If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1, to discuss your case.
I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.
I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.
Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.
Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.
Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!
You may remember reading about my enclosed motorcycle trailer project that you can get to by clicking here.
Phase 1 included adding a 2’ by 12’ strip of diamond plate from the length of the trailer all the way down the ramp door and small ramp, which is about 20’ of diamond plate. I also had the floor surface sanded and had multiple coats of Urethane brushed onto the wood to protect it.
I also had a Biker Bar strapless motorcycle towing system installed in the trailer, and a wheel chock. With the Biker Bar strapless towing system, there is no need for straps to hold the motorcycle in, and the wheel chock is not really needed as well. I added it just in case.
You can see the end result of the phase 1 customization in the pictures in this article. When I go to Sturgis, I will film me riding the bike into the trailer and securing it into the Biker Bar strapless towing system. I think it is totally cool. I am actually going to meet the expert on the Biker Bar over in Sturgis at Black Hills Harley.
Phase 2 is about to begin next week. Originally phase 2 was going to encompass me installing cabinets and racks into the trailer. I will not have time to install everything I want for phase 2 before Sturgis. I have also added a diamond plate trailer tongue box to phase 2. This will be installed next week.
The trailer tongue box will allow me to carry all of my straps, motorcycle cleaning supplies, and other things inside of the box without having to put it in the trailer or the motorhome.
If you look at the stock trailer pictures here, you will see all of the room on the trailer tongue that is where to box will be mounted.
Phase 2 also includes mounting a spare trailer tire inside the trailer, however, I will not order the tire until next Monday.
Next week phase 3 of the trailer project will begin as well which is a custom wrap of my law firm advertisement onto the trailer.
Things are coming along well. I will get as much done before I leave for Sturgis in 10 days.
As part of my thousands of miles of travel each year to various motorcycle rallies all over the nation, I have come to the conclusion that for motorcycle rallies of great distance up to and including 1000 miles or more each way, it is not practical to ride my motorcycle to every event.
I used to be one of those hard core bikers who laughed at “the trailer queens” trailering their motorcycles to rallies. Hell I was so hardcore that I only put on a Windscreen on my motorcycles in the past 10 years.
I remember the good old days of doing 90mph in the deserts of Arizona with the temperature at 120, no helmet on, no windscreen on, holding on for dear life. I have ridden with hundreds and probably thousands of people over the years, who can attest to this.
Well at this point in my life, especially since I acquired a Class A Motorhome, I have decided to join the ranks of those who go for comfort and fun when traveling to motorcycle rallies that are a long distance away.
I have come to the conclusion that many people tow their motorcycles for one reason or another, and it is okay. You will notice many bikers and motorcyclists at the rallies with their RV’s.
I have decided that my firm will also have booths at the rallies. However, instead of being a marketing outfit, we are the real deal. We will prove it at our booth. Let’s see the other guys do that. Anyway……..
Along these lines, I have acquired a 6 foot wide, by 12 foot long, by 7 foot high, brand new enclosed cargo trailer from Carry-All.
My plan is to customize it to not only trailer my motorcycle to events behind my RV, but to make it in to a bad ass trailer that will carry my law firm booth stuff, for when we start appearing at events next year.
You can see the before pictures here in this article.
The phase 1 plan is to surface sand the floor, add a couple of coats of urethane to weather proof the floor, install a 2 by 10 strip of diamond plate metal in the middle for motorcycle traction, install a Biker Bar strapless motorcycle fastening system in the middle, along with a front wheel chock, and to install a wireless camera in the back of the trailer, since with my 35 foot RV, I won’t be able to see squat behind me at 50 feet away. A wireless receiver will also have to be powered and hooked up to my camera monitor in the RV which already has 3 cameras attached to it.
The phase 2 plan is to add a few cabinets, racks, and storage items within the trailer for all my motorcycle cleaning stuff, extra oil, helmets, and motorcycle gear. I am also going to acquire a spare tire.
The phase 3 plan will begin on July 23, 2013, with Monster Graphics of Huntington Beach wrapping the entire trailer with a custom Vinyl advertisement for my law firm. I will unveil it on here first. I will give you a little hint, there are some hot babes on it!
The trailer will be ready for its first big road trip on July 30, 2013, when I travel 1500 miles to Sturgis one way.
I will review all the items being installed into the trailer including the trailer itself in future articles.
I hope my journey helps you to acquire and customize your own motorcycle trailer.
One curious note about the customization so far, the shop that is doing the work is so worried that the Biker Bar strapless trailering system will not work, they made me sign a waiver in case any damage happens to the motorcycle while using the Biker Bar strapless motorcycle trailering system.
I am going to do a full write up on the Biker Bar strapless system, once I have a chance to test it out, but I have all confidence it will work as promised. If I see any reason for concern, I will reinforce the trailer floor. The instructions say for a 3/4″ wood floor, it is all that is necessary.
I am going to have 3/4″, plus diamond plate. Hell, worst case scenario, I will use straps as well. The trailer has 4 recessed D-Rings for strapping if necessary.
It seems that a bunch of conservative nut jobs are writing in to Biker and Motorcycle Magazines complaining about beautiful sexy women strutting their stuff next to motorcycles in the various biker and motorcycle related magazines that are on news stands.
Where the heck are these asshats coming from?
I have been in the biker community no less than 34 years. Part of the whole Biker and Motorcycle scene is for good looking people of both sexes strutting their stuff, doing their thing, and being free.
Now all of a sudden these social prudes are trying to get the magazines to stop showing pictures of beautiful women in their magazines.
Maybe a strong sexy female is somehow scary to these prudes.
I have always thought of the Biker world as a world of staunch Americanism, freedom, and open roads. It is alien to me to think of social prudes trying to intervene into a vibrant scene in order to censor our freedom.
Any enemy of freedom, is an enemy to our nation, and the Biker and Motorcycle world.
To be frank, this has been going on for some time in America. There are a small very loud group of religious conservatives trying to take us into a kind of nation ruled by religion, where you must abide by this group’s religion and its rules.
They are trying to censor what we watch, what we read, what we see, what we hear, how we act, etc. Maybe these morons should start up a new nation in Antarctica where like the Taliban, they can force everyone to abide by their rules or else…..
No way, Jose. I do not care whether you are a republican or democrat, we in the Biker World consider ourselves to be free on the open road. We enjoy looking at sexy people, we like dressing the way we want to dress, and we don’t need you people coming in to our world to censor it.
For the publishers who read my blog, and who are actually in the Biker and Motorcycle World. There is something called freedom of expression, and freedom of speech in our nation.
If you bow down, or kowtow to those who would take away our freedom to see and read what we want, we Bikers and Motorcycle Riders will stop buying your rags, you know who your market is, and we are getting sick of it.
Those few who are trying to censor what the rest of us like to see and read, will always be there, they will not take away our freedom.
I myself, did not serve in the U.S. Air Force, so that a vocal minority could take away our collective freedom.
Could you imagine going to a motorcycle rally like Sturgis, and seeing everyone covered up like some Afghanistan nightmare? Neither can I!
I am publishing this article a day after our nation’s Independence Day celebration for a reason.
I woke up today after playing ping pong for hours last night at my law partner’s house in Laguna. I went out onto my master suite patio and had a cigar. I watched as the participants in the Huntington Beach Independence day parade, got ready to start the parade on my street. Yes, my street was closed for the parade.
Once finished with the cigar, I threw my new Sony hand held camera into my backpack, saddled up on my Schwinn bicycle and rode into the fray.
There was hundreds of thousands of folks lining the parade route on Main Street. I am sure there were more all along the parade route that I did not see.
I rode my bicycle up and down Main Street a few times. It was kind of tough with all the people walking, and little kids on bikes not knowing road rules, but I had a great time. I even got videos holding the camera in my left hand while I pedaled and held the handlebars with my right hand.
You see I have never trailered any of my bikes ever, but when I planned my epic around the country motorhome trip, I needed a trailer so I could bring my motorcycle along.
I researched all different types of trailers. I looked at the Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag, the Kendon Trailers, Enclosed Trailers, and every type of trailer you can possibly imagine. I put a lot of time into finding the right trailer, at the right price.
I was almost set to pull the trigger on a used Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag, when I found the Trinity 3, from theusatrailerstore.com .
I contacted them through their website, they contacted me right back. The head guy gave me his phone number and I gave him a call. As it turns out, this company if located back east in the South, but they had a local distribution center right here in Southern California.
They offered me a brand new Trinity 3 for around $1,375, plus another $75 for a chrome spare tire. After all was said and done, this trailer looked a lot more beefier and safer for my new Electra Glide Ultra Classic than the Motorcycle in a bag, I told him I would come the next day to pick up the trailer.
At this time my motorhome was in the shop getting customized and I had nothing to pull the trailer with, so I rented a pickup truck for $75 plus tax so I could go pick up the trailer and pull it home.
When I went to pick up the trailer, it was literally brand new and just assembled at the distribution center. It was beautiful. To my surprise, the trailer folded up and could be stored upright like a Kendon, but it did not have the casters like the Kendon. This was ok with me since I was saving at least $2,000 right off the bat by getting this trailer.
This trailer was rated at 2,000 pounds, whereas the single Kendon was only rated at 1,000 pounds. My Electra Glide Ultra Classic is almost 1,000 pounds without rider or passenger.
This trailer also came with 3 Wheel Chocks. The owner even offered and shipped to me 3 lowered wheel chocks to accommodate the low fender on my Electra Glide.
The manufacturer says that you can fit 3 small bikes, 2 medium bikes, or 1 bagger on the trailer at the same time. All I cared about was my Electra Glide.
Another issue I had was that on my trip I would need to load and unload my motorcycle from the trailer by myself, and I wanted to be able to ride my motorcycle up onto the trailer, since it was going to be only me, and my now ex on the trip, and I knew she was not going to be able help me getting it on and off.
Like Kendon, the Trinity trailer comes with its own ramp that is secured to the bottom of the folding part of the trailer by wingnuts. However in looking at it, I knew I would need a larger ramp just to make sure I could load and unload my motorcycle onto the trailer.
The owner of theusatrailerstore.com told me that I should take off the rubber caps from the wheel axels and lube them every 5,000 miles, however, in extreme heat, I should lube them every 3,000 miles.
He showed me how to hook up the trailer and the safety cables, and the electrical and I was off.
I learned on my own that when backing up with a trailer if your trailer is going left you need to turn left to straighten it and visa versa. I learned that the speed limit in California for persons hauling trailers is 55.
The owner of theusatrailerstore.com told me to keep my speed down as much as possible.
When I first got home with the trailer, I backed it up my driveway, unhooked it, found a space for it in the garage, then lifted it so that it was upright and not taking up too much space in my garage. When the lowered wheel chocks arrived, I installed them by unbolting the original ones, and bolting on the new ones.
When it was time for my trip on July 16, 2012, I hooked up my beefy ramp to my new trailer and rode my motorcycle up onto the trailer. When my front tire engaged the wheel chock, the motorcycle was locked in place. I was now able to get off and strap my motorcycle down.
I did my research before the trip so I knew exactly what to do. I purchased some Kuryakyn tie down brackets and installed them onto my front forks where the front fairing mounts to the forks. They are custom made for Electra Glides and give you place on each side to strap you bike down with.
I strapped the back two straps onto each hard luggage bag guard.
I had previously purchased the most expensive and heavy duty straps I could find, hell I was driving around the country, not just across country, so I only wanted the best. I got the 440 lb. 2” wide by 6’ long Ratchet with snap hook kit. The kit also came with soft covers and soft loop straps. I paid around $100 for the whole kit which came in its own plastic case.
The first few times I strapped the motorcycle on and off of the trailer it took a while, but after my almost 2 month trip I became a pro and could do it real fast.
I had one major snafu in New Orleans when I was putting the motorcycle on the trailer. I was on a wet lawn, I had basic thongs on which become real slippery when wet. When I went to put the motorcycle on the trailer my thongs slipped and I dropped the bike halfway on the trailer and the ramp.
Thank god the bike did not fall off of the trailer or there would have been some real damage. After getting the motorcycle upright, I was shaken, but shocked to find literally no damage whatsoever on the motorcycle, the engine and luggage guards did their job.
The next few times putting the motorcycle on the trailers I was much more cautious.
The trailer did exactly what it was supposed to do with no problems whatsoever for over 8,600 miles on the trip. The tires held up, the trailer help up, no problem whatsoever.
The only real issues I had was because Camping World installed my new infrared back camera on the RV behind the stock Plexiglas housing, I became blind at night because the infrared reflected off of the Plexiglas.
This became a major problem on a couple of areas on the trip because there was no way to see my small trailer at night without the camera behind a 35 ft. motorhome. My ex and I had walkie talkies and did our best when we had to.
I used the trailer on a few other major trips to the Las Vegas Bikerfest, the Laughlin River Run, etc. The trailer gave me no problems whatsoever, and was solid.
I give the Trinity 3 trailer and solid 10 out of 10 and highly recommend it to anyone who has a need to tow up to three motorcycles, and has limited space. The trailer folds and can be stored upright so it can be put into a small place in the garage.
Let it be known that I was not compensated, comped or paid anything for my review of this trailer.
POSTSCRIPT – I recently sold my Trinity 3 trailer for $1250, because I decided to get an enclosed trailer for the upcoming Sturgis Motorcycle rally. So in the end I basically paid $200 for my trailer and got around 10,000 miles out of her.
I also sold my beefy motorcycle ramp for $150 since my new enclosed trailer has a ramp door on the back and I did not need it.
Well today is my 50th birthday, and man has it gone by real fast. It seems like the years are just zooming by now.
I understand why many moons ago someone told me that life is too short, because it is. You blink and you are now 50 years old.
Unfortunately today finds me with a terrible sore throat, but I will make the most of it.
I have been reflecting on my life over the past week, in anticipation of my birthday today, and man o’ man, I could write a book about all of the stuff I have been through over the past 50 years. Maybe I will if I can find the time.
Many of the friends I grew up with and went to High School with are no longer with us on this earth. It is amazing how fragile life is, and yet how omnipresent it is.
Many in my generation never thought that we would make 30 let alone 50, I am no different.
I remember being 18 years old in the Air Force thinking I knew all. When I met someone who was 30 when I was in my 20’s I thought they were old. When I met someone in their 40’s when I was in my 30’s I thought that they were old. Hell, now that I am 50, I know what younger people must think and it pisses me off :} This too shall pass.
I am proud and grateful to god to have made it this far in my life. I hope I have many more years to come.
My 50th birthday finds me single, and ready for a great future.
I am looking forward to traveling again this summer. I will be going to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and many other events this summer.
I look forward to sharing my journey with all of you.
The old saying what goes around comes around, is not just a saying, it is a fact.
I have been a biker and a motorcyclist for many years. I can recall many times where I had a problem with my bike on the road, and a fellow biker stopped and helped me out.
Bikers and motorcyclist for the most part are the friendliest and most helpful people you will ever meet hands down.
If you breakdown in a car forget it. If you breakdown on a motorcycle, chances are a fellow biker will stop and lend you a hand.
My opportunity to help out a fellow biker happened yesterday when I was going to my PO Box to pick up mail. I noticed an Electra Glide in a space, and I proceeded to park next to it.
I then saw a gentleman come out of the bank and hop on. As I got out of my car I could hear him trying to turn on his motorcycle, but it sounded like he did not have enough juice in the battery.
I walked in to get my mail. As I walked in I heard his motorcycle go click, click, click. I knew his battery was dead.
As I walked out I asked him “is your battery dead?” He responded “yes.”
I did not have any tools in my car, but I happened to have a hardcore battery charger and extension cord that I had recently used on my RV.
I told him that if he could get the seat off, I could give him a jump start. When I pulled the gear out of my trunk, he was amazed.
While he was pulling his seat off, I asked him if he has ever read my Biker Law Blog, he took a second look at me and said, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I just installed a Biketronics kit in my motorcycle, and I read about it on your blog.”
He then proceeded to thank me for what I had written, as well as helping him with his bike.
After a short time, we got his motorcycle started and he was on the road.
I have had fellow bikers and motorcycle riders help me, and it felt good to help back. It was also rewarding to know that many of you have read my articles and learned something new.
If you ever see a fellow biker broke down on the side of the road, lend them a hand. Remember, what goes around comes around.
I attended the Laughlin River Run 2013 this year as I do most years. The Laughlin River Run is billed as the largest motorcycle and biker rally on the west coast.
This year’s motorcycle rally was different than most past years rallies because the turnout appeared to be smaller than past years rallies, motorcycle club patches and soft cuts were not allowed anywhere near the strip, and there were a gaggle of what I call fake biker lawyers with booths set up at the event just waiting and hoping for those in attendance to refer their motorcycle accident cases to them.
I had for the most part a great time at the event. This was the second major motorcycle rally I have attended in many years, where I drove my motorhome to the motorcycle rally and trailered my motorcycle behind on a motorcycle trailer.
In the past when I rode to motorcycle rallies like this, I basically just rode my motorcycle to the event.
I will tell you that I have learned a valuable lesson in why it is better to take an RV and trailer the motorcycle to major motorcycle rallies. I no longer have to pay $200 a night for hotel rooms and hotels that just wait to poach money off of bikers, I put more miles on my motorcycle at the event than I ever have in the past, and there is much more fun happening at the RV parks than the hotels! I no longer have to worry about squeezing a weeks’ worth of toiletries and clothes onto my motorcycle; it all goes into my RV now.
This year I arrived at my RV Park in Bullhead City, AZ on May 24th, 2013 and proceeded to set up camp. I put up my Star Spangled Banner, California Republic, and POW/MIA flag above my RV, took the motorcycle off of the trailer, unrolled the awning, and we were ready to rock and roll.
The first thing I saw when I rode my motorcycle to the strip which was just across the river from Laughlin, NV, was an electronic sign stating that no this was a no MC Colors event, soft cuts not allowed, and bait motorcycles were being used to catch thieves.
I do not mind going after motorcycle thieves but I certainly did not like the fact that a major event such as this managed to ban all motorcycle patches from the strip. I think it is a violation of the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech.
Notwithstanding the affront to motorcycle club members, this year’s event was a great time. There were plenty of fine looking ladies all over. Obviously there were guys for all the gals as well. There was the usual full line up of good bands and plenty of booze all over the place.
Those that know me know that I do not drink alcohol or use drugs. I would rather ride than sit around watching a bunch of bikers get shit faced at the bar.
Ride is exactly what I did throughout the entire event. I put on almost 1000 miles during the 6 days I ended up staying in Laughlin/Bullhead City. I found a road that is off the beaten track near Oatman, AZ called the scenic byway. My companion and I literally owned this road on Sunday. You are basically in the middle of the desert with no contact to the outside world for many miles. It was a great and hot ride.
During the ride in the desert I kept thinking I hope nothing happens to my motorcycle because here I would be up shit’s creek without a paddle. I opted to take a more populated route back to the RV on the way home since it was getting dark.
I managed to win over $70 dollars as well on this trip where ordinarily I always lose at the casinos.
On a down note one of my friends was arrested on Friday night /Saturday morning for Disorderly Conduct and another charge. They were transported from Bullhead City to Kingman, AZ to the county jail there. There was a weekend judge on duty. Suffice is to say I got almost no sleep on Friday night / Saturday morning, and I had to go bail them out on Saturday afternoon and give them a ride back to Bullhead City. Saturday night was spend crashed out in my RV recovering from helping my friend out.
Aside from bailing my friend out and losing Saturday night, I had a good time this year at the Laughlin River Run Motorcycle and Biker Rally. I will be going to many rallies this summer including Sturgis, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.
The weather is warming up, it is April 2013, and it is time for that annual tradition that we all love otherwise known as Biker and Motorcycle Rallies.
On April 24-28th, the biggest motorcycle rally in the Western US will take place in Laughlin, Nevada. This rally is known at the Laughlin River Run.
There will be 1000’s of bikers there, and yes I will be there as well.
I myself am kind of tired of doing the same thing at motorcycle rallies. You know, riding to the rally, checking in to your hotel room, riding the local drags, walking around and looking at all of the people and vendors, and gawking at the debauchery.
This year I am going to mix it up a little Beginning with the Laughlin River Run.
This year I am going to take my motorhome to the rally, and trailer my bike behind. I will stay at an RV resort in Bullhead City right off of the Colorado River.
The beautiful thing about taking the RV is that it is like my home away from home. It is far more comfortable than a hotel room, all of my stuff is in it, and I do not have to fight a bunch of riff raff to get to my room.
The gas and such driving the RV along with the RV space rental will probably cost more than just getting a room at one of the local Casinos, but that is OK. At motorcycle rallies, most of the action happens at RV parks and camp grounds anyways.
Anyone who has gone to Laughlin knows that it is such a small place packed full of Casinos that it really gets old just hanging out at the Casinos and the vendors, even with the concerts and all the other stuff going on.
The Harley Davidson dealer in Kingman, AZ has a bunch of stuff going on. There is always stuff going on in Oatman as well.
My first day at the rally on the 24th, will consist of me setting up my RV at the campground, taking the motorcycle off of the trailer, and tolling around the local area. The next morning I will ride to the Grand Canyon bright and early. On Friday, I am going to rent a Seedoo and tool around on the Colorado River.
The rest of the time at the rally will be spent by me do the traditional Laughlin experience. It is going to be a blast.
This year I will going to many rallies including Sturgis, South Dakota.
I look forward to giving you photo and video reports during my travels.
Feel free to contact me if you plan on being at Laughlin. Who knows, maybe we can meet up.
Here it is March 13, 2013, and it has been a while since I posted my last article here on the Biker Law Blog.
I have moved to Huntington Beach.
My phone number and fax number are the same, 800-816-1529.
So whether your case originates in San Francisco, Eureka, Redding, Sacramento, or San Diego, my firm will handle your case.
We handle the entire State of California. We welcome all of our new and existing clients to the new law firm. We look forward to kicking ass for you on your cases.
I think I have what most would call one of the most high tech law firms in the nation. The technology we have employed at our firm is mind blowing.
I am a Southern California native, but I have lived in many places during my life. I would say that the move to Orange County for me will be permanent, in that I cannot see living anywhere else.
I love Huntington Beach. I have taken up walking on the pier each night around sunset, the people are great, the lifestyle is fantastic, and the motorcycle riding is good as well.
When I was younger, I used to surf. As a matter of fact, as a teenager I lived at the beach. I learned to surf at Topanga, my home beach was Zuma. Back then, the wave break was much different at Zuma and Point Dume, then it is now.
Believe it or not, I just bought a brand new 9’ Greco Longboard surfboard. It will be delivered this Friday. I got a new full wetsuit to go along with it. Hell, at 49 who says you are too old to start surfing again. I figure a longboard, will help me to ease back into it, and on those days with a small surf, I will be catching waves while the guys on short boards will be watching me ride. I figure if I start surfing each morning at 5am, I can still get to the office easily by 9am.
I wonder if they make a surfboard rack for a Harley Davidson. Once I get used to surfing again, I will have a custom Harley Davidson themed surfboard made for me.
So there it is. As you can imagine, I am swamped with work right now. As I type this article, I have spent the last 4 days out of 5 days in Court. I am still at the office catching up. Nonetheless I wanted to let you all know what is going on.
Looking forward to the Laughlin Biker Rally coming up next month. This will first year I take “Bessie,” my motorhome, (the same one I rode around the country with) to a major motorcycle rally this year.
Yesterday, Sunday, January 13, 2013, I rode my motorcycle from Palmdale, CA to Huntington Beach, CA as the first part of my move to Huntington Beach, CA.
Since I am moving this Sunday, January 20, 2013 to Huntington Beach a distance of approximately 100 miles, and I have to drive my car on the day of the move, I had to ride my motorcycle to Huntington Beach in advance of the move because I would not be able to do it on moving day.
It has been freezing cold these past few days; there is some sort of artic cold front that has been coming through. Before daylight on January 13, 2013, temperatures were about 17 degrees where I live, and it supposedly felt like 3 degrees with the wind. Imagine how cold it would have been on the motorcycle.
I decided to not ride in the morning, but to wait until midafternoon to do the ride. It was still freezing cold, at least for a southern California guy like me.
When I got on the motorcycle, it was in the 40’s at my home, but quickly got down to the 30’s in Acton and Agua Dulce.
It was a great ride, but a freezing ride. My hands and feet quickly went almost numb. There was a very real danger of hypothermia.
While riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the 405 freeway south, past the Los Angeles International Airport, at around 70 miles per hour in the Diamond Lane, the car in front of me suddenly kicked up what appeared to be the remains of a hot tub or some sort of fiberglass tub.
I quickly grabbed my front brake, realized I was going too fast to avoid it, or to swerve away from it (there was no time), so I accelerated through it and held on tight.
The debris hit my motorcycle hard on the front fairing and the lower fairing which is attached to the right engine guard. Although traffic was going fast, there were a lot of cars around.
I shook my head in utter disbelief. I have been riding on the street on motorcycles since the age of 16 and I have never hit road debris which was this bad, ever.
As I type this I am having flashbacks of the incident. I realize now that I was riding too close to the car in front of me, violating one of my own rules. Had I kept a safer distance from the car in front of me, I would have had more time to react to the debris.
I was damm lucky that my front tire did not roll up on the debris and get stuck on it, which would have caused me to crash for sure. As a matter of fact there are many scenarios with the large amount of debris that was kicked up in front of me which could have caused me to crash. Had I locked my brakes up, or swerved to avoid it, I would have surely crashed.
Luckily, I was able to power through it.
Again, keep a safe distance from the car in front of you while riding your motorcycle, because on a motorcycle there are no second chances.
Although I am writing this article on December 19, 2012, I actually returned home from my epic around the nation RV trip on September 6, 2012. Being gone almost two months, driving approximately 8600 miles not including the hundreds of miles I rode on the motorcycle while on the trip, almost going over a cliff when we lost the brakes in the RV in Wyoming, etc., required a lot of my time when I got home. It was all worth it. This is the final article I will write about my epic trip. Later I will post pictures and videos from the trip.
When we left off, Liz and I were dry camped in Greybull, Wyoming waiting for the brakes to be fixed on my motorhome. My front bumper was destroyed in the accident, and the back bumper was cracked in two places when the trailer fishtailed into it.
The guys at the shop where we were camped out and who repaired the brakes on my RV were amongst the most reputable and nicest people I have ever dealt with. They could have totally screwed me and told me that I needed a $3,000 brake repair. Instead they told me that my rotors were good, that the pads were totally gone, and the fluid had completely boiled out of the system due to overheating, but that there were no leaks. The total repair bill was $600.00. Another interesting thing about being dry camped at the repair shop in Greybull was that our cell phone service did not work at all, nor did my internet Wi-Fi. We were basically totally out of touch with civilization while we were there.
The total time we were in Greybull Wyoming was approximately 2 nights and 3 days. It was a very small town full of great people. It is the kind of town where I could see myself setting up a cattle ranch someday.
We had a choice to make; should we just count our blessings and drive our damaged RV home or should we continue north to Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park? There really was no question, we had come this far and we were not turning around now; Cody, Wyoming would be our next stop on the way to Yellowstone.
We left Greybull, WY for Cody, WY in the afternoon. It was a cloudy day. The total drive from Greybull to Cody was around 54 miles. It was really good to be back on the road in our motorhome. You must understand, this was essentially our last week of vacation, and after the accident we had no clue whether we would have to leave our RV and all of our possessions in Greybull and rent a car to get home, or what would happen. We were geared up for a two month trip and you can carry lots of stuff in and underneath a Class A motorhome. Had the RV not been drivable there would have been no way to carry everything home in a rental car or even a rental van.
Being back on the road at this point felt fantastic.
When we got to Cody the first thing we did was go to Wal-Mart and get a throwaway cell phone that worked in the area because our carrier did not work in Wyoming. We called our relatives and I checked in with my office to let them know what had happened. Afterwards we stopped and got some Chinese buffet food.
Turns out Cody is a really cool western town, the gateway to Yellowstone. I really fell in love with Wyoming and its people.
We found a really cool RV park and camped out for the night with the intent of riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to Yellowstone in the morning.
In the morning we woke up and there were ominous clouds in the sky but it did not look like it was going to rain.
As soon as we got on the road just north of Cody, the clouds got much worse and the sky opened up. I was only wearing a soft flannel jacket, Liz had on a leather jacket, we both had jeans on, and of course, no rain gear. Plus it was damm cold. We decided that we were not going to stop now, Yellowstone, here we come.
It literally rained during the entire ride to Yellowstone from Cody, it was cold and it was miserable, but it was also one of the most beautiful rides I have ever taken. The grand mountains, the rocks, the sites all were too much to take in on one ride; however, I tried the best I could.
This is one ride that everyone must take at least once in their lives.
When we got to the gate of Yellowstone, I got off the motorcycle, paid the entrance fee, got back on, and rode into the park. It was very cold at this point, and we were soaking wet from head to toes, but nothing was going to stop us.
Yellowstone is much bigger than I expected, plus it is at a very high elevation. The riding in this park was excellent. The sites were breathtaking.
I am sure the ride in Yellowstone would have been much better if we were not soaking wet and freezing cold but hey, you cannot have everything.
While riding in the park there were several places where Buffalo roamed, literally, right on the road. All the cars stopped to observe. Hell they walked right next to us. On a motorcycle it is a bit different having huge Buffalo walking in front of you and next to you, than if you are in a car. Any one of these huge animals could have taken us out.
We rode the loop to one of the boiling water sites. Yellowstone itself sits atop the largest Caldera (volcano) in the world. If the volcano underneath it ever erupted it would take out much of our nation.
Yellowstone was a great ride. I will definitely go back to Cody, WY and Yellowstone soon.
The ride back to Cody was a cold and cloudy ride. The rain had stopped, but it was still cloudy. When we got near Cody it got dark and a bit warmer. We decided to cruise the main drag in Cody and find a place to eat, we chose an Italian place and had a good meal. After dinner we went back to the RV because we knew we would have a long ride the next day.
Upon waking up the next day, I put the motorcycle on the trailer and strapped her on, struck camp, and we were off.
After a month and a half, we were finally heading south towards our home in Southern California.
When we left Cody, we were not sure where we would spend the night. Usually on the trip we would look for RV resorts in several of the books we had with us or the GPS. We really were not sure how far we would drive.
I was nervous due to the fact that we had lost the brakes in the mountains, our RV was damaged, and I did not want a repeat performance of losing the brakes.
Sure enough we ended up driving through some major mountains on the ride south out of Wyoming. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful drive. The mountains were awesome. When we hit the Continental Divide, the mountains were awe inspiring.
After the Continental Divide, southern Wyoming turned out to be mostly a desert type of environment. It was a stark contrast to northern Wyoming.
It was basically open road with small towns sprinkled in vast distances.
We finally hit Utah in the late afternoon and continued driving south. We ended up in ski country by nightfall. Unfortunately, it became real dark, and we could not find any RV resorts anywhere nearby on any of our resources. We decided to try to find a Wal-Mart where we could park and dry camp for the evening.
We were both exhausted and very tired by this point. Hell I had been driving all day and well into the night. We had no luck finding any place to camp for the night so we kept on driving.
We finally found a Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City, UT to camp in for the night. When we got there our generator would not start and I had no clue why. We had to rough it for the night without TV, just on our battery power and internal water supply. I was so tired that I did not really care. We fell asleep almost immediately.
The next morning we stopped at a Denny’s for breakfast, and got on the road with our destination being Las Vegas, NV. This would be the last major stop before home.
The ride from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas was an excellent ride as well. I had no clue how cool the mountains north of Las Vegas were because I had never traveled this route before.
We found a great RV resort a block from the Las Vegas strip, but a few miles south of the main casinos on the strip. The normal rate there was $60-$80 a day, with my RV membership, we paid less than $30 per day.
We must have looked like ragamuffins when we pulled in. My RV was coated with bugs from an over 8,000 mile trip at this point, the front bumper was basically gone from our accident, the back bumper was cracked, and everything was dirty. All of the other RV’s looked new and pristine in the park. No problem, hell thinking about how far we had come was a mind trip in of itself.
The RV resort in Las Vegas was off the hook, every amenity you could possibly want. However, this was Las Vegas. We waxed the motorcycle to clean her up, got her off of the trailer and took off into town for a great evening. By this time Liz had become adept at helping me was the motorcycle, it was actually nice to have her help.
Our plan was to stay in Las Vegas for two nights, then head home.
The next day Liz and I rode to Hoover Dam. This was her first time there. It was as usual hotter than hell in Las Vegas and Boulder City. But it was OK.
Both Liz and I at this point did not want to go home. We both wanted to stay on the road forever. For both of us, going home would mean going back to work and responsibility. This had been the best and longest vacation of both of our lives, a trip that maybe less than 1% of all Americans would ever get to make.
The fact that we would head home the next day kind of made us both sad and excited. I must admit that I kind of missed just being in a house without having to drive!
On our last night in Las Vegas after the ride to Hoover Dam we had another good time. We both lost money in the casinos, and then we headed back to the RV Park knowing we were going home the next day.
The last day of our trip saw us waking up with a mission, to get home. I put the motorcycle on the trailer for the last time on this trip, strapped her up, struck camp, and we were off again.
I could tell Liz was not happy about having to go home, but since her aunt was house and dog sitting for us, and we were about 3 weeks over the time we were supposed to be gone, she knew we had to go home.
The ride home was a decent trip. Compared to the 8600 miles we had driven, the ride from Las Vegas to our home in Acton was nothing. A little 200 mile or so jaunt compared to where we had driven on the trip.
When we got home on the evening of September 6, 2012, and I walked in my home, I was shocked at how big it seemed compared to the RV which was our home for the last approx. two months. It took me a while to get used to it.
The epic two month 8600 mile trip we took around the circumference of the United States was probably a trip that can never really be repeated although I have every intention of doing it again. The gas alone was almost $10,000 for the RV.
The memories Liz and I shared during the trip will last for a lifetime. It was that kind of a trip, something you could write a book about.
Here it is December 20, 2012, and in a way I am still recovering from the trip.
Two weeks later Liz and I took the RV back to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Bikerfest and had a great time.
** This article was written on August 30, 2012, 2012, but it is being published on December 18, 2012. There will be one final article to be published soon about the rest of my epic vacation. There will also be a post of many videos from the vacation. Again, this article was written on August 30, 2012.
First off, before I get started, let me follow-up with my status on August 27, 2012.
Liz and I toured all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Sturgis, and Rapid City. We had a good time in South Dakota especially on the motorcycle. The Black Hills offer some great riding in what I consider to be intermediate twisties. I think the twisties we have where I live in the Angeles National Forest or in some places in the Santa Monica Mountains are much more difficult to ride than the Black Hills.
All in All though, the Black Hills are beautiful and I will be back next year.
We left South Dakota on August 29, 2012 for Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
When we reached the mountains off of US 14, I knew we were in for some exciting views. These are the steepest mountains I have taken my RV on since getting the RV. We went up to an altitude of 8,900 feet.
On the downside of the mountain, there was a sign showing a truck on a downgrade stating that it was for the next 17 miles. Another sign stated for trucks to switch into lower gears. I shifted into 2nd gear.
The downgrade was extreme. I pumped my brakes rather just holding them down. I cannot describe what it is like to try to slow down a very large 35’ RV with an Electra Glide and trailer in tow, on declines such as the one we were on. It was scary.
On the way down, we both heard a noise that we could not identify. Later on, I felt the brakes get a bit mushy but they still worked. We came to a visitor’s area where there were waterfalls and a viewing area. I told Liz that I was going to stop to check out the brakes.
It was around 6-6:30pm or so and starting to get a bit dark in the mountains. Since the sun was going down Liz did not want to stop or possible or get stuck in this desolate place. I told her we had to stop. I got the rig slowed down and turned right into the area, I downshifted to 1st gear to slow down more without using the brakes, when I pushed down on the brakes to stop, the pedal went to the floor and to my horror were gone. We were not slowing down and we were not stopping.
In my 49 years heretofore, I have driven or ridden many cars, trucks, motorcycles, you name it, nothing that I have driven or ridden has lost all brake power before, nothing.
Here I was heading for a sheer cliff straight ahead, literally a sheer cliff, and I had no brakes. I yelled to Liz that we had no brakes. I tried shifting the rig into park; it just made a click click sound but did not slow down.
I told Liz that we were going to crash.
I intentionally steered the rig sharply to the left so that we would hit the side of the road which were rocks rather than go off of the cliff. I could not believe that when I made the sharp turn to the left that we did not tip over on our side.
I told Liz to brace herself. Literally from the time I realized I had no brakes until the time we crashed was just a few seconds.
I noticed a white thing where we were headed, I steered to avoid it.
We jumped up onto a curb, crashed through a wood fence, and by the grace of god were finally stopped by two beefy barriers that the National Park Service has planted along the sides of the road.
After the initial impact we kept going until we hit these barriers. We did not stop right away.
After the impact we just sat there. I was freaked out about the damage to the rig, Liz said “Norman don’t worry, we are alive.”
Let me tell you, had I steered wrong or stayed on the road that day, I have no doubt we would no longer be here on this earth. What if I would have lost the brakes on the road? I would have gone 35-40 mph or faster right over the edge. If anyone has ridden the US 14 in Wyoming, you know what I mean.
Two days ago I lost my brakes on a severe downgrade on US 14 in the Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming. I had to intentionally crash my RV in order to get the rig stopped.
Thanks to the fine people of Greybull, Wyoming, we were towed off of the mountain into a KOA RV Park last night, and the same guy came this morning to pick up the rig to repair the brakes. The parts won’t be in until tomorrow, so the repair guy is allowing us to bunk down in the RV on his property.
I have fallen in love with Greybull, Wyoming and so has Liz. The town has about 1100 people who all seem to know each other. Went to dinner tonight and ended up meeting some of the town folk. I was invited to attend a shooting event on a private ranch. The people here leave their keys in the car, and will bend over backwards to help you.
I rode up to the crash site twice today, from Greybull, Wyoming east on US 14 up into Big Horn Forest, once by myself, once with Liz. This ride is the most beautiful and awe inspiring ride I’ve ever taken in my life. No words can describe the wide vistas, the ancient canyons, the trees, and the waterfalls. It was as if I was in the most beautiful place on earth on my Harley.
Getting back to the accident; had I not turned the way I did Liz and I would not be here. There was a sheer cliff in front of us when I lost the brakes. It was a scary experience. The RV sustained damage to the lower front where it hit, and the back where the trailer fish tailed. We are not injured. I was told that many RV’ers lose their brakes up here every month; live and learn. I lost my lower lights in the front and some fiberglass. It can be repaired.
If the parts come in tomorrow and the RV is otherwise safe to drive we will be heading to Cody, Wyoming, where I will set up camp. Saturday we will ride the Harley through Yellowstone from the east entrance. Until then….
Well tonight the last episode of American Chopper was aired and after a 10 year run, the show is finally over.
On August 13, 2012 I paid a little visit to Orange County Chopper and you can read a little post about it by clicking here. I will post extensive video on my trip to OCC later on.
The gist of this article is about the American Chopper show.
I will admit, I have watched the show for the past 10 years and have written several articles about it here in the Biker Law Blog. If you want to read my previous articles go to the search box on the top of the right sidebar and type in American Chopper. A list of the articles I have written will appear.
No matter what you or I think about the motorcycles Orange County Chopper and Paul Junior Designs built over the years, you have to admit, these guys out lasted most of the bike builders that I have become familiar with over the past decade. There is a long list of motorcycle builders including Jesse James who basically disappeared, all the while, Orange County Choppers and American Chopper continued plugging along.
I am not sure if the show was cancelled or the players did not want to be on the show anymore, it seems to me that their entire operation revolved around the show. Who knows if Orange County Choppers and Paul Junior Designs will survive without American Chopper? Maybe the Discovery Channel will do some kind of spin-off.
I am going to miss watching these guys build bikes. What is ironic is that I am I am sure all of you have gone though many things over the 10 years that American Chopper had its run.
I think that the years 2000-2010 consisted of one hell of a biker and motorcycle popularity craze, which the bad economy and other factors has ended. I have seen many acquaintances that I have ridden with over the past 10 years die in motorcycle accidents, disappear, or quit riding motorcycles.
So at least to me with American Choppers going away, it also signals an end of an era to me in my personal life and so on.
The good news is that the biker and motorcycle scene is still going very strong, albeit not as strong as years past. I am going to miss watching America Choppers and the dysfunctional family behind it building funky motorcycles. I am sure they made a small fortune over the past 10 years while entertaining us all.
Good by American Choppers.
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