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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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.

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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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big temp final

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: 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 🙂





Brammo Blog : New Computer, New Bike. Same Old Me. Sorry.

29 08 2012

Blog 38: And the Slow Down begins. Today’s blog is mostly a “clip show” rerun. Sorry again.

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So I had the lovely green Enertia Legacy bike for 10 months and 4800 miles of riding. Good Times. Fun Times. But she is now back with Brammo in Ashland (and they are likely thinking, “Jesus, what the heck did he do to this bike?” I did ride her fairly hard and took her off road more than they probably thought I would).

We will do a little remembrance…an “Oscar” show farewell:

(no Yo Yo Ma on single cello, no stark piano playing, not even the great Brother IZ playing Over the Rainbow on ukelele)

This tribute get Miss You by the Stones playing in the background.

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Day one. The first ride.

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Walter White’s house…Breaking Bad tour

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Bike getting muddy. She rode in all weather. Sun, Rain, Snow and from 9 degrees to 104.

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Getting Muddy…mostly me this time.

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Silverton, CO. Where old met new.

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Part of the “Park Where I Want” series. Inside the bar at Ska Brewing, Durango, CO.

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Fake Paris. Las Vegas, NV

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Opening up 17 Mile Drive to Electric Motorcycles. Hopefully more to come.

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Hoover Dam. Dam good times. Thanks E.

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More off-roading at Camp Scoot 2012.

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She was great. I miss her already. But I now have a new bike to learn and enjoy. The new bike will go twice as far, opening up more trips and travels. I plan to do quite a few day trips. Sandia Crest: Madrid and the Mine Shaft Tavern: Tinkertown: A nice ride down along the Rio to Los Lunas when the Cottonwood leaves are turning gold. All trips I couldn’t do on the true city commuter Enertia Legacy.

But the Blog, for a while, will slow down. Probably a post a week. I have been posting 3 to 4 times a week lately as I had 10 months of stories, experiences and photos to share of my time with the Enertia. It will take a while to build up the same amount of photos and experiences on the Enertia Plus (though the Grand Canyon was a GREAT start).

I know it will be tough, but please don’t despair too much when the blog posts decrease to a mere weekly release. If overly depressed, please seek professional care. Or drink heavily. Or both. It’s what I do. 🙂

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I do want to paint the “Boomerangs”. I love the black, but she needs a bit of flash…color…style. So I ask you, my many many readers….ha….I just snorted when I typed that…Which do you prefer?

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Standard: All Black

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Black with green metallic fleck on the Boomerangs.

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Black with blue metallic fleck on the Boomerangs.

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The Green paint would come from this:

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***

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Do I have permission to paint those boomerangs? Well I am following the school of…..1) I don’t not have permission 2) I wasn’t told I couldn’t paint them and 3) it is better to ask forgiveness than permission. And I’m lazy…so who knows when or if it will ever get done.

I do know I need to put a couple of hundred miles on the bike before I can give her a proper review. I thought she would simply be an Enertia with twice the range. But there are quite a few differences between the Enertia and the Plus. Some small, some actually quite big. Give me a couple of weeks and a review will appear.

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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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***notice i did not give a poll option of “Do it and your a dead man, Gavin. Love Adrian.”

Opps…almost forgot the New Computer part. I bought a new MacBook Pro. Love it. Just wanted to put up a photo here…not sure how it relates to Brammo Blog… 🙂

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Eric Bostrom doing a wheelie on a Brammo Empulse. I hear he did this wheelie while going 60 mph.





Brammo Blog : Meet the New Boss…

27 08 2012

Blog 37: A Changing of the Guard.* A Renewal.** A Rebirth.*** Or something like that.

“A new bike” is probably more accurate, but a bit boring. Not as much Flair.

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Ok: Background. Brammo was nice enough to lend me a loaner Enertia for an EXTENDED period of time. Since the middle of October of 2011 to last Saturday I’ve put a bit over 4800 miles on her (not bad for a shorter range city commuter).

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Final Mileage. 5252. I got her with 450 on the odometer.

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She is great for my city commute. Great to go to the Isotope games. For rides around town. ETC ETC. But I do some longer rides and her 40 miles range is not enough for rides to Tinkertown, Sandia Crest, Los Lunas and some of my other favorite rides.

So, while I was very happy to have the Enertia and love her dearly, I’ve bugged Brammo from time to time telling them I would love to try out the Enertia Plus (a bike with twice the range of the Enertia). And the term “from time to time” loosely translates to hourly. For the last 9 months. Like a fever after eating a “slightly off” Creamy Parmesan Chicken dinner at Applebees, I am relentless. And fairly nauseating.

I’m sure it is because Brammo likes me so much (versus wanting to shut me up) that they emailed me a couple of weeks ago : “Gavin, would you like to turn in the Legacy Enertia and continue your extended loaner ride on a Plus? We have one that we would like to have lots and lots of miles put on it and we think you could be good at that.”

I played hard to get. And by that I mean I emailed back within microseconds of getting their email. My email was the very refined and dignified, “Yes, God YES, send it now and no back-sees” or something along those lines.

They said “oh, damn, what have we gotten ourselves into”….but the no back-sees rule was already invoked and so a deal was made. Matt Nelson was going to ship the bike to LA, as the people there wanted to try out the Plus. Then he would load it on a truck and bring it to Las Vegas. I would meet him there and give him the green Legacy Enertia and he would give/loan me the Plus.

For me it is a 9 hour drive from Albuquerque to Las Vegas (which I had just done heading to Laguna Seca and back. Three Vegas visits in a months time…crazy. Though crazy is a strong term. Driving three times to Vegas in a month is probably excessive. Crazy might better describe the man walking down Tropicana Ave with the large, very very fresh urine stain down the front of his long khaki shorts).

I was meeting Matt at the Motel 6 at 4pm. Why the Motel 6 when there are so many grand hotels in Vegas? The Motel 6 has an easier parking lot to do the exchange and less guards than the fancy Hotels. Plus it had the added bonus of feeling like a drug buy on Breaking Bad.

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And yes, I dressed for the occasion.

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Matt went over a few changes between the bikes, we chatted a bit and then said our goodbyes. Nice young man. I was slightly surprised that Brammo sent somebody to go over the bike with me.

  1. I’ve ridden the Enertia about as much as anybody in the world has.
  2. They shipped the first bike directly to my home with the only instructions being, “There is only one key. DO NOT lose it.” 4800 miles later and I still had that one key.
  3. So I kinda think Matt wanted a few days away from Ashland 🙂

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The Pickup….in a pickup. All we needed to complete the image is a duffel bag of cash.

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I am now riding English Test Bike #9. And, of course, “Interia” is spelled wrong 🙂

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I had planned to spend the night in Vegas, but even after all the driving and the exchange it was still only 5pm.  Lots of daylight hours and I hoped to do a couple of stops on the way home Sunday. It would be easier to do those stops if I could get a couple of hours on the road heading home. 9 hours of Saturday driving became 11 hours as I turned around and headed to Kingman, Arizona.

I wanted to do the trip as a whole “Get your Kicks on Rt 66” vibe. I do go through half the cities named in that song…Gallup, Flagstaff, Kingman, Arizona and don’t forget Winona. (a hint: after 11 hours on Saturday and then 10 hours on Sunday…I pooped out on the whole Rt 66 thing…I had some other adventures I wanted to do.)

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The bike didn’t need a charge, but I just don’t trust…well anybody. Plus, after 27 years of marriage, I don’t like sleeping alone.

+++Rt 66..Kingman Arizona…and Public Restrooms for the Win.

I got up early to ride around Kingman. Went about 2 miles and turned around. Not much reason to visit more than that.

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Something about a Steakhouse with a fake Bull on the roof always makes me hungry.

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So Kingman was boring. But they did have two Motel 6s. I, of course, went to the wrong one at first. Why Motel 6? And why so often? (I have never stayed at a Motel 6 before my trip to Laguna Seca) Well they have first floor rooms and external doors…easier to get the bike into the room. And they are everywhere…and cheap. But Kingman was just a place to sleep and get ready for Sunday.

What I really wanted to do on Sunday was hit the Grand Canyon.

  1. I love the Grand Canyon.
  2. It is only about a hour detour off the highway I was taking home (so adding about 3 hours to my day).
  3. I thought it would be a great place to take some photos of the new bike.
  4. I love the Grand Canyon.

So I turn north to the Canyon and find out a few things.

  1. It’s been a while since I was there. Major road improvements. Though improvements might be the wrong word.
  2. Getting to the rim use to be a single road. Not anymore. I basically got lost and couldn’t find the rim for a while. Let that sink in for a moment. I couldn’t find the rim. At the Grand Freakin’ Canyon. Sigh.
  3. It now costs 25 bucks a person to get in. Yikes. I figured they must have added a roller coaster or something. Sadly, no roller coaster.

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Where’s the Rim? I especially like the last 30 seconds where I keep looking over…

“I see the rim, now how the heck to I get over there?”

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Yeah…Found it. So beautiful and peaceful. One place that has remained semi untouched in this land.

No McDonald’s signs on the mesa tops. No cell phone towers. Just rocks slowly eroding.

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Leaving that spot. The people of the bike waved me over. I should have keep the camera running as THEY WERE GREAT! But I don’t like filming people if they don’t know it from the start. They loved the bike. Later, heading back in the truck, they pulled up beside me and gave a big thumbs up. I meet so many great people on these trips.

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Same spot. It’s a nice spot, so I took a few photos here.

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And then I went looking for new places.

Parked up on the walkway in the Grand Canyon. No issues. Much nice than the Hoover Dam people. Grrrr.

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And found a second nice view a couple miles from the first spot.

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And a HUGE vulture flew by.

That vulture was much bigger than the video shows it.

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And then this is for me Mum….she loves when I do this stuff.

Someday I’ll have her tell the story of when I was a kid hanging off a rock over the canyon. Good Times.

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While semi-lost I did find the Mules. Unionize Mules, Unionize.

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Heading back to the truck I join some bikes with trailers.

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So we say goodbye to my quick detour to the Grand Canyon.

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Potential Brammo Postcards.

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Next was more driving. Grand Canyon through Flagstaff to the Meteor Crater. I was going to stop in Flagstaff to take a photo for the whole Rt 66 thing. But I wasn’t feeling it…so I just drove right on through. Plus it was raining in Flagstaff. I have NEVER been through Flagstaff when it isn’t raining. So here is a photo….not by me.

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You can tell it isn’t by me because of the FREAKIN’ BLUE SKIES.

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Only a few miles East of Flagstaff is Winona. Winona isn’t even a town. There is nothing in Winona. Yet there is an exit. There are multiple signs. But basically Winona is only known for being in the Rt.66 song. And it was only in the song because the writer needed a rhyme for Arizona.

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Here I am a mile for wonderful Winona. Notice the cloudy skies. That is because Winona is close to that rainhole know as Flagstaff.

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Here I am AT Winona. Notice how the sun only shines on the sign. It does appear that there are 4 homes in Winona. All relatives of Booby Troup I presume.

(both photos were actually taken on the way out to Vegas)

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So, surprisingly, I just drove right passed Winona and on to the Meteor Crater. I really like the contrast of the Grand Canyon and the Meteor Crater. Sure both are very close to each other physically. Sure both can be seen from an airplane or satellite. But one was made in less than 10 seconds, one was made over millions of years (and counting).

I had hoped to take the bike up on the crater’s ridge…but the whole area is fenced off. I will have to plan better next time.

Still….

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Meteor Crater.

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Stopped in front. A family from Tennessee came over and talked a fair bit of time. Nice family. They stopped back a second time to ask my name. They wanted to tell the company how helpful I was. I told them I don’t work for Brammo, just a fan. They still wanted to tell the company how helpful their “fan” was.

They really want an electric snowmobile. And an electric ATV for hunting. Quiet is good for hunting.

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From the Meteor Crater I went straight home. I wanted to stop at Holbrook at the Wigwam Motel, but passed Holbrook without even seeing it. That scared me a bit. I was listening to audiobooks and driving and focusing on the cars and trucks and the bike in the back and didn’t see Holbrook at all. Oh well…Next time.

Not my photo. For all I know Holbrook, like an episode of the Twilight Zone, is no longer there.

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And I didn’t stop in Gallup either. It may be in the song, but dang, I’ve been going to OutReach Clinic in Gallup every month for the last 16 years. And that is more than enough times for me.

So home. Over 1300 miles in 37 hours. By myself. And not even hard. Kinda fun actually.

Now comes the “putting on some miles” on the new bike. Adrian has already challenged me to put over 100 miles on the bike with one charge…while having a 5000 foot climb. That will be tough as I want to go fast. And going fast uses up the battery quicker. But I’ll try.

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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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* A Changing of the Guard.


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** A Renewal

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*** A Rebirth

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I had “A Rebirth” first when I wrote this blog post…but always save the best for last 🙂