at. So a win win for me….help a cause and ride my Empulse.

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I started from PJ’s Triumph motorcycle shop.

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There were a few bikes…but I expected more as there were 1200 riders last year. I forgot that some start in Santa Fe and ride south on the Turquoise Trail and some start at PJs and some…well just a bunch of starting points.

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I parked here for two reasons…1. It gives me room as I know a bunch of people will come over to ask about the bike…and 2. They were filming over here and I like to get into the shot…I’m vain like that.

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See…I follow the media.

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The film crew came over and filmed the Made in the USA sticker on the bike.

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People always ask, “Who signed your bike?” I tell them, “My close personal friends, Eric Bostrom and Shelina Moreda.” Nah, I tell them that the great people who race for Brammo signed my bike, likely against their will…or that they thought they were signing it for a good cause, rather than signing it for some old dude in New Mexico.

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Off we rode and the first and only stop of the ride was Madrid…I parked at first up in the way back…I found these Chili Peppers and decided to park between them…but then moved down to the front where the other riders where.

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Remember that I park where I want. And so does my coat. I parked here for the first hour…then went and found a place I could charge while I walked around and got lunch.

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Checking out the bike…I would stand and answer a number of questions…but then finally had to walk around to see the other bikes and the booths…and the killer jackets…

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The Duke City Rockers are friends and asked me to eat with them…

rockersRon has a classic bikers look…I got to get me one of those shirts…

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Found the Cancer Center table…fairly modest…I think the bikers intimidated them.

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This great art table…

air brush bikeThis crazy airbrushed bike…

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But I guess I should show some of the turn out.

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Many liked to park near the Mine Shaft Tavern.

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click the panorama….

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Including this big “bike”…

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more parking

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Another big bike with a car motor. Notice the group coming in. Bikes were constantly coming and going during the 3 hours I was in Madrid.

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Lots of nice custom rat bikes…

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A bit down the road, this great house had a few bikes in front.

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Of course I had to explore a bit of the outskirts of town….

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This is my “find rusty things in New Mexico” series. Not much rain, no salt…it takes a long time for things to rust here.

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Love this….

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Great barn? Storage? No idea, but I love it.

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Funny…these tractor treads will take centuries to dissolve…but still the cactus will remain…

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Steampunk heaven…

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train panorama


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Great old train…

rust5More rusty gears…I felt like a small Alice wandering around broken watch gears.

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more chargign

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A shout out to the Crystal Dragon for letting me charge as I ate and wandered.

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And it was time to head home…I forgot to mention that I got up way too early and took this “before dawn” photo in front of my house…

pre dawnThat flowering Crabapple is a pain, but it is pretty in early spring.

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Here it is the night before…just at dusk….

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Crazy pink.

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Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: http://www.brammo.com

For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: http://www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus.

 Just a couple of photos from recent days:

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“Take you daughter to work on a tractor” day. These special event days at work are getting more and more complicated.

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Back alley in Albuquerque. I love wall art and this photo makes me happy.

a panorama, so click…

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Brammo Blog: Winter is Coming…or is here…but the weather is kinda nice.

12 02 2014

BrammoBlog version 2: edition something or another…I’ve kinda lost track.

Ok…it’s been a while. Life continues to be beautifully hectic. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Still, it’s tough to get in some “lets write on the blog today” time.  And I, like too many times before, have no theme for today’s blog. So it is another Mish-Mash Photoblog. As I always say, more photos and less me is a good thing.

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So this winter has been very mild compared to the rest of the country, especially the Eastern part. Little snow and mostly warm days. Heck, next Sunday, Feb 16th, it is suppose to be 70 degrees. That wouldn’t be surprising in San Diego, but we are a mile above sea level and actually get winter here in Albuquerque.

First photos are from a week or two ago. It was in the mid fifties in town, so I thought, “Hey, it’s beautiful here in town, I should take a ride up to the top of the Sandia Mountains.” This was, as my lovely wife pointed out when I got back, a silly idea. The mountain is always 25-35 degrees colder, and usually much windier, making it feel even colder. She said, rolling her eyes (more on that later)**, “Gavin, it’s lovely here in town. Why ride up the mountain when you could have taken a beautiful, and warm, ride along the Rio Grande?” Damn…But she is smart and I am dumb. Plus I wanted some snow photos.

I hit a milestone on the ride. 5000 miles. Now I’m a year round rider…but I have a short commute. So to some, especially those people in California with nice weather and crazy long commutes to work, 5000 miles isn’t a lot. But for me, well I usually put 5000 miles a year on any bike I own. So the Empulse is just like another bike. In other words, I treat my electric motorcycle like I treated my previous motorcycles. And that is a good thing.

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I got a late start on the ride. It was really 3 o’clock…I am horrid at changing my clocks with daylight savings time.

I was about 4 miles into my ride when I stopped to get that photo. I would have to hurry a bit to get up the mountain and back before it got really cold and dark. The backside of the mountain faces East and gets dark well before the west side where Albuquerque lies.

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Snow!

I’m at the Ski Basin parking area at around 8,600 feet. The peak is another 2000 feet…but I didn’t make it that far this day. I stopped here as my start was a bit too late. Maybe next weekend. But I did get some photos.

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Sandia Peak Ski Area. I park where I want. Plus the ski day was over and only a couple of people where left.

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I used a twitter photo treatment here to get the dreamy effect from my iPhone. One day I’ll have to get a nice camera, but the phone is just so convenient.

Sad story…see the people on the stairs? They where helping a young man, 12 or 13, down the stairs. He had a leg brace and arm brace…obviously he had an accident on the hill and was in temperory casts till he could get proper care in town. One of the people, likely his brother, was helping him but was still wearing his ski boots. Walking down stairs in ski boots is hard…walking down stairs in ski boots while helping an injured person is near impossible. He stumbled, fell and took his brother down with him. It was painful to see, and to hear…I went over to help, but there were enough of them helping. Slowly, after much screaming, they got him to the car. After that I really didn’t want to keep going to the top and decided to get home while I was still healthy and whole. Casts and braces and screaming made me realize that going further on the slightly icy roads was probably not a wise choice.

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So, 58 degrees at home. Below freezing at the ski area. Almost 60 miles round trip. Use 75% of my battery. A nice ride. A river ride would have been smarter.

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So that was a couple of weekends ago. This weekend I was at home and I took a ride just before sunset. I thought, “Gavin, you should get a nice sunset photo up in the foothills at the base of the mountain.” And so….

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Up at Elena Gallegos. A nice picnic area. These photos are facing to the East, away from the setting sun.

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You can see the orange of the sunset reflected on the battery support bar.

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Panorama. Click, if on the internet, to make bigger.

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Panorama. I cast a long shadow. Like Peter Pan, I often have to sew my shadow’s feet to mine or it runs away.

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Also facing East…but a bit later as the sun was further down.

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Now facing West.

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The iPhone is not great at taking photos into the sun. I had to play with this a bit and it is still grainy. Oh well. Still pretty.

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I got the sunset photo bug the day before taking those photos. I was leaving my brother’s house just at sunset and took a nice sunset photo. Now to get a photo of the bike and the sunset is tough. Usually the bike is way too dark, or the sunset is way too washed out and bright. So what I sometimes do is take 2 photos and merge them. One focused on the bike and the second focused on the sunset. So that day I took two photos and downloaded them to my computer. When I went to merge them I mistakenly added a third photo. So my final merged photo added a little something to my sunset image. This is my Photoshop Fail photo…though I do like it. The Clownfish photo fits in very nicely with the color scheme. Happenstance can be a wonderful thing.

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We get a lot of orange and pink sunsets in New Mexico.

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Let’s  keep with the theme of random recent photos. I was with my brother and his wife for a bite to eat at 2 Fools. An Irish pub in town. I parked out front like I always do. There is never an spaces as the pub is in a busy area of Knob Hill near the University of New Mexico. But I can always find space between two cars. That nights spot was a biggish space and not at all a tight fit. I parked dead center giving good space for the cars to easily get out without hitting my bike.

I come out and two Harleys have parked on either side of my bike…very close to me. In fact, I wouldn’t have been able to move my handlebars if the bike to my right didn’t have a raised handlebar. No harm, no foul…just hope that if I ever cram in next to them that they don’t get bent out of shape over it.

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It was a bit tighter than the photos shows it. Nothing horrid. I’ve parked that close to friends before. But that was friends.

I was the Street Fighter meat in their Cruiser sandwich.

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Speaking of sandwich…I took a ride on the Range….

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Or “to the Range” would be more accurate. Yummy wedge salads and wonderful green chili stew.

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Well that about does it for this blog post. Not as exciting as some posts…better than others.

Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus.

I was riding home from a Farmington clinic when I saw this building. I was pretty sure it was a site used in Breaking Bad…but it looked more run down than I expected. So I grabbed a quick photo as I drove past. I know Breaking Bad is over, but I can now add this to my list of known sites. I will have to jump on the Empulse and get a photo one day soon. It will be the furthest site on my pretend tour.

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It is an abandoned gas station near the Zia Pueblo.

Here is an image that shows it in Breaking Bad as a functioning gas station:

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**My wife’s eye rolling is legendary. I once wrote about it in a story of when I was helping a tarantula…well here it is:

Every September during mating season when the male tarantulas are out looking for love I will stop my car on the road whenever I see one of these 8 legged Casanovas to make sure they don’t get run over. One time an especially lethargic tarantula was taking too long, so I took of my sweater and let him climb on it and then dragged him across the road. My wife was sitting in the car, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. Like making a circle on your stomach with one hand and tapping your head with the other, it’s tough to do. But it is possible with practice…and she gets lots of practice with me around.





BrammoBlog: Fall, Parades, Rivers, Planes and Such…a Hodge Podge of photo goodies.

10 11 2013

Brammo Blog Ver 2.0 : Three weekends of unrelated rides=One blog post as I am lazy.

Again, mostly photos and few words. Always a win win.

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WEEKEND ONE

A few riders get together on the 3rd Sunday to do a monthly ride. This month is was one of my favorite rides. From Albuquerque down along the Rio Grande to Los Lunas. Only six of us this ride and the group was eclectic…Scooters, a BMW, my Electric and a 70cc Honda (updated to a 125cc engine).

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25 miles south of Albuquerque

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After a burger I bid adieu to the group and headed back to take some photos of the ride (I didn’t want to stop on the way down and slow down the group. I knew I could get some nice photos on the way home. Riding with a group, even a small group of 6, is always fun, but riding alone allows for more stops and the personal freedom to take any path I want.)

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You know where the river is by seeing the trees–turning yellow as Cottonwoods do.

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Panorama…click to embiggen

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We almost never have LOW fire danger. The rains that flooded Colorado gave us enough rain to help us out greatly. We actually went from 4 inches below average….to average. Still, a needed influx of moisture.

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The Rio Grande. This is actually a TON of water for this time of year. Usually it is a stream.

Still this would hardly be thought a river in on the East Coast…or Midwest…or Oregon.

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Looks fairly impressive…but likely 2 to 4 feet deep at the most.

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After crossing the river I decided to take a slightly different route. Instead of jumping on the highway and blasting home I took a new road that runs beside the airport. Much to my delight I found both an “Airport Landing Viewing Area”…which was so-so, and a much more interesting Airplane Graveyard

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Gif should move??

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Broken aircraft!!

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I will have to come back and explore some more. I’m fairly certain that the chance of my being arrested is not zero.

Oh well, the things we do….

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Some time in the last couple of weeks I hit 4000 miles on the bike. Not bad for 6 to 7 months of riding and having a commute of only 5 miles each way. I’ve more than doubled my commute-only miles.

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SECOND WEEKEND: Just a couple of photos.

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Fall is lovely everywhere. Even in the high desert. Though most of these trees are not really native trees.

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I love Love LOVE this wall of Ivy in Fall.

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THIRD WEEKEND:

Big ride this week was the Marigold Parade/Day of the Dead Parade in the south valley.

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Loaded up and ready to “head” out. And yes that is a high tech storage device of laundry basket and bungee cords.

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The motorcycle-scooter groups have ridden this parade many years in a row. We are usually near the front, but this years application was lost and we were put in the back–almost not allowed to ride. We were number 83. We were 8 last year. It is much more fun to be in the front because: When you get to the end you get to see all the other floats and marchers go by at the end, and you get to be in the middle of everything during set up. We are at the back and on a dirt lots a few hundred feet from all the crazy people on stilts and bad drum circles. Hmmm, maybe the back isn’t so bad.

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My candy basket. I had a bunch more in the back and threw every bit of it.

Parade participants need to throw candy to the children lining the streets. A fun idea, but the kids are crazy for candy and I always wonder what will happen if I run one over. Nothing good likely. This year I didn’t have any issues, but a guy on a horse almost took out a kid running into the street for a piece of candy. My heart skipped a beat, and the guy on the horse just about crapped himself. The kid? Didn’t even notice and kept running for more candy. Definitely not the Rose Bowl Parade security team. Heck I was grabbed twice as I drove by…and my peripheral vision was ZERO so both times where quite startling. One guy wanted to take a selfie with me. I said ok. The other guy…around 40 years old, grabbed me as I was actually moving and wanted me to give him candy. I used some less than kind sock monkey language about grabbing my %$&#* arm, reached into my candy basket and held it out toward him and then threw it to the kids behind him. I don’t like when the adults take candy that is for the kids…and I really don’t like somebody grabbing my arm while I’m driving and have limited vision. Yes, I was only going Parade speed of 1-2 miles per hour…still, I didn’t like it and I hope the big sock monkey head muffled my voice enough that the kids didn’t hear what I said to the guy.

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Parade group 81 was an amazing family.

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Parade group 80 had Oscar. Oscar was great, but a bit bored waiting for the parade to start…like most of us.

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A Selfie.

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Group 81. The family portrait.

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The rest of Group 80, Oscar’s group, showed up just in time.

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This guy walked by while we waited.

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This low-rider VW drove by. Great convertible flat top. I have never seen a low-rider/low-topper before.

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Moved from the dirt to the road…about time to go.

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A posed shot. Sadly no photos from the Parade. Hopefully I will find some on-line. No way I can ride, throw candy and take photos with this head on.

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And back home…well not home. This is my brother’s house. The parade is on Sunday and that is the day we get together to watch football.

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And the head is put, Indiana Jones like, on a protective pillar to sit for future generations to find and wonder over. What was “man” like in 2013? From this headdress we assume he was clinically insane.

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Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus.

I do the Day of the Dead paper-mache heads as it allows me to wear it to work for the sick kids (they love it), plus the parade (see above) and I can wear it for our family halloween party. Here I am in my Breaking Bad/Day of the Dead/Sock Monkey Head.

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Three events helps to mitigate the hours put in making an oversized head.

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And here is a few bonus photos from this weekends Zoo trip.

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I love riding the motorcycle to the Zoo as I get great parking. The down side is, unless I get there at the same time as somebody I know and can throw my helmet in their trunk, I have to carry my helmet around. I used this to my advantage yesterday as I was able to have a little photo op with the Zebras.

Of course the real reason I went to the Zoo was….

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to see Addy and feed the ducks and “big fish”…

but also to see the new addition to the Zoo:

Daisy the baby elephant.

elephantsWith Mom and big sister. She is hella cute. Skinny and FAST. Adorable.

Photo by Deanna Stevenson as all mine are in shadow. She is a much better photographer than I am. If only I could get her obsessed with taking photos of my motorcycle, well the photos would clearly improve.





BrammoBlog: “Tour Lightly”…Or “I am the one who’s engine never Knocks”

30 09 2013

Brammo Blog: ver2. A beautiful day: a slightly melancholy yet joyful ride.

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So it was Saturday and it was just beautiful out. Fall came on fast, like a welcomed visit by a long-missed friend. Fall is wonderful for riding, especially in New Mexico. Cool, crisp, clean air accompanied by endless blue skies.

And it was the Saturday before the big Breaking Bad finale. I knew I wanted to take a long ride. I knew I wanted to ride alone. And I knew I should take that Breaking Bad self-tour just one more time. Plus I had added a new locale or two. So off I went.

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Like always I started off from my house. I was planning a new route and wanted to see how it went. I usually start with Walt’s house, but that always seemed like starting with dessert. So this time I was going from HIGH to LOW. So I would ride to the base of the Sandia Mountains (Hank’s House) and hit stops along the ride down to Los Pollos Hermanos down in the South Valley.

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La Casa de loco…

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Noon. 70 degrees. Ready to ride. 2nd gear Sport mode is my default riding in the city gear.

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So Hank’s house is just below the foothills and next to a nice hiking trail. A great place to start.

This is about 6 miles from my house and the furthest point East and also the highest point. It’s, literally, all downhill from here.

(A quote my wife made on our wedding day.)

(ps. No photoshop on any images. Just beautiful New Mexico sky. My mother thinks the cinematographer of Breaking Bad is a genius. I tell her the person who decided to film in New Mexico is the genius…the landscape begs to be filmed…but yes, the cinematographer is very talented.)

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Next stop is waiting for “relocation” at the Dam.

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Notice the object on top of the dam.

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It is  a full-sized, real vacuum cleaner. Gosh I do love the sense of humor of my fellow Albuquerquen’s.

(and yes, I did use an effect on this image. But it is the only one.)

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Yes, a lot of “Dam” photos. It was a new location, and it was a nice photo stop. I understand why Vince Gilligan used this location as it is quite striking.

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The next stop is one of least favorite stops. But I get asked to show Saul Goodman’s office all the time. Well a while ago it was an empty store front and it looked like it did in the show. But it has been bought and turned into a bar and now looks nothing like his office.

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Still, Hooligans is not a bad name for Saul’s office to be called.

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Next is the highlight of any Breaking Bad tour. Walt’s house.IMG_7981

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I’ve been told I need to show more than just the bike at the locations. So here is a “selfie”. The helmet is kept on to protect the innocent.

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Off to have an “A1 Day” at the Octopus Car Wash.

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Next is another “new” location. I hadn’t stopped here till my nephew came to visit from South Carolina. He loved the episode where Walt shows up naked with amnesia at a grocery store.

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The fun story here is that this store is in a mildly bad neighborhood and when I took my nephew on the Breaking Bad tour earlier this summer, his mom and my wife wouldn’t let us get out to take photos. We had to stay in the car and take photos out the window. Lame. The area isn’t that bad. It’s called the International District, so how bad could it be? Acutally the area just named itself that recently, putting up signs. Welcome to the International District. Everybody still calls it by it’s older name, “the war zone.”

I stopped to take a couple of photos. Nothing happened. It really isn’t that bad of an area.

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Next is a brand new location I had never visited before. Mostly because this house is only shown at night so I thought it would be hard to recognize. But it is actually a nice house…and look: SOLAR PANELS”. Gus Fring is eco friendly!

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No Breaking Bad tour is complete without a stop at the Crystal Palace, aka the Crossroads Motel. Just looking at it and you know that the room are sticky.

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Panorama

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Next is a stop at Java Joe’s: or Tuco’s place.

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And then on to Jesse Pinkman’s grandmother’s place.

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Not a scheduled stop, but just a couple of blocks away is The Dog House. Used a couple of times in the show. Jesse buys a gun there. Jesse gives away a wad of money to a homeless guy there.

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Then off to one of the saddest locations: Jesse’s apartment.

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And then the furthest location on the tour. Twisters. Also know as….Los Pollos Hermanos.IMG_8007

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I actually had to bend over and tie my shoe on my way in…I felt like I should have a magnetic box to place on a car.

I think this place should buy an old Blue Volvo and park it permanently outside.

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The booth Walt sat in for his first visit. I wanted to park my bike there, but my helmet will have to do for now.

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95 has no symbolism…Just my order number. The food isn’t great, but I like to support them for being part of Breaking Bad’s history.

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I love that they keep this painted on their wall.

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And then I headed back home.

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3 hours. 55 miles. About a dozen stops. And lunch. A nice day. And the temp jumped up to a San Diegoesque 72 degrees.

I will miss Breaking Bad as the show is so good. I’m glad Albuquerque was a large part of the show. But I think I’m done with the tour.

Luckily I have tons of great rides around town. So this might be my last Breaking Bad tour…and definitely my last Breaking Bad/Brammo photo tour.

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Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

No bonus this time…sorry Proto.





Spreading the Gospel of Brammo at 8000 feet.

6 09 2013

Brammo Blog: Mesa Verde felt like a Church and I was a Disciple.

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I have to admit that I had a hippie upbringing as a child. Southern California in the 60’s, a cat named Love, VW camper out front that Mom had to park on a hill to get a rolling start. Nature, open spaces, and quiet beauty have always been a draw to me. And it doesn’t get much more beautiful, open and quiet than Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.

I took a nice little 3 1/2 day weekend and headed north. Mesa Verde is only 250 miles from Albuquerque (I should freaking go every weekend), so not “far”, but too far to ride the Empulse R unless I wanted to take a few more days off work—which is what I will do next time.**

I didn’t take enough days off to drive to and from Mesa Verde by electric motorcycle, but I really wanted to ride the Empulse once I got there. Electric motorcycles excel at riding through nature. So quiet and smooth, you feel so attuned to the surroundings. Plus Mesa Verde has some cool twisties.

So off to U-haul to rent a trailer.

(hint to Brammo…Make an Empulse Trailer. I will buy one)

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Loaded up and ready to go.

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IMG_7673Like Sammy Hagar would sing/scream: “I can’t drive “backwards” 55″

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So I get a bit of a late start (this will figure into the blog later). I worked half a day Thursday and then went to get the trailer at about 1pm. When I got to the U-haul location where I reserved the trailer I noticed they only had a tiny trailer with 8 inch wheels. Their first question,

“So you don’t plan to go over 35 mph do you?”

Me: “Well yes, I am driving to Colorado and back.”

Them: “Oh, this trailer can’t do that. It is for in-town towing only.”

Ignoring the bigger question of why U-haul is renting trailers not much bigger than the Radio Flyer pull-cart my granddaughter gets pulled in around the Albuquerque Zoo, and trying to keep the incredulous look off my face, I ask, “What person would rent a motorcycle trailer for 4 days if they are only using it in-town?”

So off to a second U-haul stop where I get the trailer shown above. It doesn’t have a ramp and they want to send me to a third U-Haul location, but luckily I have a ramp at home. So with that bit of trouble over I am finally good to go. I get home, load up and it is suddenly 3pm (I had planned to leave before 2–I guess a hour late isn’t too bad). Deanna usually gets home from work at 3:30, so I decide to wait to say goodbye before leaving.

I hit the road just after 3:30pm. Since it is a 4 1/2 hour trip I figure I should get to the park at 8 pm (right at sunset). Off I go.

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IMG_7680

And, as predicted, I am just outside of Mesa Verde as the Sun is setting (the edge of one of the Mesas is seen at the left of the photo).

Panorama Photo. If on the intrawebs, please click the photo for the bigger.

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So I get to the entrance at about 10 after 8 and the Entrance Booth is un-manned (un-womanned too). With nobody home and I drive on through. I notice a sign that says: “No Trailers beyond Morefield Campground.” I wonder if Morefield Campgrounds is before or after the Far View Lodge where I’m staying. Even so I figure they can’t mean a small little motorcycle trailer, right.

It’s 15 miles from the Entrance to the Far View Lodge where I had reservations for a couple of nights. It is rapidly getting DARK. I’m about 5 miles in when I pass a second sign that says, “Morefield Campground. No Trailers beyond this point.” OK. Hmmm, well I have reservations and there was nobody to ask at the Entrance Booth nor here in the middle of nowhere. So I drive on.

Suddenly I am no longer just the “I park where I want” guy; I am now the “I trailer where I want” guy. Both guys can get into trouble when on Federal Land (see Trinity Site blog).

So about a mile past that last sign I drive by a Ranger going the other way. And I see the near instant U-Turn of impending doom. When the authorities pass you and immediately make a U-Turn it is never a good thing. Ask my wife (that is another story though—short version—a child had been taken in a red car. My wife has a red car. Cop jumps a medium doing a U turn behind her and pulls her over. She starts to roll down her window when she notices the cop is now in the middle of the road with his gun drawn and pointed straight at her. He yells at her to put both hands out the window .Our daughters are in the back seat. My wife freaks out. She does everything she is asked, but is in tears from fright. The cop says, “Sorry, wrong make of car” and takes off. A man points a gun at my wife while our kids are in the back seat and he says, “sorry”. I know he has a job to do…a hard job…still, though this happened 15 years ago, I would like to politely punch him in the face. Especially as I have a police officer friend who tells me that anytime a cop pulls a gun he is prepared to use it. And if they fire they are not shooting to wound, but to kill.)

Blue Lights start flashing and I “pull” over. Pull over is a bit of a misnomer as there is no place to pull off the road. So I guess I more accurately “stop” in my lane.

Now the Ranger walks briskly up and I ask, “Do you want me to move further up the road and find a place to pull over?” He ignores this and I notice that he is actually quite angry…more so than I expected.

Him: “Did you see the signs back there?” He was red in the face and instantly pissed off.

Me: “Well it is pretty dark.” Perhaps not the best reply.

Him: “There are two signs that say, No Trailers. Did you stop at the Booth and get clearance?” He looked at his watch. “Oh, maybe they had already closed?”

Ok, I see that I am not going to get shot. He is pissed, but he hasn’t moved his hand toward his hip. Do Rangers even carry guns? I didn’t want to find out.

Me: “I’m sorry. Nobody was at the booth. I have a two night stay up at Far View Lodge and, yes I saw those signs, but I couldn’t ask anybody at the empty booth and thought I would ask up at the lodge. I just drove up from Albuquerque and I really wasn’t’ sure what to do. When I made my reservations nobody told me I couldn’t bring a motorcycle trailer. I ride an Electric Motorcycle and they don’t have the range, yet, to get here from Albuquerque. But I really wanted to ride it up here at Mesa Verde as it seems the perfect way to see the park without being loud and invasive.” A bit wordy…I might have been more nervous than I thought at the time. I really didn’t want to turn around and look for a room for the night some place outside the park.

He walked away and radioed somebody my license plate and name and came back a totally different man.

“Ok, just let the lodge know you have the trailer and have a great visit.” Holy Invasion of the Body Snatchers, he was smiling and pleasant. And then he left without another word.

On a side note: A) the road is twisty, but I’ve been on worse. I had no issues with the trailer, even in the near pitch black. B) I saw that same Ranger 3 more times over those two days. We had a pleasant conversation each time. He asked about the bike and my trip and was a very nice guy. I wonder if they have had some major issues with trailers in the past. When I told the Lodge about having a trailer and that I was to let them know, they didn’t seem to care at all. And at the Lodge there was another trailer parked right next to mine. So not sure what the fuss was about, but now I know to not bring a trailer…or get there earlier so I can get permission at the gate.

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But enough of all that. It was a 5 minute delay and not really a big deal…more important is this:

Mesa Verde.

IMG_7694click to embiggen

and

IMG_7738click…Cliff Palace. An amazing place.

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It is just so beautiful. And perfect for riding an Electric Motorcycle. More on that in a bit. For now…more photos.

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The weather was just insanely nice. Cool in the morning. A bit warm and intermittent cloud bursts in the late afternoon. Clear and crisp in the evenings.

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There are multiple cliff dwellings throughout the park.

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IMG_7776Panaroma. I call this “Life finds a Way”. The Mesas stand about 2 thousand feet above the surrounding area and get tons of lightning strikes, especially at this time of year with the summer monsoons. Huge areas are burned. But life, and flowers, keep coming back.

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IMG_7785Panaroma. Many dwellings are in the cliff. But there are ancient dwellings up on the Mesa tops too. The Native Americans do not want us to use the word “Ruins.” The spirits of the people are still here.

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This shows Eric Bostrom’s signature and his “signature” helmet.

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close up

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The mountains in the background are where Durango is. I love Durango. I love Mesa Verde. What a great area.

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I avoided most of the rain while riding, but I was often the highest thing on the Mesa and wondered if my electric motor and battery pack would attract or repel any lightning. I must of seen close to 100 lightning bolts in the time I was there. Not flashes, but bolts.

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A little back story. This is the “Sleeping Ute” mountain. Link here: http://deewebs.homestead.com/ute.html. The natives believed this was an ancient warrior god who was wounded in battle and had laid down to sleep and heal his wounds. I had to take some photos with this in the background.

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Cloud burst hitting Cortez, Colorado

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After a bit of rain, I went back to the Mesa Top Loop at sunset. Fun and beautiful…and I was the only one out at that time of day (the road closes at sunset…so I was pushing it a bit and thought I might end up getting my second unfriendly Ranger visit…but I finished before the road was locked shut. Lots of wildlife out and about at sunset. I didn’t have any issues as my motorcycle was driving past them before they knew I was there. Quiet is nice. One thing of interest. I’m use to white tailed deer. At Mesa Verde they have black tailed deer. They are bigger, and for some strange reason look dumber than white tailed deer. Hard to explain. They just have a slightly dim, goofy face.)

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IMG_7844 copy

Cliff Palace at sunset.

I mentioned about how nice it is to ride the electric motorcycle in nature. Example: early in the day when I was touring the Cliff Palace there was a group of Harleys parked up where the Empulse is in this photo. Well when they took off everybody in the tour turned and looked over as the Harleys were loud and suddenly they were part of our tour…or so it seemed. It’s not a horrid thing I guess, but it feels so much better to be moving so quietly through that place that the deer don’t even run from you.

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And the next day it was time to head back. Goodbye mesa tops. Hopefully in a few years as the tech improves, and there is more quick charging infrastructure, I won’t be trailering my next Brammo motorcycle.

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And coming down off the mesas I can see my next stop…Durango.

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Why stop in Durango? Ska Brewing. Had to pick up a few shirts and hats and such. And the Ska Brewing truck matches my black and white themed bike.

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And I had to get some Breakfast while I was there.

+++

Till next time:

Gavin

**Next time I go to Mesa Verde: I can ride from home to Cuba, NM. 80 miles of highway is pushing it, but I will likely stop for breakfast (a real breakfast, not a Ska Brewing breakfast) and get a few more miles of range by charging at that stop. I will charge to full in Cuba and then drive from Cuba to Bloomfield. I can stay the night in Bloomfield (never thought I would say that) and charge overnight. Next day, drive from Bloomfield to Durango. Charge while getting breakfast. Then Durango to Mesa Verde. Charge overnight. Couple of days in Mesa Verde and head home. Adds a night in Bloomfield each way (boring), but then I’m only taking the bike which is nice. And getting lots of riding in, which is nicer. There is some beautiful country between Albuquerque and Mesa Verde. Charging at Cuba could be a pain, but I think there should be 220 at the local RV park.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

Bonus:

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some photos, without the bike, from my trip:

IMG_7683morning from my room…at 8135 feet. Panorama.

IMG_7850+++

IMG_7687Excavation of a Pit House (approx 600 AD)

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IMG_7690Work being done on this cliff dwelling

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IMG_7720Cliff Palace from above.

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IMG_7748Cliff Palace from the far side heading out.

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IMG_7745A Kiva at Cliff Place.

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Inside a Kiva that was rebuilt at Spruce House.

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Bonus Blog. A Brammo Blog Breaking…story. Sorry couldn’t think of another B word that fit.

18 07 2013

This is the part where I went snooping and asking questions and Brammo gave me some information to get me to leave them alone.

A Brammo Blog Exclusive

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0. Number 8.

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Ok, so if you follow Brammo on the Facebook you will get some tid-bits of information and some pretty photos. Like this one:

Eric Bostrom doing a sick wheelie on the Empulse RR at Thunderhill Speedway.

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Or this one:

A bunch of Brammo bikes getting ready to head to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull United States Grand Prix, featuring the MotoGP World Championship

http://www.mazdaraceway.com/red-bull-us-grand-prix

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Or you might find photos where Brammo is trying to be “Artsy” and come across this:

A pretty photo of the Team heading by Mt. Shasta on the way to Laguna Seca.

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And if you’re really sneaky you will follow Brammo on Twitter and find even more photos and information.

Like this:

What we see is a new rider cleaning Eric Bostrom’s bike…or at least pretending to for the camera. Is this a new rider?

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Still, one photo of a new rider all in Leathers at the Brammo paddock does not instantly make me think that rider is part of Brammo’s team of riders.  Brammo gets quite a few guest riders showing up to check out the bikes. Just last week Chip Yates leather-ed up and took a ride on the TTX as part of a story for Motor Trend Magazine:

 http://www.motortrend.com/.

But seeing Mr. Yates ride that Zebra and Neon Yellow Empulse TTX,  while doing a story on Brammo, didn’t make me think he was joining Brammo’s Team.

It did make me think Ms. 93 would be ticked off if he hurt her bike.

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I just thought this rider, all in leathers, was a friend of the Team. Pro Motorcycle racing is a fairly small group and they do tend to hang out and have fun together when not trying to beat each other on the track.

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Then I find this image:

photo(1)

Test rides are one thing, but few companies let test riders do wheelies on their hella expensive race bikes….

Instantly my “what’s going on here” senses went off. Either that or my vertigo has returned. Damn you wretched gravity and rapidly spinning World.

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After taking a moment to regain my balance, I continue my snooping around looking for clues. (Dan Brown has my permission to cast me in his next novel. Is the title: The book that didn’t sell and ended Dan Brown’s career because the main character was boring as hell, too long?)

Snooping didn’t take long as I quickly found that Adrian Stewart, Brammo’s Head of Marketing, has just that day “liked” Shane Turpin on the Facebook. Hmmmm…the plot, as they say, thickens. Not unlike my blood due to my skyrocketing cholesterol from too many breakfast burritos. Which might also explain my vertigo.

And finally I find this photographic evidence:

With this final clue I assume Brammo is adding a new racer to their stable. After all, you get your name on a windshield and you’re part of the team.

So we have a new Brammo rider for Laguan Seca:

Shane Turpin

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turpin

A well known and well liked rider. He is a Pro, especially at his home track at Miller Sport Park in Utah.

http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/

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Which raises the question: Will he be riding for Brammo this year at Laguna Seca AND at Miller? And maybe even more races? I don’t know any of that…yet :)

And when I bug Brammo enough about how my “master sleuthing” (Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch has nothing on me…except fame, fans and a really crazy long name) leads me to believe that there is a new Brammo rider being added, I get this short reply:

Shane Turpin
“Tornado Turpin # 14″
Brammo building the dream team…

Which is a bit much in marketing terms. I would have gone with a somewhat more nuanced approach, but I put it here for the readers.

Congrats to Brammo and to Shane. And I really hope I get to see him race at Miller this year. That would be cool.

http://shaneturpin.com/

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More to come…Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

Bonus:

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Wait…if having your name on the windshield makes you part of the team….

rr tank turpin

I must be on the TEAM!!! Looks pretty authentic to me…





Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe? Brammo Blog goes riding.

16 07 2013

Brammo Blog is going the distance, Brammo Blog is going for speed. Brammo Blog is all alone, all alone but I got no needs.

Brammoblog Ver 2.0. #7

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This will, like most of my blogs, be mostly a photo blog. Lots of photos and less of me. Trust me, it’s a good thing. There was a Classic Motorcycle show up in Santa Fe and a few of my friends were going, and a few of my friends actually had bikes in the show. So I hopped on the Empulse and headed to the Turquoise Trail. The trip would be about 65 miles and take an hour if I drove on Interstate 25. Or the trip would be 73 miles and take about an hour and a half if I took the Turquoise Trail. To me this was classified as a NO-Brainer.** I-25 is nice the first time you drive it. Fast and actually pretty for a highway. But it gets boring fast. On the other hand, I could ride the Turquoise Trail everyday and never get bored. **No-Brainer: Most would say just about everything about me could be classified that way.

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First short stop. Approx. 30 mins and about 6% added back to the bike.

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I was going to ride up with some of my friends, but most of them trailer-ed up their scooters to the show. The few that drove were on classic, older bikes and had a top speed of around 45 to 50. So I went ahead and stopped at Coffee at Dawn up in Cedar Crest for a snack and some charge. It was only 17 miles into the ride, but I knew the scooters would be another 30 minutes, so why not chill and charge?

Nice people, a tasty raspberry danish and a beautiful morning…I sat for a while till I heard the sound of two strokes riding up the road. I waved them on and went inside to pay my bill, thank the staff for the electrons and then hopped on Walter and took off.

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This bike ended up in the Classic show competition.

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Next hella short stop was in Madrid for this photo. I always have to stop in Madrid for some reason or another.

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Did you know that Madrid had the first Lit Baseball field west of the Mississippi?

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Here I am behind William and his beautiful Lambretta. He is looking for the train at this signal, or doing his Superman pose. Or both.

There was no train and we ended up going around the road blockers. Hooligan style all the way to Santa Fe.

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I got to the Classic Motorcycle show doing a large part of the ride at 65 mph and almost none of my riding at city speeds (7 miles in town, 1 mile though Madrid).

I drove 75 miles and got there at 13%. Showing off my mad math skillz: that’s 13% minus the 6% I recouped at Coffee at Dawn = I would have gotten to Santa Fe with about 7% of the battery. A bit close, but doable. Check out my charging amps, baby.

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Here I am getting some high power charge (24 amps). I looked ahead and found out that there is a clipper creek charger 2 blocks from the Motorcycle show at Go Solar.

I emailed the owner and he told me he would reserve the charger for me. Thanks PlugShare app….and….

IMG_7210Thank you Go Solar.

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IMG_7216Though the “CAR” Charger sign is discriminatory against electric motorcycles.

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Now that I knew I would have plenty of charge to get home, it was off to the show.

IMG_7167

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IMG_7142

IMG_7143Scooters, mopeds…IMG_7144Motorcycles

IMG_7145Some for sale…

IMG_7146Most not…

IMG_7147Blue bikes…

IMG_7148Dirt bikes….

IMG_7149Shiny bikes

IMG_7150Custom bikes

IMG_7151shiny custom bikes

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IMG_7156

IMG_7157

IMG_7160Cannonball winning bikes

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Panorama—click to embiggen—

and dang…look at what doing a panorama did to the gentleman in the middle. At least I hope that is a Panorama error. If not, I ain’t sleeping tonight

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IMG_7159Another Panorama, though not a scary one.

This panorama also includes the smartest person there. It was HOT and SUNNY

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So I decided that it wasn’t right for all these bikes to have fun and Walter was all alone. I went back and got him and figured I would charge later.

Now the parking at the show is only for Classic bikes, everybody else had to park out back. But when I drove up to the entrance the gentleman said, “Well that’s a Modern Classic. And the people will want to see it. So park up front in Special Vehicle parking.” And so I did…after I rode around the show once to give all the people a chance to do that double take they do…

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I parked next to this crazy little 3 wheeler.

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The Brammo and this car received about the same amount of attention.

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Then the 3 wheeler left early

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IMG_7193I stood around for a while answering lots and lots of questions. But I also wanted to walk around a bit.

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Some of my 2 stroke riding friends and their aptly named garage.

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Still I left Go Solar with only about 50% charge. That is the price you pay for wanting to show off your bike. Luckily at the Motorcycle show was a micro-brew…and I’ve never had a micro-brew tell me I couldn’t get some charge. Thank you Santa Fe Brewing for some charge and a beer while I waited.

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Well I only had a beer and then had to visit with people some more and wait some on the charging. Sadly the micro-brew only had 110 charging and I am an impatient man…so I ended up heading home with the bike only charged to 88%. I figured I got to Santa Fe with about 7% left (I didn’t plan to stop on the way back for charging), and I would be going from 7000 feet to 5000 feet at home. So if it took 93% to get to Santa Fe I should be able to get home on 88%. And I was correct. BARELY.

IMG_7217And yes, you can run a battery down to ZERO and be fine.

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I wasn’t overly worried as there are lots of places to get some charge on the way home. 110 outlets are like pimples in a middle school. Everywhere and more popping up each day. Still it was fun to come home on exactly zero.

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It was a fun day. Talked to lots of people. Put a fun and beautiful 150 miles on the Empulse. And got home with no problems. But dang it was a hot and unforgiving day. The clouds seem to stay on the horizon and never come overhead.

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till next time:

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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I don’t really have a Bonus…except to say I will be at Miller Motor Sport Park in Utah for the Bonneville Vintage Grand Prix.

http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/events/bonneville-vintage-gp.html

People should go. You get to see some great bikes in a very intimate, low key setting. And you get to see some Electric Motorcycle racing. And you get some side car racing and stand and run to your bike racing. Basically some cool and crazy stuff.

Go here:

http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/events/bonneville-vintage-gp/photo-gallery.html

and video








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