Brammo Blog: The Return of the Blog. The Bloggening. Dos Bloggen…etc etc

8 04 2013

BrammoBlog Version 2.0–#1.

Oh the Blog, Oh the Blog
Oh the Blog is back
Stone cold sober* as a matter of fact…

*Sadly. But smart since it’s like 8 am on a Monday morning as I’m writing this. Anything other than Stone Cold Sober would be questionable. One can only get away with a certain amount by saying, “Dude, I’m Irish. A beer or two at breakfast isn’t drinking, just priming.”

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So it’s been a while, and I will be rusty at this. Of course that entertains the notion that I was ever any good at this blogging stuff and I just need to scrape some rust off my bony fingers. The reality is far from that. Still I soldier on. And by “soldier on” I mean ramble wildly. And “Lord I was born a rambling man.”

Those words mean something different when you see me on the street corner having a heated conversation with the faux ornate lamp posts along downtown Route 66. Those lampposts think their soooo special. But I digress.

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There is big news afoot that is much more important and interesting than those stupid lampposts with their special curves and pretend cast iron paint. It makes me mad just thinking about them now and my coworkers are looking at me strangely as I curse while typing. Maybe I should move on. Or get a more private cubicle.

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In short: I have a new bike: A Brammo Empulse R. And one bike, the Enertia Plus (T’Challa), has returned to Ashland. Today I will talk a bit about the new bike and save the maudlin goodbye post for later this week.

So…Hello Brammo Empulse R.

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Empulse mine

This is the first time I saw my Empulse R. My daughters comment when she first saw it was, “Dang, I would be mad at my friends for putting graffiti on it already.” She thought my scooter friends had written on the bike. It was not my scooter friends, but it was 2 of Brammo’s professional racers who signed the “tank”.

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Eric Bostrom (EBoz) signing the panel’s left side while on a break from speed testing at Thunderhill Raceway.

Empulse EBoz

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Shelina Moreda (Shezracing) signing the right side.

Shelina 93

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Both really nice people with lots of energy.

Sadly SteveO (2 time champion for Brammo) was not at Thunderhill the weekend of testing. Since the part is now clear coated and probably wouldn’t take a signature, maybe I can convince him to send me one of his cool SteveO decals. 🙂

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But back to the bike….

Some facts: She’s FAST. End of facts.

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Well I guess I should give some more information…but really you can get all that from:

http://www.brammo.com/empulse/

The home page of the bike straight from the manufacturer—located in beautiful Ashland, Oregon.

And yes, as I’m often asked, the Empulse R is designed and built right in the old U S of A.

or

http://brammoforum.com/

A really great forum with lots of information and photos…and even some odd ramblings from me from time to time.

or

http://translogic.aolautos.com/2013/03/18/translogic-125-brammo-empulse-r/

Has a pretty cool video that discusses the Empulse and shows it in motion.

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But all you really need to know is this:

2013 Motorcycle of the Year by Playboy magazine.

BDjqS_HCIAAHcV3

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And while I’m linking faster than Jimmy Dean, one last one…

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/2012-brammo-empulse-r/1431474/

The Empulse R hanging out at Jay Leno’s Garage.

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But what this blog post is suddenly lacking is more ME!!

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I’ve only had her for less than a week. So I haven’t had time to do a lot of Riding and Testing and Trips. Oh my. But I have ridden her as much as my insane schedule has allowed. So here goes.

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First day at home. New mirrors added for sporty look…and they actually show more of the stuff behind me as it quickly fades further and further away.

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First day driving to work. One of these things is not like the other…..

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Friday night the whole family went to the late showing of Jurassic Park in 3D.

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I don’t often go downtown during the week…but I had to stop and try out the Electric Charging Station there. Free Juice!!

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Not sure how long the free parking AND free charging will last, but nice to see. And thank you Brammo for including a ChargePoint card with the bike.

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And though I haven’t taken any real trips on her** yet, I did have to stop at Walter White’s house. After all it is only 1 1/2 miles from my house.

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and I did meet Walter’s son the other day…

Super nice kid.

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And….Everybody….

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I PARK WHERE I WANT!!!

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Till Next Time…

Take Care

Gavin

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 had thought of the new bike as a she…till some annoying person said I should call her Walter White…and damn it that is just too good to pass up…So “she” becomes a he and is now Walter White, or Walt…or Mr White.





Brammo Blog: Closed for Renovation

5 03 2013

Blog 65: This blog can now, at the ripe old post age of 65, officially retire and collect…well nothing.

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Shutting down for a renewal. Kinda like a Phoenix, if a Phoenix was a pudgy and balding middle aged man.

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And by Renovation and renewal, I mean very little (if any) actual change.

I am horrid at web design so I follow the path of KISS. Which means I either try and Keep It Simple, Simpleton…or I listen to Detroit Rock City every night.

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But it looks like I will be giving the Enertia Plus back to Brammo and getting an Empulse R…Shipping Friday…Probably.

When do I get it exactly? However long it takes the trucking service to get from Ashland to Dealer to Albuquerque (there is a country song in there somewhere).

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So I’m boarding up the Enertia Blog shop and opening up the Empulse Blog shop. The new shop will open shortly after the bike arrives and I get some rides and some photos.

In the meantime, please keep the graffiti on the store front classy:

e=empulse

E=Empulse

E= Energy

E=please don’t sue me Banksy

not sure how E equals the last one, but I really don’t want to be sued

Take Care

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

Ps:

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Here is Shelina doing a crazy wheelie on the Brammo Engage prototype.

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Last time I showed an image of Eric Bostrom signing the tank panel of my Empulse R.–

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Today I have the image of Shelina signing the tank panel.

(at least I think that is Shelina…It could also be the lead singing of most hair bands of the 80’s, he types jealously while rubbing balding head)

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Sadly, what I’ve learned is that clearing coating over Sharpie marker is VERY hard to do…

Haven’t seen what the panel looks like, but hopefully the pros at Brammo found a way to do it well…

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Brammo Blog: The Fork in the Road.

13 02 2013

Blog 64: Will you still need me, will you still read me, when I’m Blog Post 64?

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Ok…(heavy sigh)…I have approached the proverbial “Fork in the Road.”  Two paths. Which should be fine since I have two feet. Sadly my two feet must always walk together in one direction. Stupid feet. Why have two feet if they have to stay together? But I digress. It is a common problem of mine. Or a problem of mind.

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The Fork in the Road. I guess the most famous quote is from our Greatest American Spokesman: Yogi Berra.

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Wise, sage words.

But I’m more of a Cheshire Cat kinda guy, so I would go with:

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carroll was a witty man. Damaged for sure, but witty.

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and speaking of damaged….

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And still I find ways to delay. It is likely because I am torn by the decision. Or that I’m too lazy to focus on the task at hand. My wife would know which to pick.

The Fork in the Road.

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As some of you know, I have a very low pre-order number for a Brammo Enertia Plus. A bike that would be identical to the Beta Test bike I currently have at home. And I love using the word currently when talking about my electric motorcycles.

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T’Challa at “home” getting a light dusting of snow

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I also have a very low pre-order number for a Brammo Empulse R. I knew I could only get one, but I was hedging my bets and placed an order for each.

Would I like both? Heck yes. Would my lovely wife instantly leave me? Most likely. She has had 30 plus years with what she calls my “frivolous” spending. She is dangerously close to the breaking point.

But back on point: Just about a week or two ago I got a message from Brammo:

“Hey Gavin. Got a bike or two with your name on it. Which do you want, the Plus, the Empulse or both?”

“Of course I want BOTH!”, I almost screamed out into the phone.

Luckily I remembered that I do love my wife and don’t really want to be homeless, nor, shudder, garage-less. So I had a decision to make.

“Can I think a bit and get back with you?”

“Sure. Take all the time you need, as long as it’s in a day or two.” I think that was a joke……

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And that brings us to the topic of today. The Fork. The Road. And what to do.

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fork with bikes

The known and lovely Enerita Plus       or      The sexy and powerful Empulse R

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So I thought and I thought and I thought. Then I played a bit on my computer and made myself a nice sandwich because I was a bit hungry. And then I thought some more.

And I thought: Let’s do this rationally. Let’s write out the Pros and Cons. And let’s stop saying “let’s“…I don’t think “me” = “us”. But (all together) I digress.

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Pros and Cons:

Enertia Plus:                                                           Empulse R

   Cost: Much cheaper                                               Cost: Much more

And the list could have stopped right there. But I had to dig a bit deeper.

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The Plus is a great commuter bike. Easy to ride. Nimble and quick. Good range for my riding. And I know her well after riding many thousands of miles on her.

Downsides are: One seat. The Enertia Plus can ride on the highway, but not for long bits. She is a bit too light and a bit too slow (top speed just over 65 mph) for a lot of highway riding.

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The Empulse R is a bigger, faster bike. She seats two (a plus as my wife likes to ride to the Isotopes games on the motorcycle. Better, closer parking). The Empulse is much better on the highway than the Plus. She is Brammo’s “Halo” bike. She would be a new bike to me, and I do like new toys.

Downsides. Cost. That’s about it…maybe a small downside would be that I know the Enertia and love it…will I feel the same about the Empulse?

So I kept playing it through my head. I couldn’t discount the Empulse purely because I had never driven one. It is a logical reason not to buy a bike. And really a sane person doesn’t buy a motorcycle without riding it. But I had planned to buy the Enertia without riding it, so that reason would have been a bit inconsistent.

I also realized that the Empulse is Brammo’s “American” bike. The bike they want to sell the crap out of here in the States. And I really wanted to show that bike off around town and to other riders and local dealers. Everybody in Albuquerque has seen the Enertia. Nobody has seen the Empulse.

Still…I wasn’t sure what to do.

So last Friday morning at work, as I do most Friday mornings, I was scanning an OB patient. I look at fetal hearts if the OB department is worried and wants either a second opinion, or if they think something is wrong and want Peds Cardiology to give a more complete diagnosis. And I was scanning a nice woman similar to this smiling one…

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And I know it is very likely that on my screen I was seeing a cute little kid, possibly sucking his toes like this:

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Or perhaps peeing into the amniotic fluid like this:

(I actually caught this video clip quite on accident. Fetuses pee all the time in utero, but it’s not often you get just the perfect angle to see it this well)

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But all I kept seeing on my screen was this**:

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So I decided I should probably either:

A) Change my meds.  B) Up my meds.  C) Get the Empulse R.  D) Do all three.

hint: unlike the SATs where B is usually the correct answer, here D is obviously the correct answer.

Though B could be correct if worded as “Up my meds A LOT!”. Again, I digress.

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Truthfully, I really want to try it out after all the positive reviews. And I want to show it off up at Coffee at Dawns (every Saturday and Sunday morning there are 100’s of bikers stopped there to talk and show off their rides before hitting the road up the Sandia Mountain or taking the Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe. Both wonderful rides I plan to do often on the Empulse R).  And though I LOVE the Enertia Plus, if you want to show off, well the Empulse R is the bike to do that with.

Soooooo, 1 Empulse R in white ordered. And now a little bit of a wait, but hopefully not too long. On a positive note:

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Eric Bostrom this week at Thunderhill for some Empulse TTX testing with Brammo and Shelina.

This is my first Empulse R “MOD”…weeks before I get the bike 🙂 . White panel getting signed before the clear coat is put on.

Thanks EBoz…and Shelina too? I think so, but don’t have photographic evidence.

Sadly SteveO was not at Thunderhill…perhaps I can get him to sign at a later time.

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Take Care

Gavin

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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At SEVENteen thirty five, with SEVENty one percent of battery and SEVENty eight miles on the trip odometer, I hit SEVEN thousand SEVEN hundred SEVENty SEVEN point SEVEN miles.

** close up of the image on the Ultrasound monitor.

Brammo_Empulse_Ultrasound1

This image was, surprisingly, not made by me. It was, I think, commissioned by Adrian Stewart and then never used as some people found it disturbing. I think the theme was something like, “The Birth of the Electric Sports Motorcycle” or something like that. I, of course, didn’t think the image was disturbing at all…kinda fun. But the image alone is a bit much for some people…which is why I used it in a bigger setting. Keeps the image small and gives some context to the image. At least that was my thought process going into the finished photo used up above with me in riding attire. Well that and I thought it funny…in a David Lynch/Blue Velvet kinda funny.





BrammoBlog: From San Francisco to Albuquerque: with an ill-fated stop in Baker, Ca. Thank God for Abducted Cow Alien Beef Jerky or the stop would have been a total loss.

19 01 2013

Blog 63: The Pickup Part 3. Or: All Good Things Come to an End, so why do bad blogs go on forever?

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So Part 1 was about getting to San Francisco. Part 2 was about being in San Francisco. And this, Part 3, is about getting the bike back home.

Needless to say it should be the most boring. The ADVENTURE is always about the trip. The discovery. The conquest.

The Hobbit: There and Back…was about the getting “there”. Back was a few throw away pages at the end. The Legend of Zelda always has Link winning the fight and then “game over”. Once Ganondorf is slain you don’t see Link at home heating up a pot pie and catching up on missed episodes of Breaking Bad on his DVR. Hmmm, maybe I should come up with less geeky references. All my street cred is gone. Ok. I never had any to begin with.

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But back on topic. Getting home. Personally I hate taking a return trip that is exactly the same as the one going out. To me this seems, and is, redundant. So for the trip home I decided to veer north at Barstow and stop at a small town called Baker, California. Home of the World’s Tallest Thermometer. This path would take me closer to Death Valley and I thought a night in Baker could be fun. It was not. Though the next morning ended up being much much better than the night I arrived.

Ah…were shall I start? So it turns out that there is only one motel in Baker still open. And that motel is currently for sale and staffed by people who kinda just don’t care. Likely they are just poorly paid caretakers in the employ of a far distant owner. The room had a strange odor I’ve never smelled before and was heated by an old, in-wall heater. When I turned it on…well it just didn’t seem right. I was fairly sure it was putting out tons of carbon monoxide and that I would surely perish. I tried watching a downloaded episode of Shameless on my iPad and the image seems to shift and jump and blur just a bit. It could have been my tired eyes, a bad download or a number of things–poor electrical lighting in the room or the beginnings of my much expected psychotic break…but I chose to focus on one thing: The beginnings of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

I didn’t really want to die in Baker. I kinda didn’t want to stay overnight or even be in Baker for longer than a quick fill up of the pickup’s gas tank and go. But dying in Baker was pretty far down on my list of things to do on a weekend…or weekday. Especially now that I had just gotten the Plus back. Oh, and my lovely family…I would miss them too. So I turned off the heater and decided not to use it. I also decided I was going to sleep in my clothes on top of the bed. Yes, it was that kind of room.

Well the temperatures dipped into the 20’s and I found myself freezing without the use of heater or covers. So I decided to open the bathroom window for ventilation and turn the heater back on. Not only on, but on HIGH to battle the cold cold outside air. I figured the outside air would dilute the carbon monoxide enough to keep me alive. Possibly with some brain damage, but it likely wouldn’t be worse than any one of a thousand nights I had in college.

Which is how it came to be that; on top of the bed sheets, fully dressed, with the heater pumping hot air at me and the bathroom window allowing freezing air inside, I slept. Mostly I slept because of the comforting hum of the Brammo Enertia Plus charging in the room with me. A) I love sleeping to that sound. B) It’s always nice to get an overnight charge. And C) I didn’t trust the bike being outside. Heck, I wasn’t too sure I trusted it in the room with me. Cheap, old fashioned door locks with a key older than the one I used as a kid when I was a latch-key kid…in the freaking 60’s. So that door was little protection. That and…

THIN WALLS. I could hear the people next door talking very clearly. Not quite enough to hear exactly what they were saying, but close. And the conversation, the ebb and flow, the cadence and pattern, all suggested a friendly and flirtatious relationship. I was very very VERY worried that the talking was going to become “something else”. And I really didn’t want to be in that room, fully dressed and laying on top of the bed sheets, both freezing and overheating, having the carbon monoxide slowing killing me, while also listening to two strangers Go at IT. It would have been toooooo much. Luckily the room fell quiet and the people either left (if they were smarter than me), fell quickly to sleep or were good WASPs and did the nasty in complete silence.

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Bike in room…killer heater in the wall

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So, somewhat surprisingly, I survived the night. And it was a rather quick getaway from that room as I was already dressed 🙂 . I had looked at the shower and decided to skip it. My wife would be surprised. A) I always take a shower in the morning. It is what wakes me up. And B) I’ve bathed in some fairly sketchy places. For me to forgo a wake up shower means that the bathroom was pretty bad. And it was.

So I got up and packed up the car with everything except the Plus. I was determined to get a short ride in before leaving. After all I picked Baker so I could possibly ride into Death Valley. And to see the World’s Tallest Thermometer (which doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe they just turn it off in the winter? Or maybe, like almost everywhere else in Baker, it has been forgotten, neglected and finally succumbed to time, apathy, inertia. A Ghost Thermometer for a Ghost Town. An abandoned relic for future generations to puzzle over).

It was a pretty morning. Pretty and cold. I thought of Death Valley and assumed it would be warmer, even in mid winter. My ride was at 32 degrees exactly. And I had my Fall gloves. Grrrrrrr. The wrong gloves…it is a reoccurring theme for me. Heck, it could be my autobiography title. The Wrong Gloves and other mishaps and missteps.

But I soldiered on.

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World’s Tallest Thermometer. Not working. The building behind it was empty too.

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It seems the Thermometer is owned by Bob Big Boy…it also was closed.

photo6YOU”RE HERE….(but really wish you weren’t)

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So the next stop, before I realized how cold it was, was to be a nice ride down Death Valley Highway. I didn’t go far. 8 am, 32 degrees, wrong gloves, 60 mph road, bad night of sleep and carbon monoxide poisoning all worked against me. The cold got to my hands pretty quick. But I rode a few miles north on Death Valley Highway and took a few photos.

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When I first looked at Baker and the Death Valley Highway I really wanted to go to Shoshone. A) I live on Shoshone Rd. B) Shoshone is the home to Death Valley High School. And I really wanted a photo of the Plus in front of Death Valley High School. The name alone makes it perfect for an old drive in movie plot line. But 56 miles each way was just too much for a photo op that could have been crappy. So that part got scrapped.

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Death Valley off-road Panorama.

As I said, it was a beautiful day. Now if only it had been 20 degrees warmer.

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Shoshone sign panorama

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So I did about 10 miles round trip on Death Valley Highway. Maybe in the Fall I’ll go back and do a proper trip. But the cold and lack of sleep forced me back into Baker to load up the bike and finish the trek home. BUT….

Next to the motel was a store front proclaiming: Alien Fresh Jerky.

How does one skip that? The answer: They Don’t. So I drove over, thinking it closed too, and took some photos. Which are here:

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I did my best DeNiro here: What are you looking at? You looking at me?

Sadly my DeNiro is more like a slightly mad pee wee herman. The Alien was not afraid.

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All together now: I Park Where I Want.

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While I was taking the photos a couple walked out of the store and into their car. So the place was open for business. Nice. And in I went. While inside I talked a bit to the man behind the counter. Telling him I liked the store and disliked the motel next to it. He commented that the motel was nasty but that the owner of the Alien Jerky store was planning an Alien themed hotel. I told him that I would have loved to had stayed in an Alien Themed hotel and it was a great idea. I also commented that I bet they get a lot of people taking photos of the store. He said yep, but that my motorcycle seemed to be getting more attention than the store. I looked out and a group of people were surrounding the bike. I told him, ‘Yeah, that happens all the time.

He pointed to one of the guys around the bike. “That’s the owner of this store.” Oh….So I went out and had a nice talk with him. About the bike. About his store. About his planned hotel (3 stories. Already breaking ground behind the Fresh Alien Jerky store. Should be completed and open in 2015). Nice guy. Hope it does well. But Baker seems a town already on Hospice care. Whether it can be saved/revived, who knows?

At least the nice little ride, and then the visit to the Alien Store, took some of the bitter taste from my mouth. That and the Jerky and treats 🙂

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After that it was a fairly uneventful drive home. And the next morning I got to ride the Plus for my commute to work…in a slowly increasing snow fall. Enough to delay school the next day. Sigh. Still it was nice riding, even if a bit wet and snowy and cold.

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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

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Wasn’t sure if I should be offended or flattered that they used my likeness…

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My Fortune was merely: “Your species, like your hairline, is doomed.”

Now that I was offended by.

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and

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Driving away from Baker, this rock formation summed it up for me.





BrammoBlog: A short ride around “The City” before heading to what is almost, and should be, a ghost town.

17 01 2013
Blog 62: The Pickup-Part 2

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Yesterdays’s blog was quite verbose…with WAY too many uses of the words “lovely” and “nice”. So today’s blog will be more images and less words. Always a plus for any of my blogs.

We left yesterday’s blog with the protagonist of this blog, me, picking up the Enertia Plus, T’Challa, at Scuderia West and getting ready to take a “short” ride around San Francisco. I couldn’t stay long so I had to chose a couple of cool points. I picked Lombard St and the Golden Gate Bridge. Both famous, both fun and both near to Scuderia West. I also did quite a bit of video (I was forced to hold my Contour Roam helmet camera in my left hand as I brought my oh so kickass Icon helmet–see photo below– on the trip West. Sadly that helmet doesn’t have a mount…yet). It will take me a few days to edit the video, so that is for next weeks blog.

But that is the future. This is the present. And off we go….

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THE CITY:

I lived in Berkeley for a couple of years in the early 70’s. When I was 10 and 11..or something like that. Crazy times. Crazy days. But that is a story of another time. San Francisco was known simply as The City. Maybe it still is? We (me, my mom and brother) would hitchhike from Berkeley to San Francisco with a cardboard sign that merely said, “The City.” I lived there when BART was finished and I rode it on day one. I kept that BART ticket in my wallet for many many years. I think it was just a couple of years ago that I finally lost it. Even after BART was up and running, we mostly hitchhiked from Berkeley. We were dirt poor at the time. But that too is another story for another time.

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First Stop. Lombard Street.

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From the bottom looking up. Fun…but slow. Always has cars going 5 mph on it.

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Half way down Lombard St looking toward Coit Tower.

Getting a photo of the bike in shadow really washed out the background sky.

It was a beautiful blue sky that day without clouds or the famous fog of San Francisco.

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Bottom of Lombard looking toward Coit Tower.

This photo reminds me…I should make an “Abby Road” recreation with Brammo bikes.

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A crappy attempt at showing Alcatraz. It stands beyond the end of the street in the distance.

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First Golden Gate Bridge look out…Not a very nice view of the bridge. Only for the tourist 🙂

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And here are a bunch from the much better 2nd turn off. Take the Marin Headlands exit. The extra few minutes drive is insanely worth it. Just a hell of a nice overlook.

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Mmmmmm, Panoramas….

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Me. Looking my best. Full Face Helmet helps greatly.

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But that is about it from San Francisco (other than the video…next week…i promise…unless i forget or get busy or lose interest or…). This was a Saturday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Traffic flowed very smoothly and it was surprisingly easy to get around San Fran…though my sense of East, West, North, South was messed up with all the hills. Back home I’m use to the very simple, Mountain is East, Volcanoes are West. Hard to get lost in Albuquerque. But San Fran, other than the endless potholes, isn’t so bad to ride in.

And–Important Note Here–an Electric Motorcycle is perfect for this city. I wouldn’t want any thing else for all these extreme hills. Electric motorcycles have all that torque to easily get up the hills and regen braking going down saves a good bit of brake pad wear and tear. All good. And FUN FUN FUN 🙂

And I think I understand all the potholes. I don’t like them, but I understand them. Closing the streets for repair would be a nightmare. So, like a root canal or a prostate exam, they are a necessary evil.

Gotta run. Next blog is the travel East and back home. Including a less than fun stop in Baker, California. Luckily Baker was much nicer in the morning heading out. Of course leaving Baker is probably the highlight of any trip there.

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

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ghost prius

Sometimes I will combine two photos. One with near focus and then a quick second photo with far focus. So you see the bike and you also get a pretty sky. The downside is twofold. One, you sometimes get a photo that looks photoshopped. 🙂 And secondly, movement of objects in the background is an issue…Here I combined two photos…One had a Pruis in the background and one did not…when combined I got a Ghost Prius….SPOOKY.

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colt final

this is another photo looking toward Coit Tower. The one further up is a combined image. This one is not. Or the other way around…I can’t remember.

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ps…go read this…now.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/firstrides/122_1304_brammo_empulse_r/viewall.html





BrammoBlog: In the immortal words of the great American poet, Steven Tyler, “I’m Back! I’m back in the saddle again!”

14 01 2013
BLOG 61: The Pickup.

Sung in the tune of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll: “It’s been a long time since I blog posted…It’s been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely time.”

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Soooooo, Tiny backstory, then on to the meat and potatoes…On the Road with Gavin. (I ain’t no Kerouac, my prose is as pleasant as a 4-vessel disease heart attack…and that’s a fact…Jack.)

Out of extreme (and mildly confusing) kindness, Brammo first loaned me an Enertia Classic. I had it for almost a year and put 5000 miles on her. Brammo seemed to be fairly pleased that I rode her a lot, took far too many photos of her, wrote about her some and that I didn’t wreck her. So they loaned me a Beta version of the Enertia Plus (a classic with double the range and a few improvements). I had this for only a couple of months before Brammo needed her back in Ashland. She was a beta bike and they needed to do some tests and such.

It was with great sadness that I let her go. A) I was just getting to know her 🙂  B) It was the first time in a year that I didn’t have an Electric Motorcycle at my house and that made me “have a sad.” It is now known as The Time of Great Loss and Increased Petroleum Use. Known might be overstating it some.

And it was 2 long, horrible months of driving my pickup truck everyday. She’s a good car, but she is still a cage…and even a gilded cage is still a prison.

But then I received an email from Brammo that they were done with the testing and I could have the beta bike back if I wanted it. Silly question. I planned to drive to Ashland and pick it up myself. It would take weeks for shipping and I wanted it NOW.

And a road trip was hatched in my head like so many parasitic fly eggs. (a public service announcement: Traveling to sub-Saharan Africa? Get all the shots they recommend.)  I would drive the pickup to Ashland, tour the Brammo headquarters and bring the Plus back to Albuquerque. Those plans were dashed when a big winter storm hit Ashland right when I would be traveling there.  Luckily Brammo was making a delivery of Empulse motorcycles to San Francisco that same weekend and they were kind enough to place the Plus on the truck with the Empulses (I call this bike T’Challa…all my vehicles tend to be female in my head, but this one is definitely T’Challa** to me). But enough of the boring stuff…Photos and road trip info coming up….

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I was traveling alone and didn’t want to push the driving too much. Albuquerque to San Francisco–16 hours, 1100 miles–would be done in two days. I did forget that I have the ass of a truck driver and that I can spend all day driving. I got to my night’s stay, Barstow, California, in 10 hours and felt silly stopping for the night at 5 pm. 700 miles in 10 hours. Easy to do on our highways when you don’t stop to eat or drink or pee. One stop in Flagstaff to gas up and back on the road.

Boring and uneventful…though I did hit snow twice. Once outside of Flagstff—expected since Flagstaff is over 7000 feet in elevation–and again outside of Mojave—not, to me at least, so expected. Heck, Mojave is in the freaking desert very near Death Valley. I was not at all expecting snow there.

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Just west of Flagstaff, AZ

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Outside of Mojave. Nice wind towers.

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and just a bit further…out of the snow and I had to pull over to get a nice panoramic view.

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The ride from Barstow to San Francisco, 400 miles, was uneventful. I did see a ton of Golden Eagles along Highway 5. One even swooped down and picked up a small animal out of the grass beside the highway. Lovely to see. Unless you where the small mammal suddenly clutched in talons so tight.

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But this blog isn’t about boring rides from city to city. It is about ME :). Well mostly about the Brammo bikes. And so…off to Scuderia West to pick up my ride.

ps…the people at Scuderia West were amazing. Super nice, energetic…and handing out donuts and fresh made tea and coffee to a complete stranger…of course I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.

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The Un-Loading of Bikes. I stood back and watched as I did not want to hurt any of those lovely Empulse R bikes.

I think this white one was Bill’s bike.

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“T’Challa Unloaded”–not to be confused with “Django Unchained.” Now with mini windshield. Wanted to test it in Winter riding.

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Bill’s bike…nice bar end mirrors. Looks good. I almost stole this bike. 🙂

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A nice “batch of Brammos”. Or an “Enormity of Empulses.” Fresh off the truck and ready for their new homes.

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I’m a sucker for lens flare…though I could do without the purple fringing over the front tire.

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And what is a road trip to San Francisco without taking a little ride 🙂  But that is for tomorrow’s blog. Please come back as I have a few lovely photos. San Francisco is a beautiful city…a lovely city with horrible roads. And I had a 500 plus mile ride ahead of me. And I wanted to get to my stop before dark as I did not know the city at all (City is an incorrect description. “Tiny hell hole in the middle of nowhere” is a much better way of putting it.)

Ignoring the time, I did a couple of hours in San Francisco and left a bit later than I wanted. Oh well. It was just a beautiful day that I really didn’t want to pack up T’Challa and leave. Such a nice day for riding, and I had just gotten*** the bike back and…but the highway called and I had to go…

Tomorrow….Photos from around The City.

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

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at Scuderia West…Brammo needs to make this important accessory.

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An Enertia Plus LE…In Ashland. I wanted that model. Siren for the win.

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**T’Challa is the name of The Black Panther. I loved The Black Panther as a kid. No “real” super powers. Just strength and training and will.

tchalla final

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***I am not sure “gotten” is really a word. And even if it is, it is just a horrid word. It comes off tongue in just an harsh and ugly way. I shall not use it ever again….





BrammoBlog: A departure…A blog that is not about me?!?! It truly is the End of the WORLD…

12 12 2012

 Blog #60: It is the Dawning of the Age of Empulse. And here is a nice 60’s poster to celebrate both the Brammo Empulse release and my 60th Blog post. One is much more important than the other.

brammo power

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So TONS of Brammo News…And I am totally not involved in any of it. Happy for Brammo…sad for me…but, like Gloria Gaynor sang, I Will Survive.

I am glad she’s still surviving, but I miss her funky fro…that was some sweet hair.

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But neither this blog, nor this post, is about Ms. Gaynor.

It is about Brammo and some BIG NEWS.

The First Brammo Empulse R has been delivered into a customer’s hands!

That is a big day for Brammo…and a Happy Day for one lucky guy (though many more people will be getting their happy days soon).

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The first delivery was at Scuderia West in San Francisco.

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A little Brammo Graffiti

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The first proud owner. Ain…a nice guy who we all hate now 🙂  Kidding. He has really stepped up and given a lot of information to the Brammoforum.com. If you are not a member…GO JOIN THAT SITE IMMEDIATELY.

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Here we see Adam from Brammo explaining to Ain how to throw a split fingered fastball.

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Ah, like the “Groom trying to leave and the Best Man holding the bottom of his Jacket”, here we have the obligatory ” The Handing over of the Keys” handshake photo.

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So that one red Empulse has been delivered. What’s next?

More bikes getting crated up for delivery!!

And what’s in the white box? I will assume the mirrors, the manual and warranty info (24 months now vs 12!) and the Brammo messenger bag Ain got with his Empulse.

The lovely and nice Sarah (last seen on this blog at 17 Mile Drive), checking out the Empulse. And in the background…Enertia Plus bikes? Probably just Engineering Test Bikes. But that leads to…

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This is the first, or one of the first, Enertia Plus motorcycles getting into a customers hands. In Europe.

Meaning that in the same week Brammo had delivered the first Empulse R to a customer in the United States and the first Enertia Plus to a customer in Europe. Now I’m just hoping for the floodgates to open and for there to be Billions of Brammos around the world…but that will take a while longer.

Empulses in the States, Enertia Pluses in Europe. What about Enertia Plus pre-orders in the States? Luckily we also got some info on that and have good news for us United States riders:

“And for those of you interested in the Enertia Plus,

we have a boatload coming over from Europe due to hit mid January”

From Brammo’s Facebook Page…If you haven’t already, run over and “Like” them.

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So, in conclusion….Bikes SHIPPING. It took a while, but that dreaded V word* can be put to rest. And the rest of us can look forward to some fun, fast and clean riding.

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Till next time,

Gavin is out…

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 photos…or curse photos…not sure which.

Me as Grumpy Cat as I sat waiting for Brammo to get bikes shipping.

grumpy gavin

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Me as Honey Badger when I got the good news that bikes are getting into customer’s hands.

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not sure which of the two is more horrible and scary.

Photos of the bikes, Ain and the Brammo personnel: gently borrowed from Brammo’s Facebook page and the BrammoForum. Horrible Photoshop images are borrowed from nobody…who would claim them???

* V word is vaporware…a word we can dismiss at this time 🙂





Brammoblog: More unrequested advertising efforts.

4 12 2012

Blog 59: not really a blog…just bored at work and so….Wait…isn’t that the definition of 98% of all blogs?

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Obviously I am not a marketing person. And it shows.

For most people knowing their limitations is a good and healthy start. Me? I know my limitations and, like a Honey Badger**, I  just don’t care.

Now the smart and sane thing would be to know one’s limitations and then either accept them or work at improving oneself….privately. Me? I know my limitations, don’t care, AND will share all my failings for the world to see (or at least the three people who read this…me, my mom, and my other personality).

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Today I “help” Brammo with their Advertising campaign. And I use the word help very loosely.

So why I am helping them? Because they asked??

Ha.

Because they might find any of my ideas helpful in some small way?

Nope…

If anything my constant emails and posts take Brammo away from needed work and further delay them.

So Why?

Because…well because I am neither smart nor sane and so there…

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BRAMMO: LET’S RIDE

brammo lean

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brammo lean 2

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brammo charging

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brammo green

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bramm clean

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LETS RIDE: BRAMMO

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Till Next Time…

Gavin

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 Just Don’t Care…

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BrammoBlog: White Sands and More. Ok, not more. Just White Sands. Believe me, just White Sands is Enough.

12 10 2012

Blog 51: White Sands was amazing. Got tons of photos, some nice panoramas and somewhat shaky video. I forgot to put a helmet cam connector on my new Icon Airmada Hi Viz Helmet, so I rode with the camcorder in my left hand. Actually it was kinda nice. I could video to the sides without turning my head.

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First Note: Head slowly clearing…Still I think this post will be mostly photos and videos and very little of my ramblings interrupting the flow. So, in other words, probably one of my better blog post.

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But less talk, more photos.

Added note: All the photo files are quite HUGE. Click on them and you will get a large image to look at.

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This video shows the ride into the park. I always forget that the road basically disappears under compressed sand that looks like packed snow.

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First of a number of Panoramic photos. Click to make bigger. Click that opened photo to make insanely big.

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I park where I want 🙂

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I like the people on the top of the dunes.

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So, as promised, few words, many images. Next will be the ruins.

Till then, ride safe.

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 Time.

from yesterday’s post that had the balloon photos…forgot I did a couple of seconds of video too.

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Second Bonus

Ha….as I was getting off the bike to take some photos with my iPhone I accidently turned on the helmet cam that I was holding in my other hand. So most of this video is up side down and weird angles. I get off the bike and walk to the middle of the road and take some photos and then some panoramas.





Brammo Blog: Fat Man, Jumbo, So Much White Crystal and a Culture in Ruins…

11 10 2012

Blog 50: Sounds like a season on Breaking Bad, but instead is a weekend trip to The Trinity Site, White Sands National Monument and a couple of Pueblo Ruins.

Still sick, but pushing forward…I probably won’t be as witty, and maybe even more incoherent (if that’s possible)

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So I had a very busy weekend planned last week…and actually did everything I wanted. Pretty sweet.

There will be some stories to tell…but mostly just photos. In fact I have soooo many nice photos that I might spread this post over a couple of days.

We start at the Trinity Site. The site of the first Atomic bomb testing. It is only open 2 days a year for the public and is smack dab in the middle of nowhere…and right in the middle of a military base.

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And yes the site is too far away for riding on the Electric bike…soooooo…

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At the site…behind the bike is Jumbo….Aptly named as it almost got me in a jumbo amount of trouble.

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I thought, “Wow, It will be cool to take a photo of the Enertia inside of Jumbo. I’ll just sit here on the bike and take my turn…”

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Video of me riding from truck around the parking area and stopping in front of Jumbo to get a photo.

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Of course the Military Police did not agree with me and A) wouldn’t let me ride the Enertia into Jumbo and B) told me to go park the bike as this area was for people walking.

I have to admit that I thought it would be less crowded. The Trinity Site is far far from everything. I thought there would be a couple of dozen people spread out over the day. Instead the parking lot was full and there were likely a couple of thousand people just during the time I was there.

So I parked my bike a little bit away…hoping to catch a slow point to grab a couple of more photos.

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The bike did get a far amount of attentions. lots of questions, a few people sitting on her, etc etc.

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and I was able to get right up by the gate that leads to the short walk to the actual bomb site.

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And I thought, Hmmm, I could move the bike a bit and get a couple of more shots…and that was my downfall.

The same Military Police Officer saw me and started walking really fast toward me and held out his arm and did the universal sign for “Get your ASS over here right NOW.” And I can say that Military Police are not something I have any real experience with. The do take their job very seriously. They do not have much of a sense of humor nor an ability to handle change or an unexpected situation. Being rigid is probably a necessity for the job. I tend to think I can talk my way into and out of just about any situation. But on a Military base….not so much.

Now I was going to give a long run down of what happened next, but my head cold is telling me to get moving on. So long story short: I got a good “talking” to. Was almost thrown out, possibly arrested. Had left my license in the truck, wasn’t wearing my helmet…etc etc. Finally I was told to put the bike on the truck and then I could stay and finish the tour. Which was nice. I would not be able to get good bike photos, but I still could get some nice photos from Trinity and do a proper tour of the site.

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Ground Zero Plaque

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Trinity Site Marker.

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A close up…then off to…

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Fat Man…not me, but getting there 😦

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Self Portrait of a Man, a Bomb, a Marker and a Mountain.

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Next stop at Trinity was a Bus Ride to McDonald Ranch House. The house is 10,000 yards from the bomb site and was the place military and scientists watched from. Not nearly far enough in my opinion. But the first bomb was rather small, as far as Nuclear Bombs are concerned.

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Nice Panorama leading out to the Ranch house. I am in love, as you will see later, with Panorama. Works great in New Mexico.

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Leaving the Ranch House

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Next was driving to White Sands National Monument.

But that involves many many more photos…and my helium and mucous filled head is telling me to stop and do that tomorrow.

I will share with you about my bonus photo from yesterday.

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Take this:

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Search the internet for images of the guy trying to break the record for jumping from a balloon. That should be this weekend down in Roswell, New Mexico. Find this:

He is basically doing the jump in a space suit.

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Extract, resize and add some motion artifact to falling man and you get the finished photo…voila.

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Next Time: White Sands. Pueblo Ruins. And hopefully a clearer head.

Gavin

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Bonus….

Wonderful Sunset down in Alamogordo. I was leaving White Sands and driving back to my motel Saturday night when I had to stop and take a few photos.

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When we have clouds at sunset we often get pinks, salmon, gold and purple colors. It crazy. When I first moved here I saw a collection of New Mexico art that had the sky Purple, Red, Pink and Orange and I thought, “How gaudy. Why would somebody use those colors?” And now I know.