My mother passed away on May 5, 2017. Words cannot describe the pain in losing your mother just before mothers day. Below I am posting links to her online obituary, the text of her eulogy, a link to her tribute website, and a tribute video I created for her.
Below is the text of Ann Lorraine Latman’s Eulogy:
Ann Lorraine Latman Eulogy, May 12, 2017
The children of Ann Lorraine Latman, Norman Gregory Fernandez, her son, and Debbie Louise Fernandez, her daughter, have asked me to tell you about the life of their mother Ann Lorraine Latman.
Ann Lorraine Latman, was born on July 22, 1944, in Los Angeles, California, to Nathan & Elsie Latman. Ann was the youngest of three children.
She has an older Brother named Barry Latman, and an older sister named Carolee Latman, who later after getting married, changed her name to Carolee Kish.
Ann has two children, Norman Gregory Fernandez and Debbie Fernandez. Ann has three grandchildren, Carolee Fernandez, Elsie Chacon, and Jacob Fernandez. Ann has two great grandchildren Nathan and Isabella Chacon.
When Ann was a young school girl, she started collecting dolls from all over the world. She would write letters to the leaders of countries from all over the world asking them if they send her a doll and many, if not most of them, in response would send her letters and dolls.
When she wrote a letter to Nakita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, in the 1950’s a time when the Soviet Union was a bitter enemy of the United States, and the Soviet leader actually sent her a letter and a doll, it made real waves.
I am quite certain that it caught the attention of the FBI as well, we will never know.
It was such a major deal in the 1950’s that the leader of the Soviet Union sent a young Jewish American school girl named Ann Latman, a doll, that the newspapers, and a major magazine picked up the story and published it.
You will see some of the pictures of Ann’s world class doll collection featured in her tribute video that is scrolling here.
When Ann was a teenager, she was run over by a car.
The car tire ended up on top of her body after the accident, and it took some time before they could lift the car off of her.
It was a miracle from God that she was not killed in the accident. She was told after the accident that she would never have children.
Obviously, god ensured that that prediction was not accurate. However, due to the accident, Ann had pain in her body throughout her life.
Ann’s father passed away while she was young and her big brother Barry became a father figure to her.
Ann graduated from Fairfax High School in Hollywood, CA in 1962. She shortly thereafter married Gilbert Fernandez. They had two kids, Norman and Debbie.
Ann loved her family. She idolized her big brother Barry, and looked up to her big sister Carolee.
Ann, being the youngest of Elsie Latman’s children, was real close to her mother and her sister Carolee.
Barry was off playing baseball in the major leagues, but after he retired from baseball, Ann became close to him as well.
Ann told her children Norman and Debbie tales of her family all through their childhood.
She told her children about her brother Barry who was a star Pitcher in Major League Baseball, about her sister Carolee who was the first woman butcher at Safeway markets, she told her children about cousin Raymond who was fighting in Vietnam, her cousin Julian who was an attorney and she told her kids about her mom Elsie’s sisters, Tessie, Bettie, Lee, and Elaine.
The greatest joy in Ann’s life was family. When we were young, we remember constantly being at Aunt Carolee’s house.
Norman and Carolee’s son Mark Lawrence although cousin’s, basically grew up like brothers. Ann became like a 2nd mother to Mark, Carolee became like a 2nd mother to Norman and Debbie.
Mom made sure that we always made the rounds as children to all of our uncle’s and aunt’s houses, and that we spent time with our cousins.
We remember always visiting Barry and Lynn, Nat and Ricky, Aunt Elaine and Marla, Lori, Bruce, and Frank, Aunt Lee and her kids, Aunt Tessie up in the Hollywood Hills, Aunt Bettie and her kids, Aunt Ann and uncle Maury, and others. We had a very full childhood filled with love and family, our mom made sure of that.
Ann instilled in her children a sense of honor, to not lie, steal, or cheat.
Ann and her husband Gilbert are probably the most honest people you will ever meet in your life. Salt of the earth kind of people. Very humble, loving, and giving people.
Ann would literally give you the shirt off the back if she could.
Ann was the type of loving and dawdling mother that everyone would like to have. She was funny, direct, and instilled a sense of decency on us.
From as early as I can remember, my mother taught me what it was like to be Jewish. Although we are reformed Jewish, we are Jewish nonetheless. My mother made sure we knew what it was to be Jewish. She taught us about the Holocaust, she taught us songs, and taught us that we are among the chosen people.
My mother loved the holiday season. Although we were Jewish, my mother being a 2nd generation American, also integrated other holidays into our repertoire.
Growing up we not only had a menorah for Hanukkah, with our mother making sure we had Hanukkah gifts every year, but we also had a Christmas tree. We did not really know what Christmas was about, to us it was about the tree and Santa Claus. My mom also gave us Easter baskets and Easter eggs on Easter. We did not know what Easter was about, to us it was about a bunny and the eggs.
Basically, my mom loved to celebrate any holiday because it gave her an excuse to be the loving mother that she was. She always had presents for all the kids on Hanukkah, Easter, Christmas, you name it. She was the stereotypical mother when I came to giving gifts.
Ann also loved to prepare meals for her family. My mom made the best Thanksgiving dinner you could ever possibly want. She used her mother Elsie’s recipe for stuffing. My mom made Thanksgiving dinner, until she was physically unable to do it anymore, and then Debbie took over.
Although grandma Elsie was a fantastic cook who made homemade Verenicas, latkes, and matzo ball soup, my mom made one hell of a fried matzo breakfast. Her noodles and cottage cheese were not bad either. We loved our mother’s cooking it was from her heart.
My mom love being with her family more than anything in the world. Elsie Latman, our mother’s mom, always seemed to be at our house. Elsie Latman was like a 2nd mother to not only Norman and Debbie, but to also Mark as well. We were a close family.
Ann and her husband Gilbert always made sure that there was food on the table for their children, always provided Norman and Debbie with love and affection, and provided a good life to Norman and Debbie. They were not rich, but they always did the best they could.
In the 1970s, under the guidance of her brother Barry Latman, Ann, along with her husband Gilbert Fernandez, moved us up to San Francisco and started to business called Gil’s Hallmark card and gifts.
During this time in Ann’s life, she had a great time owning her own business, and being her own boss. Our mom loved to go with my dad to nice restaurants, and she loved Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.
Ann loved to play blackjack in Las Vegas probably more than anything else.
Although Ann loved San Francisco, she missed her family in Southern California.
Eventually in 1975 Ann and her family moved back to Southern California.
It was at this time that she became a marketing manager in a telephone sales company in Hollywood California. Ann literally had hundreds of people come through her company attempting to become salespeople, but few made it.
As the marketing manager in this telephone sales company, Ann used the moniker, Mary Nevins.
Ann had many future celebrities come to work for her in this company. She had Mickey Rourke, the band Poison, and many others come work for her before they made it as huge celebrities.
She would tell stories of people that are huge celebrities now begging her to keep their jobs, and offering to do crazy things in return. My mom loved her management job.
Ann would basically give anybody who could speak clearly a job, but if they did not make sales, they would be fired within a day or two.
Norman knows this well. Before he went into the military, he went to work for his mother, waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to drive to Hollywood, California to sell office supplies to the Midwest, and to the East Coast. Norman was fired by his mother after 2 days because he did not make any sales. It was a very difficult job. Some of her previous employees may be here today. She was loved by all that worked for her because she was a good person.
Many people were able to survive and pay their bills, because my mom gave them jobs in Hollywood during this time.
During this time of the 1970s, my mother, Ann, and her big sister Carolee, tried several business ventures together, including a knitting mill in Los Angeles. There were sweaters everywhere.
Finally, our mother and her sister Carolee decided to go into comedy, and formed a comedy group called “The embryo twins.” I remember them practicing their act all the time. A big part of their act was when one of them would sit on a whoopee cushion. When they did this, it made a loud farting sound, which made everybody laugh. My mom performed at the Comedy Store and other venues with her sister Carolee. She met Robin Williams, Gallagher, and other comedians who later became major celebrities.
Unfortunately, one weekend we were all at a pool party at Barry Latman’s house in Northridge California, and a couple of days later Carolee was found dead.
In the 1970s, when Ann’s big sister Carolee Kish passed away suddenly, it hit her very hard. It hit all of us hard. It hit Carolee’s son Mark the hardest obviously.
Ann never really recovered from the death of her sister, they were that close. For a time, Mark came to live us, but then went on his own way too young.
Unfortunately, with the death of her sister, Ann could not continue with the embryo twins, and her comedy career was over before it really began.
When the company that Ann worked for as a marketing manager went under, Ann experimented with other ways to earn a living.
She went into retail for a while, where she sustained a head injury that caused her to be permanently disabled and not able to work anymore.
When Carolee Fernandez, Ann’s son Norman’s daughter, suddenly stopped breathing in 1985 due to an illness, Ann came to the rescue and saved her life by grabbing her by the feet, holding her upside down, and patting her back until she started breathing. Ann was a hero.
A short time after Ann’s mother Elsie passed away suddenly. When Ann’s mother passed away it was utterly devastating for her, and she never fully recovered from it. She lost two of the most important people in her life.
Today with her passing, Ann will be reunited with her father Nathan, her mother Elsie, and her sister Carolee all of whom are interned here at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Ann will be laid to rest next to her sister Carolee and her mother Elsie.
In 1993, when Ann’s son Norman obtained custody of his daughters Carolee and Elsie, while he was in Law School, Ann without hesitation agreed to take them in and raise them as if they were her own daughters even though they are her grandchildren.
She raised them as great kids, to adulthood. Ann is for all intents and purposes the mother of Carolee Fernandez, and Elsie Chacon.
It is children and being a mother, that above all gave Ann the most satisfaction in life.
Ann cared very little for herself. Everything she did was for other people. Ann was a woman of very modest means, yet she always bought cloths and gifts for others, forsaking herself. She was always a giver.
When her daughter Debbie had a son named Jacob, Ann cared for him as an infant while Debbie was at work.
Words cannot describe how much Ann Lorraine Latman will be missed by those who knew her and loved her.
In the final years of her life, Ann had debilitating pain in her back and other serious health issues.
A few years ago, she suffered a stroke and almost died.
When she was unable to care for herself anymore, she lived in a skilled nursing facility.
When she was taken to the hospital in her final days, her final words before being put on a ventilator were her calling out for her mom, Barry, Carol, and Mark.
None of us realized just how sick she was.
Ann passed away on May 5, 2017, on the Sabbath, with her son Norman and her daughter Debbie by her side. A Rabbi came earlier in the evening and said the appropriate prayers.
Just before she passed Norman said the appropriate prayers.
Ann was 72 when she passed. She missed 73 by two months.
I believe that when a righteous and good person passes, god put clouds in the sky to signify the passing of a righteous and good person. This was true when our grandmother Elsie passed away, and this was true when our mother Ann Latman passed away. It was cloudy and rainy for two straight days after her passing, last week just after May 5. Usually it is sunny and hot in May.
We are all glad that you could make it here today to pay tribute to the life of our mom Ann Lorraine Latman. She may be in heaven now reuniting with her family and god, but she will never be forgotten by those who knew her. She lives on in her progeny now and hopefully to the end of time.
When you go outside today take a glance at the trees, the sky, and the beauty one last time for Ann Lorraine Latman, a righteous and good woman, whose spirit has now left this world, and reunited with the lord for eternity.
Thank You, Norman and Debbie.
Written by Ann Latman’s son Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., May 12, 2017
In the past I would’ve loved to of had a bag such as this when I was running with a motorcycle that had a sissy bar, but since I have a tour pak on my current Harley-Davidson motorcycle, I personally cannot not use the bag right now.
I have a brother in my motorcycle club named Andrew T., who I knew was considering getting saddlebags, I knew he had a sissy bar, and no way to carry anything on his bike.
I decided to give him the bag for personal use on the condition that he review here on the Biker Law Blog.
The following is a synopsis of Andrews review:
The bag is big and has plenty of room. It easily fits over the sissy bar, and it’s probably best to secure it down with the included strap buckles, rather than just leaving it placed over the sissy bar. It is lockable, and durable. It looks like it’s waterproof as well. It is really easy to put on and take off. This bag can be used as luggage for your motorcycle. I highly recommend this bag to others.
Since Andrew used the Viking Bags motorcycle sissy bar backpack personally, and recommends it, I will also recommend as well since my brother vouched for it.
Below is also a video about the backpack.
In the past I have used many types of sissy bar motorcycle luggage. Most of the ones I previously used, or a hassle to strap on and to take off, especially in the dark.
Further, most motorcycle luggage is that I purchased in the past were over $200. This simple $99 bag looks to me to be a very good solution if you need something to carry her stuff around, motorcycle luggage, and something that’s easy to put on and take off.
The Biker Law Blog has been named 1 of the top 100 motorcycle sites and blogs for motorcycle riders on the planet by Feedspot.com .
Some of my competitors appear on the list as well, frankly I do not know why, there’s much better content and pictures on my site 🙂
all kidding aside, I have been so busy with litigation lately they haven’t been putting a lot of content on here, that soon will change. The biker Law a is getting a minor makeover to make it compliant with the new standards, and so that will be much easier to read with a cell phone.
I would like to thank Anuj for bestowing this honor to the Biker Law Blog.
Polaris Industries, the parent company of Victory Motorcycles announced yesterday that they were ceasing operations as a January 9, 2017. Victory Motorcycles is no more.
The CEO of Polaris industries, Scott Wine, stated that it was a difficult decision for the Board of Directors and he, but Victory Motorcycles despite significant investment by Polaris industries, was never profitable.
The last few years Polaris Industries shifted much of its attention to getting Indian Motorcycles restarted to compete with Harley-Davidson. Some believe that this shift was responsible for the demise of Victory Motorcycles.
Victory Motorcycles was one of just a few American motorcycle brands on the market today.
I know this news will be a shock to many people who have gone out and purchased a Victory Motorcycle. I personally thought that the victory motorcycle was a good concept, but never actually rode one.
On a personal level, it is kind of upsetting to know the Victory Motorcycles did not make it. I think Victory put Harley-Davidson on notice that they had to make changes to make their motorcycle more competitive on a technological basis.
Goodbye Victory Motorcycles. What we have left is Harley-Davidson, and Indian Motorcycles with respect to American brands.
Visibility is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the hazards of riding a motorcycle, however a new product introduced at the Consumer Technology Association (CES) 2017 promises to solve that problem while adding even more passive features.
For the first time, there is now a smart helmet accessory that provides the first wearable brake light linked to smartphone application.
Developed by a French startup that are experts in the development of interconnected objects for motorcycle safety, it is called the Cosmo Connected.
The device has a straightforward as well as clever design, which can fit on all kinds of helmets using an adhesive and a special clip-on support so that you’re able to attach it to your helmet, and conveniently remove it if not required, it can also be worn on an additional helmet.
The Cosmo Connected emits a red signal light at visual eye level towards the driver of the vehicle behind the biker for additional visibility while braking. When not decelerating, the device continues to flash so the rider can be seen.
The braking light will switch itself on even when slowing down without having utilizing the brakes. We all know how dangerous it is when we downshift on our motorcycles when there are cars behind us, because even though we are slowing down by using engine braking, there is no brake light. Maybe in the future motorcycle manufacturers will design the brake light on a motorcycle to come on during deceleration, this is a critical feature.
Produced from durable plastic to withstand all-weather conditions, the gadget weighs in at no more than 200 grams and is designed to easily detach from the helmet in case of an accident.
On the subject of accidents, the Cosmo Connected will through your smart phone app call rescue personnel within 3 minutes, giving them the emergency alert plus, the GPS coordinates from the rider’s location, as well as the rider’s health profile. As a possible option, the app can be set-to alert friends or family in case of accident as well.
This device will have the ability to hook up with your smartphone through Bluetooth and will give low-power notifications once it is time to recharge the battery. If all works out, the Cosmo Connected will be on sale as of May 2017.
Below is an advertisement video from the company.
As a longtime motorcycle rider who rides thousands of miles per year, if this device is a simple and inexpensive as I think it will be, I will be the 1st one to buy this device and attach it to my helmet. Even with a ½ helmet, or a beanie helmet, this device could not hurt at night.
I am excited about some of the new things I’m seeing on the motorcycle market these days.
** 12-26-16 Update: In order to experience this video in wvirtual reality, 360 degree, you must view on Youtube, to do this click on the white title text within the frame of the video below, or click here now.
I recently acquired a virtual reality camera, and experimented filming my 1st motorcycle ride in virtual reality on December 17, 2016.
Since this was my 1st attempt, I screwed up the settings on the camera, and had the camera set for time lapse photography. Unfortunately, it condensed the 35-minute ride from Malibu California to Neptune’s net on Pacific Coast Hwy. in California, to just over 4 minutes.
I promise the next time I will do better.
If you look at the posted video on a cell phone or tablet, you will literally be able to move your cell phone or tablet and see anywhere in the video.
You can look at my passenger and I, you can turn and look at the front of the motorcycle, you can look to the side, and you can look up and down. Basically, it’s like you were in the driver seat, except for you can actually see better than me it’s a 360° sphere.
If you have virtual reality goggles, you simply need to click on the goggle icon on the bottom of the video, and you will take a time-lapse ride with me in virtual reality on my Harley-Davidson Electra glide. On a desktop you will just see it all at once without the virtual reality experience.
I will be producing many virtual reality movies in the future. Stay tuned.
Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think about the video.
By California biker lawyer and founder of www.injuredbikers.com, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. December, 2016.
This is a Movie showing Italy in pictures, produced and directed by California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, http://www.thepersonalinjury.com .
Attorney Fernandez is an amateur photographer and journalist who took almost 2000 pictures and put them into a Ken Burns style photo movie showing Rome, Florence, and Venice, Italy.
His movie show detailed pictures of the museum, The Colosseum, the Forum, Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Arch of Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus, Piazza del Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Arno River, Ponte Vecchio, SAINT MARK’S SQUARE, SAINT MARK’S BASILICA, THE DOGE PALACE, THE GRAND CANAL,. The movie features the music of Beethoven and Mozart as it shows detailed pictures of some of the greatest art in the history of mankind.
This is not your normal biker style movie, but enjoy anyway!
Check out my annual 2016 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Yellowstone Video on You Tube. Best to watch in full screen format. The quality is not as good as it should be because they compress it. Click the link below. Enjoy.
I know many people do not like surprises, but I have a big surprise that’s coming that will revolutionize the way motorcycle accident cases are handled nationwide.
As many of you know I have been utterly disgusted at the marketing tactics that have been directed towards motorcycle accident victims by 2 outfits in particular that in bad taste plaster motorcycle rallies in advance with a bunch of their advertisements.
Who the hell wants to go to a motorcycle event to have a bunch of non-riding personal injury attorneys posing as motorcycle lawyers bombarding them with advertisements every single place they look. I sure the hell don’t.
I will be at the annual Laughlin motorcycle rally at the end of this month, and I am quite positive I will see the same BS marketing outfits bombarding bikers with their advertisements.
The fact of the matter is yes sometimes motorcycle riders do get into accidents, sometimes motorcycle riders need the assistance of an experience motorcycle lawyer to get them help.
I have been riding motorcycles over 30 years, I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have ridden motorcycles all over the world, and I have done many motorcycle cases all over the state of California. I have put thousands of miles on motorcycles of various types. I know what goes on out there on the street and on the freeways. I am known in the motorcycle community nationwide, and I have finally had enough of looking at these outfits basically sucking the blood of motorcyclists of who have been in accidents.
There is another sort of generic personal injury attorney that advertises for motorcycle cases as well. These are simply generic personal injury law firms that take all types of personal injury cases, and do not have any specific expertise related to motorcycle accident cases other than them applying general personal injury theory to your motorcycle accident. How the hell is this type of attorney going to know what happened in your case if they can’t even describe how the gears are shifted, what counter steering is, or explain to a jury why you have a right to be on the road with cars?
The new organization that I’m starting is going to be a premier motorcycle accident resource nationwide. There will be a lot of hoops that I will have to jump through to get this thing going, and I am jumping through them now. I have been contemplating doing this for many years, and I am finally now doing it.
I am hoping to partner with some of the largest entities in the nation so that we can provide real value to you motorcyclists and bikers out there, my people, because I am one of you, and I want to help you if God forbid the time comes when you have an accident and you need help.
I will be attacking these entities had on and exposing them for what they are, and above all I will be the go to resource for motorcycle accidents nationwide.
In the meantime, if you a motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident in the state of California, continue to give me a call at 800-816-1529 and I’ll take care of you.
Soon, this will move to a nationwide set up for motorcycle accident cases.
I have been a personal injury attorney for almost 20 years. I have been riding motorcycles over 40 years. The one thing I can say for certain is that a motorcycle with 2 wheels, has much less traction than a car with 4 wheels.
Further, a motorcycle wheel has much less traction than a car wheel, because the motorcycle wheel is rounded, whereas a car tire l is flatter and has more area of rubber on the pavement.
With that being said, it’s very important for motorcycle riders to not tailgate, and to keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of them, so they can stop in case the car comes to a sudden and unexpected stop.
I know of many instances where individual riders, groups of riders, and even motorcycle clubs have had mass accidents, because the people in the front are tailgating or riding to close to the cars in front, the car suddenly braked, causing a chain reaction crash.
I just gave a consultation to a gentleman who in his mind thought he was not at fault, when he had to lay his motorcycle down on a freeway on-ramp because the car in front of him came to a sudden stop.
Apparently there was a crosswalk on the on-ramp, and a pedestrian was within 20 feet of the crosswalk when the car stopped. In the biker’s mind, the car should not have stopped for the pedestrian. It never occurred to him that he should have kept a safe distance from the car in front of him so that in case the car stopped he could stop.
I had to tell him that it was he, the motorcycle rider, that was at fault in that instance.
Not only do motorcycles take more time to stop in an emergency situation than a car because of less traction area on the pavement, but the consequences of crashing can be catastrophic to motorcycle riders.
Basically it’s not worth your life. I know guys who tailgate when they ride. It drives me crazy to ride with these guys, and I absolutely will not stay with them, I will stay back so that in case the cars brake they’re going to eat the back of the car not me.
Ensure that you keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of you, and anticipate that the car may slow down or suddenly stop. If you ride with this in mind you will be a safer motorcycle rider.
Every year for the past 5 years I have posted pictures by way of a video slideshow of all the pictures I take at the Sturgis motorcycle rally. This year, 2015, was the 75th annual rally, and as usual I am publishing my video picture slideshow. Enjoy
The year is 2015, the month is November, and the day is the 11th, another Veterans Day.
As I type this many men and women are serving our nation’s armed forces, and many are in harm’s way.
I and many millions of people have served in the armed forces of the United States of America from its inception.
Today we give thanks to all of those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States whether it be the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, or Coast Guard.
Let me tell you from personal experience that enlisting in the military is the easy part. The hard part is getting to boot camp and realizing your ass belongs to Uncle Sam. There is nothing easy about any part of our military service.
Anyone who joins the military puts their ass on the line not only for their friends, but for the nation.
The United States of America would not exist in its present form unless many many people but their ass on the line to serve this great nation.
Many have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, that day is observed by Memorial Day. Today, Veterans Day, is to honor all who served in the armed forces.
Although I served many moons ago, my service is entrenched in my mind, and the United States Air Force is part of my blood. I will never forget.
For those of you who have not served in the armed forces, give thanks to those who have because it is a very difficult thing to do, and for those who do it they’re basically signing a contract and taking an oath that they will defend our freedoms with their lives if they have to.
I always look forward to my annual trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. For the last 4 years I’ve taken my RV, and trailered my motorcycle. This year was no different.
However, what was different this year, was that because it was the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, everything was completely sold out months in advance.
I usually stay at the Glencoe campground. However, this year, all they were offering for $1200 was an RV site with electrical hookup, and water, but no sewer. If you wanted to dump your RV, you’d have to notify them and wait for them to come.
I could’ve went to many ordinary RV parks in and around the Sturgis area that provided full hookups, but as in previous years, I wanted to be in the middle of the action, and in an RV park that offered concerts, recreation, and other amenities.
I found that the Broken Spoke Campground was advertising a full hook up RV site without sewer just like Glencoe was advertising, but their price was only $899. You would also have to purchase a $200 wristband per person if you were to stay at the broken spoke campground, whereas Glencoe was charging $300 for the wristband.
Basically sites like the Glencoe, Broken Spoke, and others, have premium concerts every night, so they charge for wristbands on top of the charge for the actual RV site.
I ended up choosing the Broken Spoke Campground because it was approximately $800 cheaper than Glencoe. It turned out to be a big mistake see below. The total price was approximately $1400 including the wristbands.
This year I purchased a new RV 3 months before Sturgis. The damn thing was constantly in the shop up until a few days before Sturgis. There were still a few bugs with the unit that were not fixed prior to leaving, oh well.
As in previous years it was kind of hectic getting ready for the trip. For the most part I think it’s all a mental thing. I, and I’m sure a lot of other people get so excited before the rally, that just preparing to leave is exhausting.
It is very hard to find people that can take a week to 2 weeks off work to travel with you to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Many guys plan trips like this years in advance. Last year I went with a friend to Sturgis, she was able to do the entire trip with me. This year my new female friend was unable to do the drive with me due to work, but was able to fly in on Tuesday night, and then fly out on Sunday night, September 9, 2015 the last night of the rally.
Although I like to travel with friends because it’s much better, I’m the kind of guy that is no problem packing up and going across country by myself. Done it many times, no problem.
I love the drive to the Sturgis motorcycle rally, it’s the excitement that gets you. Many moons ago before I got into the RV scene I would traditionally ride to events like this on my motorcycle. There’s something to be said about doing either. I love riding don’t get me wrong, but 1700 miles each way wears on you a bit. At my age, I prefer taking my RV. At motorcycle rallies the big party happens in the campgrounds anyway.
I have done this drive many years in a row, so all the sites along the way are becoming familiar to me now, almost like old friends and landmarks. This year it took me a bit longer to get to the rally because frankly I was burnt out on the 2nd night of driving and stopped at a rest stop in Wyoming to sleep for a few hours.
Sturgis, South Dakota was about 150 miles from the rest stop. Excitement was in the air in the morning. In years past I went through this area at night, let me tell you the drive from the Wyoming to the South Dakota border was beautiful. Coupled with the fact that there were thousands of bikes on the road made it even better. You could just tell that this year was going to be special.
Ordinarily every year I get off of the freeway and drive on the main drag through downtown Sturgis to go to the Glencoe campground and set up. This year it kind of sucked because as I pulled off the traffic was much worse than any previous year that I’ve seen. It took me an hour to get from the freeway to near the Glencoe campground. It was bumper to bumper motorcycles the entire way. Being in a big RV above the action was kind of cool because I could see all the action but the traffic was horrible.
This year because I was staying at the Broken Spoke Campground, I passed the Glencoe campground for a couple miles then made the turn off to the Broken Spoke Campground. It was on the way to the Broken Spoke that I became concerned. I was basically in the middle of nowhere and there is barely any motorcycles on the road.
Finally about 15 miles down the road, the Broken Spoke arose out of the country rolling hills. It was exciting, and it was packed.
I was directed into the check-in area and proceeded to go from my RV to the check-in area. This is where my nightmare began.
The girl at the Broken Spoke campground check-in immediately told me that they had no spaces with water, and that if I had a problem with that I could go online and request a refund. I told her “what are you talking about, I paid for a full hook up space, and my RV is almost that of water.” She told me that there is nothing that she could do, and that if I placed a certain flag in front of my RV there would be somebody coming around to pump water. Imagine, all of Sturgis was sold out this year. I was pissed.
I thought to myself this is complete bullshit. I would’ve never stayed at this place had I known there was no water for the RV.
I’m not going to waste a bunch of space in this article to talk about what bullshit the Broken Spoke Campground was and how it almost ruined my trip this year, but I will say that after wasting 2 days of the rally there, I found another RV Park with full hookups in Deadwood, South Dakota, for $600 thank god, and high tailed it out of the Broken Spoke Campground as soon as I could. I felt sorry for the poor shmucks stuck there waiting for water for 4 days. Screw that.
The Broken Spoke Campground was a dustbowl in the middle of nowhere. I am sure if it wasn’t so crowded it might’ve been an okay place to be, but they grossly oversold it knowing full well they didn’t have enough spaces to accommodate what they were selling. I was able to get a refund of a thousand dollars from them via PayPal a week after I got home. I will give them credit for that they did refund me for the campground part of the trip. I never did recover the cost of the wristbands and lost $400 on that deal because I never went back.
Suffices to say I will never stay there again, I highly recommend that you find another place to stay if you are ever at the Sturgis rally. Now if they come to me and make me an offer I might give them another chance but right now I am highly pissed off at them still over a month after the fact.
I went and stayed at a place called Whistler’s Gulch in Deadwood, South Dakota which is about 16 miles from the main drag in Sturgis. I love this place, but it is a bit of a drive to and from Sturgis.
As far as the rally this year went, frankly, it sucked compared to previous years. The Broken Spoke Campground nightmare was part of it, but also it was a sausage fest, meaning there was at least 4 to 5 guys for every one gal at the rally and most of the gals of the rally were not hotties like I am so used to seeing at motorcycle rallies. There were only a few hot gals there. Seems like every guy in the country and their friends decided to go to Sturgis this year and left the gals behind. It was a complete sausage fest.
Further, the traffic was so bad that it was horrendous. I did ride about 3000 miles on my bike during the rally. I’m not the bar going type of guy. I’m a rider. When I get into the Black Hills and start riding, which is my passion. I rode my ass off this year as in previous years.
I rode my old favorites, Mount Rushmore, Custer National Park, all through the Black Hills, the Black Hills Scenic Byway, Crazy Horse, and many places off the beaten track. As usual I found hidden places to ride for many miles on dirt roads with my gal riding shotgun on the back. As usual we found a couple secluded spots to enjoy each other as well, which is kind of tough in the Black Hills because there are really are no places to hide.
Staying in Deadwood this year definitely changed the ambience of the rally for me. It was a lot mellower this year than in previous years, because in previous years I would’ve been at the concerts every night until 2 in the morning. Hell last year after the concerts ended I went to the only gym in town to work out in the middle of the night.
Now this rally totally sucked compared to all the other rallies I’ve been to in the past at Sturgis. The main culprit this year was just flat-out shitty weather. It was cold and rainy over 50% of the rally this year. Just flat-out shitty weather. The rain caused many people to leave after a couple days, and by the end of the rally the place was pretty much empty. You can’t do anything about Mother Nature. This year the weather really sucked. In previous years there was rain for one or 2 days at Sturgis, but nothing as bad as this year.
I definitely got some good riding in, and had some good times, but this year was definitely not worth the time and effort as in previous years. I’m hoping next year will kind of calm down a little bit. What may sound like a sacrilege is I may not even go to Sturgis next year. It remains to be seen. I’ve always wanted to ride Alaska during the summer, so I may take my rig and do an Alaska trip will see.
My lady friend and I had a good time on this trip. She was the one good thing about the rally other than the great riding. We had some good times between each other as a man and women do, which I’m not going to describe here but I’m sure you can let your imagination run amok.
Rallies like this are about adult pleasure. If you go by yourself without a woman to a rally like this the chances of actually hooking up with a woman at the rally or are almost impossible, because most of the women are hooked up with men. So all these guys showing up with all their buddies just kind of ruin it.
On the last day of the rally, Sunday, I struck Camp and drove my RV through town to the Rapid City Airport to drop my lady friend off who had to fly back home to be at work the next day. It kind of sucked to watch her go but they get then again I was excited, because I was now headed towards Cody Wyoming and Yellowstone.
I should’ve just parked the RV when it got dark and camped out for the night but I figured if I was able to get to Cody straightaway I could spend 2 days riding Yellowstone instead of just one day. That’s exactly what I did. I rode my 36′ Class A motorhome with 12 foot trailer, total length of about 50 feet through the Greybull National Forest which goes up to about 90,000 feet in pitch darkness.
I had an accident 4 years ago where I lost the brakes on my motorhome in the same forest and almost got killed, see the article about that experience by clicking here.
I Rode the same exact route, and actually stopped in the middle of the night at the spot where I had the accident 4 years earlier just to contemplate what happened. Let me tell you something, it’s eerie in the Greybull National Forest at night, there was nobody else on the road with me. If anything would’ve happened nobody would’ve discovered me until probably the next morning. The time I got to the Yellowstone highway through Greybull, I was spent and could barely keep my eyes open. I got to the Walmart in Cody, parked the RV and crashed out.
When I woke up the next day and went to the Yellowstone Valley campground set up camp, got my motorcycle out of the trailer, and rode the Yellowstone national forest. I was able to ride Yellowstone for two days before heading home. This article is not about my ride through the Yellowstone national forest, but I will just say that I’ve done it every year after Sturgis and I love it.
I definitely had a good time riding Sturgis this year but it was not as good as previous years. Nothing is perfect, but I had a good time.
As a personal injury attorney who is an expert in motorcycle accident cases, I get reports of motorcycle accident cases from all over the country on a daily basis.
This particular summer, seems like the worst summer for fatal motorcycle accidents that I’ve ever seen. Many of the motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent cars and cagers, but many are caused by drugs and alcohol, or excessive speed, on the part of the motorcycle rider.
Here are examples of some of the reports I received within the last 21 hours:
Uncasville man dies following Friday motorcycle crash
An Uncasville motorcyclist died at the hospital following a Friday afternoon crash in North Stonington, according to state police. Alexander Morales, 61 …
Police ID man killed in Fair Lawn motorcycle crash
Elgendy’s Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling northbound on River Road, he said, with the Ford F-150 pickup truck, traveling southbound, …
Man injured in South Berwick motorcycle collision
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A collision between a motorcycle and car sent one man to the hospital Sunday morning, according to a dispatcher with …
Ramp Was Closed After Deadly Motorcycle Crash
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ramp from State Route 104 to U.S. 33 southbound was closed after a deadly motorcycle crash late Saturday afternoon.
Two seriously injured in motorcycle crash
County police summoned to the scene at Ritchie and Cedar Hill Lane at about 9:37 p.m. found that a southbound Honda motorcycle had struck the …
Lenexa man dead in motorcycle accident, Shawnee woman hospitalized
Police on Saturday released the name of the driver of a motorcycle who died Friday evening in a crash in the 19100 block of Prairie Star Parkway in …
Police say Bigelow man killed in motorcycle crash
Associated Press, news source 8:17 p.m. CDT August 15, 2015 … Arkansas State Police say a Bigelow man has been killed in a motorcycle crash.
Sheriff: Speed, alcohol factors in fatal motorcycle crash
Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Green County Saturday night, according to a release.
2 Charleston County motorcycle deputies involved in accident
Shortly before 12:30 p.m., two of the motorcycle deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit collided with each other while on a special event escort …
Above is just a small example of the motorcycle accidents that have taken place over the past 21 hours. It is hard to fathom how many motorcycle accidents occur on a daily basis.
I have been riding motor driven two wheeled vehicles since I was a kid. I have been riding street motorcycles since I was 16. I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have been riding clubs, and ridden with thousands of people over the years. I ride on my motorcycle thousands of miles per year. I can tell you from personal experience the things that will make you most safe riding.
Wear proper motorcycle riding gear. This means good helmet, good jacket (armor plated jackets are readily available), denim pants, good riding boots, and gloves. I see too many idiots on the road riding in shorts, tennis shoes or flip-flops, and even with no shirts on. When you go down the only protection you have is what you are wearing.
Always anticipate that the cars on the road do not see you. If you ride as though the people you are on the road with do not see you, you will be much safer. It is a documented fact that most people riding in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles, do not see motorcyclists. For some reason the way human beings are wired, they are not looking for motorcyclists. We can literally be right in front of them, and they do not see us. Another issue is the ubiquitous use of cell phones and texting drivers now, which is an epidemic. If you act as though you are invisible, you will ride safer.
Do not ride fast. Speed is the number 1 enemy for motorcyclists. It will kill you in an accident that is not your fault, and it will cause accidents that are your fault. If the speed limit is 80 miles an hour that does not mean you should be riding 80 miles an hour on the freeway. Unlike people in cars or trucks who have 4 more wheels to stop with, to balance with, and to turn with, motorcyclists have two wheels only. We have a lot less tire area, and friction between the pavement to work with. Riding slower will give you more time to stop, to take turns more safely, and allow you to identify potential hazards. To be frank it also makes riding more enjoyable.
Do not tailgate. I not only ride with people who tailgate, but I see many motorcyclists tailgating behind cars. These people are idiots. I never tailgate on a motorcycle. What do you think is going to happen if you tailgate a car and the car suddenly stops? A few years back an entire motorcycle club in Oregon was taken out by an SUV that stopped suddenly in traffic. The same thing happened in Arizona when multiple members of motorcycle club were killed when they hit a truck. I know of many instances where entire packs of bikes have gone down because one or two riders in the front deciding to tailgate behind vehicles. California law requires that vehicles keep a safe distance between them and the car in front of them. It is just common sense only for motorcyclists but for cars and trucks as well; do not tailgate.
Do not use drugs or alcohol when riding your motorcycle. This is not just a cliché or saying. When you are on a motorcycle you need 100% mental function, and even then sometimes you get yourself in dangerous situations. If you use drugs or alcohol you exponentially increase your chances of wrecking your bike. Do not do it.
Keep your motorcycle in proper working order. There was recently a Harley-Davidson recall on 2014 touring models for an improperly placed brake line, that in time could cause too much pressure to be put into the brake line and that could cause the front wheel to lock up. If the front wheel locks up on you on a motorcycle 99.9% of the time you are going to go down. One idiot from a major motorcycle magazine was making fun of the recall saying that in the old days a real biker would not have to take their motorcycle back to the dealer simply to get a tie wrap placed around the improperly placed brake line. He went on to say there was an unwritten contract between the biker and the motorcycle manufacturer, that the motorcycle manufactured can put out crap, and it was the biker’s responsibility to fix it. This guy is a moron. He is one of those types of guys who does not think that an injured person should go to court to get compensated for their injuries. This guy is so out of touch, he should not be writing for a major motorcycle magazine. The bottom line is you as a rider, have a duty to inspect your motorcycle to make sure the tires are properly inflated, have proper tread, and that basic maintenance is done on the bike, so that when you are riding at 40 mph plus, your engine, transmission, or wheels don’t suddenly lock up, or blowout. Unlike in a car, the situation what a mechanical malfunction occurs is much more dangerous. It is up to you to make the probability of this happening less likely by proper preventive maintenance. However, it is also the responsibility to take your motorcycle in what any recalls occur.
Do not ride your motorcycle when you’re in a bad mood. You definitely do not want to be a road rager on a motorcycle. If you’re in a bad mood or pissed off, it’s better to calm down before you get on your motorcycle.
Do not ride in bad weather unless you have to. Yes I know there are a lot of Midwesterners and East coasters who have very bad weather to contend with compared to me here in Southern California. These people always badmouth us Californians for being sissies when it comes to riding in bad weather. I don’t care how much of a badass you are, when the pavement’s wet, your tires have less traction. Hydroplaning on 2 wheels is much worse than hydroplaning in a car or truck that has 4 or more wheels. Taking a turn on wet pavement on a motorcycle is much more perilous than on dry pavement, especially at high speed. Unlike in a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, we and motorcycles do not have windshield wipers. If you have a car, you should ride your car on rainy and wet days. If you absolutely have to ride in bad weather, make sure you have a good motorcycle rain suit, a full-face helmet, keep your speed down, and anticipate that you will lose traction.
There are many more safety tips I could give you about riding motorcycles. I’ve learned many of these from personal experience, and from observing. I welcome you to make comments with your own safety suggestions.
I am a real deal expert in motorcycle accident cases. If God forbid you a bit of an accident anywhere in the state of California give me a call at 800-816-1529 extension 1. I will personally talk to you about your situation and we can discuss together what to do.
Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates, are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.
We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.
We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.