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

30 09 2013

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

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

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

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

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La Casa de loco…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Notice the object on top of the dam.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Panorama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I love that they keep this painted on their wall.

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And then I headed back home.

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

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

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

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Till next time….Gavin.

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

No bonus this time…sorry Proto.

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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.

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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.

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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: Breaking Bad, Brammo Style.

5 07 2012

Blog 9. Number Nine…Number Nine…Number Nine…I’ve got blisters on my fingers!!!**

**did The Beatles Blog?


OK….This will be a very familiar blog post for my friends over at BrammoForum.com as I posted these photos  there quite some time ago.

But I thought it would be nice to have them up on my “official” blog. Plus this should be a fast and easy blog entry…and everybody knows how much I like things “fast and easy.”

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So Breaking Bad is filmed here in Albuquerque. And it is a GREAT show. Wonderful writing. Amazing acting. To have a show of this quality filmed here in town is insane…but in the good insane way. Like watching cliff diving: You’re thinking, “Oh my god, that is crazy, but it’s beautiful. I so want to do that, but hell no, I could never do that.”

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But back to Breaking Bad. During Season 2 my cousin, who lives in Pittsburgh and works in film, came to visit and he LOVES Breaking Bad. So we looked around to find some of the filming locations. And surprisingly, Walter’s house is about 4 blocks from my brother’s house, and only one and a half miles from my house.

Cousin and I went around and took photos of him standing by Walt’s house and other sites. And a fun time was had by all (the owner of “Walter’s” house saw us taking photos and came out and talked to us…Nice woman.**)

Fast forward to 2011 and I get a nice little loaner motorcycle from Brammo to test out and I’m thinking, “Where should I go and get some nice local shots that will be interesting to people outside of my family?” I replied to myself, “I should do some Breaking Bad locations with the Enertia in them.” And so I did…and here there are.

These photos are of locations featured in mostly the first and second season, except Jesse’s Grandmother’s house, which is quite active for the later seasons too. I will have to go back and do some later season shots. I’m thinking I will do that:  A) when I get MY bike, vs the loaner and B) maybe do it when Breaking Bad is filming in town again so that I “might” be able to see some filming in action. Unlikely, but I could try increasing my “stalker” vibe and bug some film buddies who might be able to get me info on shooting and such.

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1st:

Who’s House? WALT”S HOUSE (shouted in my head in Run DMC style).

The house isn’t quite complete without a pizza on the roof.

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The Administration Building at Walt’s School. Not seen anymore as Walt has moved passed his teaching days

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Walt’s classroom is in this building. I had to “sneak” into this area for the photo. This whole area is enclosed by a metal fenced in area. Truthfully, it was a Sunday and surprisingly one of the gates was open, making my work here quite easy.

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This was Saul Goodman’s office. It has since changed into a bar called Hooligans…somewhat fitting.

Still, You better call Saul, his office is gone.**

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The Crossroads Motel. Ah, art imitating life. This motel was used a lot in the first season. I think the owners thought it would give some good publicity. Instead most viewers think of it, maybe correctly, as a crack whore motel.

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Jesse’s ill-fated apartment. Some sad shit went down in here…And it is available to rent!! So you can share in the sadness.

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This is Jesse’s House. It was Jesse’s Grandmothers house and home of some fun scenes in season one…sadder scene later. Poor Jesse doesn’t get a lot of joy in this series…though I guess nobody gets much joy on this series.

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Ah, more art imitating life. This is the car washed used in Breaking Bad. Walter’s wife wants to buy it to launder his drug money. Interestingly there is another Octopus Car Wash in town (not this one) that is “rumored” to be owned by a local gang to launder money. This rumor has been around longer than Breaking Bad, so I wonder if the writers decided to include a bit of local reality into the show?

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That’s it for the Breaking Bad photos….hopefully when I get my new bike I can add some more.

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On a separate note….Mr. Cranston, if you see this blog ( unlikely, but I remain ever hopeful) and would like a test ride on this Electric Motorcycle…Any Time, Any Place (in Albuquerque). I know you’re hella busy; I also know you’re a scooter guy, but I think you will like the Enertia. Easy and fun and clean. I’m not a sales person, nor affiliated with Brammo, just a fan…of the motorcycle and of your acting.

For a chance to get you to sign the “gas” tank, I would let you borrow her for a day and make a small donation to your favorite charity. I’m not a rich guy, but I would happily give 100 bucks or so to have both your signature permanently attached on my bike and a photo of you by or on the bike to hang in the waiting room at my work (I work at the Children’s Hospital Heart Center here at University Hospital). So if nothing else, you can “do it for the children.” And yes I have no shame using the children that way.

But enough of the groveling…any more and I hit “stalker” level…which I really don’t want to happen….again….for the 4th time. Sigh, so many court appearances and so much paper work involved each and every time.

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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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**Saul Goodman’s Office before it became Hooligans:

and the nice owner of Walter’s House…this was a couple of years ago…so I am sitting in a car…I try to not do that anymore…car’s suck. 🙂