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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Leaving OZ: I don’t think we’re in Ashland any more Dorothy…I mean Deanna. Oops.

3 07 2013

Brammo Blog Version 2.0, #6.

So this is the blog were Deanna and I leave the Mothership and head to Thunderhill for some racing.

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Deanna and I had a nice time in Ashland. (see yesterdays blog) Thanks Adrian for the tour of the town and heading out with us to Peerless for dinner and helping me kill at bottle of Pinot Noir. Nothing like heartburn at 3 am to make any trip extra nice.

Then came the tour of the Headquarters which was covered in the last blog.

And today we cover heading down to Willows, CA to watch Brammo race a bit at Thunderhill Raceway.

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The Track. 3 miles of Fun.

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IMG_7040Nice rolling, brown grass hills…And Wind Power.

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So first we have to find the Brammo folks. Luckily that is fairly easy as they travel with a big truck.It is a variation on the phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” They drive quietly and travel with a big truck. On second thought, I guess those two phrases are nothing alike.

At the Entrance the nice people at Thunderhill tried to charge Deanna and myself an entry fee. I told them I was with Brammo and they quickly waved me through. Fibs make Baby Buddha cry. But this was a small semi fib. A Fib-ett. A Fib-let. A demi-fib. A…ok, enough of that.

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IMG_7014Brammo claiming their space.

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IMG_7016Deanna and I parked and walked over just as both racers (Eric Bostrom and Shelina Moreda) were getting ready to take some laps.

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It was, as it always seems to be, frantic kinetic energy and then Eric was quickly on his bike and gone.

IMG_7020Or maybe he wasn’t gone….maybe he just blended in with the herd of Zebras near the track*

*(full disclosure–there are no herds of Zebras near the track)

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IMG_7021Nope, Shelina was taking her first ride on an RR!

ps… I’ve been taking “The JJ Abrahms school of Photography” where their slogan is: “No amount of Lens Flare is Too Much Lens Flare.”

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IMG_7025Eric was out first and back first. Notice the mountain bike in the background. That is an Eric Bostrom edition. Notice the helmet he is wearing. That is an Eric Bostrom edition.

A few more endorsements and he will be moving into NASCAR territory. 🙂

As for that helmet…I just might have to get one. It would look wicked with Walter White.

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IMG_7026Shelina came back and was grinning from ear to ear.

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When Shelina came back after her first ride she was bouncing around like a 4 year old who had just had 6 Otter Pops and a fist full of Pixie Sticks. She loved the ride and was chatting up a storm about the bike. I think, but I’m not sure, that she liked it. 🙂

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Then it was discussion time with the crew and the riders. I do like how the riders give instant feedback to the crew and there is a very good and interesting back and forth. A few adjustments are usually made based on the rider’s suggestions and back out they go for a few more laps.

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IMG_7028+++  IMG_7030Close up of the companies helping to make Electric Racing a mainstream event. It takes a village to change the World.

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IMG_7048Some adjustment to the second RR.

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IMG_7045Lordy Lordy, those Icon people are not fond of subtle Livery.

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And that’s Brian heading out of the truck. I want to thank him and everybody on his team. They were all so open and friendly and willing to spend time with me. Brian was also very gracious with his time and talked with me for much longer than I thought he would/could…and he is a busy man.

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IMG_7049An Empulse getting some charge at the track.

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IMG_7037 Shelina on the RR.

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Shelina back from a ride on the RR and giving her impression. Here she is talking to 2 young professional men…and one old, bent-over geezer in a Mammoth Brewery shirt.*

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*Must remember to work on my posture…in my next life. Baby Buddha told me I might come back as a Silver-back Gorilla if I’m good. But I think he was just making fun of my white beard…and back.* I’m still hoping for an Orca or Eagle or Gibbon. Mostly I want to be the top of the food chain in the Sea, or the top of the food chain in the Air, or a Gibbon. I like Gibbons and I would love to have crazy long arms.

*(I’m kidding about the white back hair. I have the back of a twelve year old…just don’t tell him I have it, he might want it….back. Gawd, a disturbing joke ending in a disturbing pun. I am a horrid human being and now Baby Buddha suggests I might come back as a tapeworm.)

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Well, I can not possibly end on that note. So I have a couple of more photos to show. This next photo shows the Brammo van parked at night outside a restaurant in Willows. You may wonder why I took this photo. It’s boring and doesn’t really mean anything. Well it doesn’t mean anything until you have a bit more context.

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So let me explain a little more. This is Friday night and the team had a long day at Thunderhill. They returned to their hotel to clean up and then all jumped in the van to go out for dinner. Deanna and I stayed at the same motel and we also ended up at the same restaurant for dinner. The thing is this: Deanna and I didn’t drive to the restaurant. Nope, we walked. Why did we walk all the way from the motel to the restaurant at night in a town we did not know? Because it was literally 100 feet or so from the motel.

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hotel-foodAnd here is a small panorama Deanna and I took on our way out the next morning. The black arrow is the Motel. The red arrow points to the restaurant that we walked, and Brammo drove, to.

When Deanna and I got to the restaurant I had to go over and give the Crew a hard time about driving (and driving a GAS van) from the motel to the restaurant.

They all laughed and told me they thought it was much further away and felt a bit sheepish.

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Next blog. I ride the Empulse from Albuquerque to Santa Fe for a Classic Motorcycle show.

Fun times.

Gavin

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

Bonus:

Information: I drive (a gas cage, 😦 ) to Gallup, New Mexico every month to do an outreach clinic and see some of our pediatric patients who live far away. Last month I passed a trailer carrying 8 Tesla S electric cars and thought, “Dang that’s cool. I bet I never see anything cooler than that again on this ride.” I was wrong. The very next month on my Gallup trip I passed the freakin’ BAT-MOBILE. Well the Bat-mobile from the 60’s TV show. I think that one is cooler than the Dark Knight one anyways. Kitsch Kounts. (I should trademark that…but I have to be Kareful not to add another K word in there.)

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IMG_7270And yes, I was driving and taking photos of the Batmobile with my iPhone. I am a bad man.

A tapeworm for sure.

Sigh.





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

12 10 2012

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

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

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But less talk, more photos.

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

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

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

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I park where I want 🙂

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I like the people on the top of the dunes.

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

Till then, ride safe.

Gavin

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

Bonus Time.

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

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Second Bonus

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