Brammo Blog : Ride an Electric Motorcycle and be Treated Like a GOD

9 07 2012

Blog 11: Durango-Silverton Trip.

Part 1. SILVERTON.

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Today’s Blog was going to be about how everyone is nice to you if you ride an Electric Motorcycle.

And I still plan to write that blog later this week.

But this weekend has opened my eyes to one simple fact: You WILL gain God-like powers if you drive an Electric Motorcycle.

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(and yes, Norway has freakin’ HUGE dandelions)

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As I said, I had planned to write about how everybody is nice to you if you ride an Electric Motorcycle. And it is true. But what I have slowly learned is that you will actually gain a certain power…which I will describe shortly.  It is surprising. It is intoxicating. It is also a bit dangerous. I must promise myself to use this power for good and not bad or selfish gains. But it is ohhhhh so tempting 🙂

It started slowly. I  ask people to charge-up and they say, “Sure. Is that Electric? That is cool….” and then 18 more questions. Then it evolves to where people are offering to let me charge without my asking, (me: sitting on the Enertia at Lowe’s waiting for the wife to show up so we can look at ceiling fans. Lowe’s worker walks up) “Hey, is that electric?” “Yes it is.” “Well we have an outlet just over there behind you, you can charge up if you like.” “Hey, Thanks, but I’m good. I don’t really need to charge right now. But thanks for the offer.” “No problem. That motorcycle is pretty cool…” and 18 questions follow.

And that was a nice little evolution; from asking and being told “Yes”, “Sure”, “Cool”, “No Problem” and then 18 questions about the bike, to not even having to ask if I could charge. “Yes” was, is and always will be the answer it seems. But it didn’t prepare me for the next huge leap in evolution (like the first Lungfish that looked at it’s shrinking pond and said, “Later Dudes, I’m taking a walk.” And yes, Lungfish were the first animals that used the word Dude. Look it up).

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     Not this Lungfish…though they are cool. And can walk and breath air.   

                                               

This Lungfish. Can’t sing nor play an instrument, but can “walk” and breath air.

(they also overuse both the word DUDE and exclamation points.)

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And that radical evolutionary leap was this:

“NOBODY WILL SAY “NO” TO YOU NO MATTER HOW CRAZY THE REQUEST IS!”

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Find a famous private road that has never allowed motorcycles on it? Ask them, “Hey, mind if we take 5 electric motorcycle on your road?” and you might be surprised by the answer.

Want to park your electric motorcycle near the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s steam locomotive? Want to park right on the track with it? Ask them and they might not only say yes, but offer to set up security, find the best location….and then ask 18 questions about the motorcycle.

Want to take your electric motorcycle INSIDE a famous Brewing Companies bar?? Sure, Why the heck not!!

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It’s insane….I feel I can ask anything that comes to my mind and the answer will be yes.

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Today will focus on Silverton and Ska Brewing. Tomorrow Durango.

Silverton was amazing. 9321 feet above sea level and it was raining a bit…but a light rain. Still too wet for video. Which is too bad as Silverton is hella cute.

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Riding in to Silverton. Had to truck in the Enertia…270 miles from my house is a bit beyond it’s commuter range.

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First stop was getting some Grub (5 hours of driving makes me hungry…surprisingly 🙂 )

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Handlebars was great. Funky interior, crazy local waitress and GOOD Buffalo Burger. GREAT BBQ sauce. Highly Recommended.

If I get up the nerve, I will order this next time.

But I am nervous about eating Onion Rings 🙂

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Two for the Park Where I WANT series. Nice funky Hotel where I parked on the sidewalk…and then City Hall, where I parked in the middle of the street.

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But on to the main attraction…and the reason we had driven 270 miles from Albuquerque to the tiny town of Silverton, Colorado. The STEAM LOCOMOTIVE.

Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotive.

She was really quite lovely and strong…and dirty and all that too. But, as Brammo said, “Iron Horse meet Electric Horse“. It really was Old meet New, Dirty meet Clean, Large meet Small, and all that. The conductor and everyone was super cool. Letting me put the bike anywhere I wanted and letting me take all the time I needed. Of course it was raining, so I didn’t spend too long out in the cold and wet. But I did get a few nice photos.

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She is a dirty bird for sure.

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At one point a railroad worker walked over and I thought he was going to tell me to leave or move back…but instead he just asked about the bike (18 questions) and then I asked if I could put the bike even closer to the train…”Sure, just don’t go on the second track as another train is coming, but other than that, anywhere you want.”

It was then that I had a glimmer of the power bestowed on me…a power that would be confirmed a short time later…..

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I Park Where I WANT….Train Tracks? Hell Yeah!

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And that’s about it for Silverton. A fun little town. She does get muddy in the rain. But very quaint, and the people are nice.

Our next stop was a tour of Ska Brewing in Durango. The tour starts at 4pm daily, except Sundays. We were an hours drive away and leaving Silverton at 2:50…and we wanted to take the bikes off at the Motel and drive the 6 miles through Downtown and out to Ska. So we had to skedaddle. And skedaddle we did….But we still knew we would be 10 to 15 minutes late. So halfway down from Silverton I called them and asked if the tour would wait for us….and the answer…”Sure, no problem.” Of course.

So we get there, park where we want (yes, that is getting old fast isn’t it), which was right by the cute little 3 wheeled APE vehicle. And we do the tour and see the inside workings of Ska Brewing…and it all nice and fun…and we try a few samples. And it is tasty. But it’s getting on dinner time and we wanted to ride some more around Downtown before it got too dark or too wet.

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So we get up to go, say goodbye to the nice server who took us on the tour…and suddenly a thought occurred to me. A crazy, silly thought…and I almost didn’t ask. But at the door I turned around and asked our “guide”, who was talking to a man at the bar who got up and left after I asked my question, “Do you think it would be alright to bring my Electric Motorcycle into the bar and get a photo?”

Why I thought that would be a good idea was beyond me. Why I even wanted a photo of the bike in the bar is beyond me. But I thought it…and then I asked it…and, no longer surprisingly, the answer was “Yes.”

Taken aback, I even said, “Are you sure?” In a quizzical voice of mild disbelief. Her answer, “The guy I was just talking to is the owner and he shook his head to me before he left.”

So I just happened to ask as the owner was there…and STILL GOT A YES….It is a scary power I now wield.

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Evidence….

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Tomorrow is Durango and some video fun….

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





Brammo Blog: Independence Day!

5 07 2012

Blog 8, the Ocho.

Independence.

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So many meanings here. And such a powerful word. Love, Hate, Freedom, Independence…certain words have an emotion beyond the letters, beyond the dictionary explanation.

Yesterday the meaning, at least here in the States, is tied to this Country’s early fight for Freedom and Independence from England. **

And that is a very powerful statement…Our Country is Independent. We fought, shed blood, lost families all to have a freer, better future.

Years later, with the Emancipation Proclamation, black slaves in this country started a march towards freedom and Independence from being thought of and treated as property.

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Beyond that the meaning can be more personal. At 18 a young person here in the States becomes Independent of their parents. A progression from infant to child to young adult.

Here at Brammo Blog, Independence can be applied to being independent of Oil and Gas and free from the influence and control of countries that don’t really like us. Heck, many of them kinda hate us.

To me that is important on a few levels. Supporting governments of corrupt countries that treat their citizens poorly and would like nothing better than to see us fail and fall, well that seems “wrong”.

At the same time, becoming Energy Independent is a great way to support our own people, our own country. All while improving our Air, our Water, and our Planet for our children. Shipping oil thousands of miles across Oceans is not a very clean method to power our homes, cars, motorcycles. We can, and will, do better.

Beyond even that, Independence can be finding strength within to fight addiction. Strength within to leave an abusive relationship. Strength to find within a voice of Independent thought.

A strong word. A strong thought. A strong concept.

To be free. To be Independent. Everyday can be your Independence day.

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**(Isn’t it strange that the countries we are closest to are the ones we have fought wars with? England was our first war, and now is likely our closest ally. German, two Great Wars, and now close ally. Japan? We freaking dropped two nuclear weapons on them…the only country to ever have a nuclear bomb used against them…and now we are best buds. Not sure what all that means, just interesting to note.)

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Of course a blog post here would not be complete without some Brammo images or news.

July 4th image from Brammo:

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Brammo’s Youngest Rider

She was adorable making the “incorrect” motorcycle sound…this one doesn’t go “bababababababab” Addy. It goes…..”—–“.

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and lastly….Brammo SENT ME AN EMPULSE R!!!!!

Sadly it is a Empulse R mug…oh well…maybe soon enough I will have a nice new Brammo I can RIDE vs drink out of. 🙂

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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





Brammo Blog: Real World views from a Real Electric Motorcycle

26 06 2012

Blog 2, 6/26/12.

Today we talk about: Holy Moley is it CHEAP to fill up an Electric Motorcycle.

Now I know everybody has seen this image before…it is all over the interwebs.

or this one:

We get a chuckle, a bit of a laugh. Until we are the one driving up to the pump and realize that it is too close to the truth. “Hmmmm, buy needed medication or fill the gas tank?” should never be a thought running through anybody’s head.

Almost everyday I drive by an ironically named gas station: Pump and Save. Hahahahahahahaaaaaa, excuse me, hahahahahahaha. How about some truth in advertizing…Pump and make OPEC happy. Pump and there goes your vacation budget. Pump and kiss your retirement goodbye. Just about anything works, except: Pump and Save.

Even the most economical gas cars are really quite expensive to fill up and drive on a daily basis. Example: Toyota Prius. Good car (a bit fugly) and an industry leading 50 mpg. Good going Toyota!  A Prius owner can go 100 miles for 2 gallons of gas…at 3.50 a gallon that is 5 million dollars….oops, sorry, my math ain’t so hot (neither is me English)….so 7 bucks for 100 miles in a very functional and well built, though slightly fugly, Prius. Not bad! But not great considering it is the best the automobile industry has to offer.

Now look at the Enertia, which I have been lucky enough to ride for the last 8-9 months:

Yes, look at her sitting there in front of the Mountain Lodge off old Rt 66. I love this photo as it make me think of riding the Enertia through the world of Fallout 3, but that is a subject for another blog on another day

The cost to “fill” the Enertia’s “tank” is just about 1 cent a mile to charge up from any 110v wall outlet here in New Mexico. 1 cent a mile = 100 cents for 100 miles…which is like zero dollars to fill up…again, not so good at math.

Actually we are talking (or typing and reading) a hundred miles for a buck. So the Enertia is 7 times cheaper than the best mileage gas car on the road. (and looks hella better and WAY MORE FUN to drive. And that is all proven by SCIENCE.)

And it is because electricity is so much cheaper than gas (and can be renewable and clean—Wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal—Mother Nature is very giving. It’s like moving back in with your parents and sponging off them, but way cooler and no living in the basement with your Cheetos covered “Night Ranger ROCKS” T-Shirt.)

And it works for Electric Cars too. 100 miles in a Nissan LEAF is half the price or less than the Prius. And if you are fortunate enough, or had the foresight and have paid-off solar panels on your roof, well all miles could be essentially free and clean, thanks to Mr. Sun. I love you Mr. Sun…

So when you drive to work, or to the store, or when you’re out shopping to prepare for the coming Zombie Apocalypse, remember the two gas signs above…and know that they could look like this:

Plug and Save…now that is a “fuel” station I would love to see stretching from Sea to Shining Sea. 🙂

Gavin





Brammo Blog: Real World views from a Real Electric Motorcycle

25 06 2012

With some very “not subtle” prodding (looking your way BrammoFan), I am reopening my blog and focusing it down to Brammo Motorcycles and the trips and experiences I am having just about every day of the year as I ride this Electric Motorcycle. Real world observations. Real world photos. This will be mostly a Photo Journal, peppered with some brilliant insights….or probably just insights that fall somewhat below brilliant…ok, very far below…jeez, you think I would get some respect from my own blog…but noooo, the dang critics in my head keep pestering me to be honest.

I am not a prolific blogger, but I will work hard to get a couple of new posts every week.

So…..without further ado:

Blog 1, 6/25/12. Today we talk about:

I have always counted on the Kindness of Strangers…or “business that allow me to charge.”

When I first received the “Loaner” Enertia from Brammo I assumed I would always just charge it overnight at home. I even set up a charge station with a nice little sign I bought from BrammoFan.

And I did charge mostly at home…still do. It is easy and you wake up every morning to a fully charged bike.

But one trip I was planning to ride looked to be impossible without outside charging (the loaner bike is Brammo’s first model and is really quite nice, but does have a 40 mile range. Great for commuting, not so much for long distance drives.)

Well the Rio Rancho Annual Toy Run was coming up and I really wanted to take the Enertia. Thousands of riders, a good cause and I thought it would be great to show off the Electric a bit. But the ride started 20 miles from my house, add in 10-15 miles on the ride, and then 20 miles back home—much of it at 55 mph which drains the battery faster than slow city commuting—and it is easy to see that 40 miles or less wasn’t going to make it.

So bail on the ride? No Way! First, I called the Toy Run staff. Sadly they did not have any electric power at the start of the race nor at the ending spot. They did let me know that the start was in the parking lot of the local High School and I could call them. So I called Rio Rancho High School. A very nice gentleman who runs the school’s activities told me it would be no problem at all to charge at the school. He informed me that there were outside outlets on the Gym and to “have at it”. Yea! Thanks Rio Rancho High School. You were the first place I charged away from home (and you are Walter White’s school in Breaking Bad–but that is another blog for another day).

So I left home early—the ride started at 11:00 am—as I needed extra time to charge at the school. One day that won’t be an issue, but right now I do have to make extra time and effort if I want to go electric and still do the longer rides I enjoy. The trade off, to me, is worth it 🙂

I depart at 8:30 am and get to the school at 9. Easily find the plug, plug up and….wait. I read a bit, I walk over and talk to some of the early bird gas bikers—the ride seems to bring every Harley rider in the State of New Mexico. At 11:00 the bike is about 95% charged and I am ready to join up with the gas bikes and my scooter friends.

So we do a ride of 15 miles and my scooter friends want to stop and get something to eat…I’m like, sure I can eat…and I start following them to a new place they want to try. Unfortunately for me they are riding away from Albuquerque and my home…which is where I like to charge. And when we get to the restaurant, well I am pretty sure I won’t be able to get all the way home. So I ask the staff…”Hey, I have this electric motorcycle, do you mind if I charge while my friends and I get some food and drinks?” “Sure, let me go get an extension cord.” That was a surprise…they even went out of their way to help me. But he comes back, “Hey, I can’t find our extension cord…but you can park the bike inside our storage area and charge there”.

So I rolled my bike up and into the back of the restaurant…Crazy. But hella nice.

Which brings me to the point, finally, of this Blog. I have yet to be turned down when I have asked a business if I can charge my bike while I shop, buy or eat at their establishments. It is really amazing. I usually have my argument ready, “it only costs about 10 cents an hour in electricity to charge**, and I will be spending much more than that while I am here…and I tip well.” But I don’t ever have to do that. A simple, “Hi, my bike is electric. I see you have an outside plug, do you mind if I use it?” “Sure, no problem. That’s a cool bike”, is the usual response. Often followed with many more question.

So I thought I would give a quick shout out and thanks to some of the places I’ve charged.

As mentioned: Rio Rancho High School…the school in Breaking Bad AND you guys have your own solar array…you guys ROCK.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Co.: I am upset with myself as I wanted to get a photo of the bike charging in your storage area…but forgot! Instead, here is a photo of their menu. You helped me to ride over 70 miles that day…the most I’ve ridden the Enertia in one day.

Subway: The Subway in Tijeras, NM has let me charge at least 3 times. One of my favorite rides goes out that way, but it is just a bit too far to go without some extra charge. So I stop, grab a sandwich and surf the web a bit and off I go with a nicely charged bike and a fairly full belly. Thanks Jarred…or Michael Phelps…or whoever Subway is using as their spokesman.

I am downtown most Tuesday Nights to play the Pub Quiz, Geeks who Drink, at the Blackbird Buvette. Plus I’m friends with one of the owners…and the Blackbird is a cool place to hang just about any time. As a bonus they have a lamp post out front that I can charge at. And if that isn’t working, they let me charge on their back patio…Thanks!

While Downtown, Albuquerque does have two pay charge stations…Good to have, though I haven’t needed to use them yet. Too much free charging available so far to start using my credit card to charge…but maybe one day.

I’ve charged at Walmart, Smith’s Grocery, Lowe’s Home Improvements…just to name a few. Anytime I am stopping for 30 minutes or more, I go ahead and charge. Every 30 minutes gives me 5 more miles in range.

And last, but not least, my work. This is the one place, other than home, where I have charged the most.

Covered parking AND free juice? What’s not to love about that.

And that is the wonderful part about electrics. There is a source for charging EVERYWHERE. And it is cheap and easy to use. Go to your favorite restaurant and ask them if you can fill your car’s gas tank while you eat. They will look at you like you are crazy. Because storing and delivering gas is hard, expensive and kinda dangerous. Storing and delivering electricity is not. Heck, by code every house and business have outlets every few freaking feet. I can attest to that as we have a one year old granddaughter and about 12 billion outlet covers in our home.

Still there is the slowness of filling my tank (which is why I do it at home, work or restaurants where I know I will be a while) and the shortness of range. Those two obstacles will be overcome with time, and, in fact, are already improving. My loaner gets 40 miles, but the Brammo Plus coming out this summer gets twice that. The Brammo Empulse will get 100 miles and has fast charging, which will fill those batteries at twice the rate of 120v wall charging. A few more years and the battery will last longer than what my butt will allow me to ride. And then we will have all the conveniences of electric drive: quiet, smooth, quick, easy, nearly zero maintenance and fuel that is cheap and everywhere; without the downside of range issues and slowness of charging. And we will have a fuel that can truly be zero emissions…when you have nice solar panels on your roof and 310 sunny days a year 🙂

Till next time….

Gavin

**This might be my next blog…the insanely low cost of charging. Or Park Anywhere! Or “Want people to be nice to you? interact and talk to you? Buy an Electric motorcycle.”