Brammo Blog–Pride Parade and then the Zoo.

2 07 2012
Blog 6…I think.

So this weekend I took the Brammo Enertia for a ride in the Pride Parade. I love riding in Parades…or at least the idea and Utopian concept of riding in Parades. The truth is pretty different though: going 10 feet, stopping, going 12 feet, stopping. Throwing candy to kids. Most of the time they are happy and running to get the candy, which is GREAT! Sometimes they look at it and go, “ok, where’s the good stuff?” Or there’s the 35 year old guy going, “throw me some candy…”  Hmmmm, “NO CANDY FOR YOU!!” I say in my best Soup Nazi voice.

Still it is a “certain” kind of fun. As long as you realize there will be mass confusion mixed with stifling boredom in the pre parade set-up (get here an hour early is always what you’re told…still nobody knows where anybody goes and it all just comes down to a free-for-all to get on the road and going…and if you cut off a float filled with 6’6″ guys all dressed like Divine, well, as the Pat Benetar Drag Queen says, “you better run, you better hide” ).

Then the Parade itself will move slower than you think humanly possible. Plus there will be a certain number of kids that look at your FREE CANDY with distain…and a certain number of supposed ADULTS who will be pissed when you don’t throw them candy. Mix in a few mildly brain damaged people that think it is OK to cross from one side of the road to the other while the parade is going on just for fun…AND add in the fact that it will always be on the HOTTEST day of the year for some crazy reason. Stir gently till the Crazy mixes with the Excitement and Energy…then fold in a pinch of Heat Stoke and a dash of Anger…and bake till everything boils over….

Other than that it’s great 🙂

So this was the Pride Parade (vs the Day of the Dead Parade or the Annual Toy Run or other parades I try to do). I like to do the Pride Parade for a couple of reasons. TONS of PEOPLE. It is a very happy and joyous Parade and so is the crowd….Dare I say it is a very happy and gay crowd. It is also the most outrageous parade and crowd (the Day of the Dead is a close second for outrageousness). Plus I love to support my gay family and friends.

This Parade I took my 16 year old niece (image below) who is visiting from South Carolina. She rode on the back of the Enertia and was the one throwing most of the candy (I still threw some as I couldn’t resist…nothing is quite like throwing food on the dirty ground to kids who don’t know you from jack and watching them happily running after it…with their parents approval! What a gloriously strange world we live in…”Johnny, the drag queen just threw you a tootsie roll, say thank you to the nice…person.” Sadly, I was actually dressed kinda boring…helmet, leather jacket, jeans, bright pink over-sized Cod Piece I “borrowed” from the Band Cameo…I pretty much always ride in the same gear).

Not me:) My niece and the Enertia…with bag of candy and Rainbow Chain graphic…the theme of the parade was Pride Links Us Together. I really didn’t do much “decoration”. A) I really can’t compete with the “Pros” and B) I had freaking FREE CANDY. I WIN!!!

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There were lessons to be learned here. Which I will now describe in too much detail:

Some FACTS

The Parade started at 10 am. It is a 2 mile ride from the start at the University of New Mexico to the end at the New Mexico State Fair Grounds. That 2 mile ride takes an hour or so at “Parade Speed.” Parade Speed should replace Jumbo Shrimp as the go-to example for the word Oxymoron. We arrived at the starting point about 9 am and walked around and then drove around and basically mingled and looked at the floats and such. It was already 90 plus degrees and sunny. We had left the house without drinking or putting on sunscreen (I am a horrid Uncle–that actually might be my official title from now on with my in-laws from South Carolina—“Oh him? That’s just my HORRID UNCLE…dum dum dum dum dum dummmmmmmmmmb.”) My niece had never ridden on a motorcycle before. I was being over-protective and not only made her wear my wife’s helmet to the Parade, but also for the whole Parade. It is a full faced helmet. It was hot. We were going slow with constant stopping and starting and somewhat jerky motions as I was unaccustomed to riding with a passenger who kept changing the center of gravity of the bike by throwing candy.

So….1.5 miles into what I thought was a nice little parade ride, my lovely niece leans forward and says, “We need to stop, I feel dizzy and think I might throw up.”  As a father, and now grandfather, I know those words all so well…and know that I ignore them at my peril. “Ok, there is a side road up ahead and a break in the crowd. I’ll pull off there.”

She also did not quite understand how the D-Ring of a motorcycle helmet functions. So I am quickly helping her get her helmet off, the whole time she is bending over and making retching sounds……and it all was fine. Ha, you thought I was going to get covered in puke, didn’t you…Nope, this wasn’t college…but that is another story.

It was the end of our Parade. I took her to a Wendy’s on the corner, got her some water and kept her in the Air Conditioning (which is a Gift from God on days like that).  Then I called my wife and had her come by and pick the niece up ( We were all heading to the Zoo after the parade, and this way I got to have some fun riding the motorcycle that I can’t have with a dizzy nauseous teenage on the back. Plus I really didn’t want to have her put the helmet on again.)

So what did I learn? 1. Hydrate. You would think I would have learned that by now having lived in the high desert for the last 17 years. Nope. It is a lesson I must learn over and over again. It is my mental Groundhog’s Day. My mental Prometheus. 2. Sunscreen. see hydrate for how stupid I am. 3. To Helmet or Not to Helmet, that is the Question…actually, no you idiot, that shouldn’t be a question at all. In a parade when it is 100 degrees and you’re going basically negative miles per hour, do not make your niece wear a full faced helmet. 4. If you forget 1,2 and 3 for some reason, expect your wife to give you “that look” when she comes to rescue your niece. The look that says, “Dear God, I’ve married a complete and utter imbecile…How did this happen and how can I kill him in his sleep and get away with it? 5. There is no 5.

Some photos here from the Local Newspaper:

http://abqjournal.photoshelter.com/gallery/Albuquerque-PrideFest-Parade-2012/G00007m6u_TC7H9c/C0000bkZQ.UxBjtg

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I was too busy riding and making my niece nauseous to take photos. I did do some video…that I need to edit…but here is a short clip:

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This is just a random clip I grabbed. I had planned to edit down the clips, but I think I might just put up a few clips and not make an “official” video. This is the first time I used my new ContourRoam helmet camera. I have a lot to learn.

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After the Parade we all went to the Zoo (because, really, where else do you want to go at noon on a day that is 100 plus degrees other than a place where multiple exotic animals are sleeping in their odoriferous and slowly baking poo). Here is a clip of me catching up to the wife and giving her a wave…

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You can’t see, but she waved back…but I think she might have had a cramp in her hand as she didn’t hold up all her fingers when she waved.

I will put up the other clips tomorrow.

Till then…have a blast…

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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