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I have been meaning to write this article for quite some time, unfortunately I have been too busy since I returned back from my trip, to write this article until now.
My trip to the 2013 Sturgis motorcycle rally, was not only a trip to the rally itself, but was also a trip to the Little Big Horn National Battlefield, in Custer Montana, and to the Yellowstone National Forest in Wyoming.
Further, this trip would mark my first major trip, or motorcycle rally, as a single man.
For this trip, my plan was to tow my motorcycle in my new custom trailer, behind my 35 foot class A motorhome. This would be a small trip of approximately 3000 miles, as opposed to my 8000 mile plus around the country RV trip that I took two summers ago in 2012.
I prepaid two months in advance for a weeks stay at the world-famous Glencoe campgrounds, in Sturgis South Dakota.
At the time of the writing of this article, I do not remember the exact amount of money it cost me for my space at Glencoe Campground, but I’m guessing it was around $600 for the week for a 75 foot, 50 amp space, plus a couple hundred dollars for a wristband.
The campground requires everyone that enters the campground to have a wristband, because they have headliner bands playing at night, which they sell tickets to separately.
Glencoe campground in Sturgis is famous for all the shenanigans that happen there during the rally. No children are allowed in the campground during the rally, and it only opens for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The rest of the year it is closed. If you do a Google search for Glencoe campgrounds you’ll see that there’s a lot of nudity there during the rally. I experienced said nudity firsthand, see below.
For a trip like this, the plan was to take approximately a month to do the entire trip. It is almost impossible to find friends or family that can take that much time off work for a trip like this. This was the case for this trip, nobody was available to come on the trip with me. Anyway, I needed this time by myself anyway, to find myself again after the breakup of my long-term relationship and marriage.
I contemplated taking a lady with me on the trip, but in the end, I decided not to bring her. After thinking about it, I decided that I needed some alone time. Unfortunately, I already paid for her wristband before the trip and couldn’t get a refund, oh well.
The excitement leading up to this trip was almost unbearable. My new custom motorcycle trailer, made the thought of going to Sturgis even that much more exciting, because it is an enclosed trailer and I would not need to use any straps like I did on my last long trip.
I bought many new things for this trip. I bought a new camera, a new camcorder, a GoPro HD camera for the motorcycle, and many mounts for the cameras so I could get a lot of footage.
Two days before the trip was about to begin, I started loading the motor home up for the trip. Most people would think I’m crazy leaving the resort town where I live, Huntington Beach, CA, to travel to Sturgis, South Dakota during the summer for a month. Only a biker, and motorcycle rider, would know why I would take a trip like this. Over a half a million people every year make the same journey.
The morning of August 1, 2013, I pulled my motorhome out of the storage space, attached my new custom motorcycle trailer to the motorhome, and proceeded to load my motorcycle into the new trailer for the first time.
The biker bar mounting system was incredible. The biker bar was the new mounting system that I had installed in the trailer so that i would no longer have to strap my motorcycle in like me and everyone else with a trailer had to in the past.
Sometime soon, I will write a separate article and review about the biker bar mounting system, because I believe everybody who has a motorcycle trailer should get one of these things.
Suffices to say, once I clicked my motorcycle into the biker bar, it was a plug-and-play type of deal. I did not have to worry about tightening straps, or the motorcycle whatsoever for the rest of the 1300 mile trip to Sturgis South Dakota.
I did get a late start on August 1, 2013. By the time I left Huntington Beach, California, it was already about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I did not care, I just wanted to get on the road. The weather was nice when I left, but I did hit heavy-duty traffic on the 91 freeway, and the 15 freeway headed to Las Vegas. Further, I had massive traffic in Las Vegas because I got there during rush hour.
It was hotter than hell in the Las Vegas area, and beyond in the afternoon. I drove to a truck stop approximately 100 miles north of Las Vegas to fill up gas, and to fill up my main propane tank in the motorhome. I also fixed myself a sandwich in the motorhome, and had a cigar, because I was planning on driving until I could not drive anymore. It was going to be a late night.
I drove that night until I could not drive any further. The new GPS I got for the motorhome is set up for recreational vehicles, so it directed me to a truck stop where I parked for the evening and dry camped with all the truckers.
When I woke up on August 2, 2013, my plan was to drive until I could not drive anymore again. At this point I was approximately 700 miles away from Sturgis South Dakota. I made myself some breakfast in the motorhome, got some coffee, and filled the motorhome up with gas and I was off.
It was a great ride in the motorhome from where I had camped on August 1 in Utah, through Wyoming on my way to South Dakota. The GPS took me over 100 miles out of my way on a scenic route. I had no clue that the GPS was set up to take scenic routes. In a way I’m kind of glad it did take me on the scenic route, it was a great drive.
There was a point on the drive in Wyoming, where I was so far off the beaten track, I was concerned that I would not be able to find gas. I was literally in the middle of nowhere. Everything turned out okay.
There was major road construction in Wyoming, and I encountered dirt roads and closed roads along the way. In one case construction crews had the road closed; I had to wait for about 45 minutes for them to reopen it. When they did reopen the road, a pace car guided us on a very bumpy dirt road to where the pavement started again. This would’ve been fine except me being in a big motorhome with the new motorcycle trailer, with my motorcycle inside. It was very bumpy to say the least.
When it got dark, I decided to keep on driving until I could not drive anymore. When I got to around two hours outside of Sturgis at approximately 12 midnight, I was tired, and about ready to just park the RV at Walmart for the night. The winds were howling, and I can see major thunderstorms in the direction of where I was heading. When you’re in a 35 foot class a motorhome, strong winds are not your friend.
However, I was so excited to be so close to Sturgis, I decided to just drive the last two hours, and get to Sturgis. The weather was so bad on the way in, that I did not make it into Sturgis until about 4 AM.
My GPS was set up to take me to the Glencoe campground. To get there, you have to drive directly through downtown Sturgis. I could see all the vendors set up as I drove in, and I became very excited.
When I got to the Glencoe campground, I was thoroughly exhausted. I could barely stay awake. I had been driving essentially nonstop for over 700 miles. I checked in at the front shack at the front gate, got my wristband, and waited for a guy to come around on a little cart to show me where my Space was. It was still dark as I was driving in, but as I drove in, I could see a couple of naked people walking on the road.
The guy from Glencoe showed me my Space, and directed me while I backed my motorhome into the space. After almost 19 hours of straight driving and sheer exhaustion from doing the 1300 mile one way drive in less than two days, it was a trickey proposition. We are talking an over 50 feet rig with the motorcycle trailer. It was not easy backing it in being so tired, and it being pitch dark, but I did it.
I then set up my camp as quickly as possible. I hooked up the 50 amp power cord, fresh water, and sewer to my RV.
Believe it or not, I was so excited to be at the rally, that it was difficult to get the sleep, but I did eventually get to sleep that first morning.
When I woke up on August 3, 2013, the first thing I did was to remove my motorcycle from the trailer, unleash my flagpole and flags, and get ready to go to town.
Before going into town the first day, I decided to ride through the campground to check it out. Glencoe has vendors set up in the middle area of the campground. They say that Glencoe is the largest campground in the world. I’m not sure, I heard that the Buffalo Chip is big as well, but I have never been there and cannot tell from personal experience.
When I rode through the campground, I saw a couple of naked guys with their dongs hanging out, not something I wanted to see, along with an older lady that was walking around topless.
The campground was semi-full, and I knew it would get much more full as the rally progressed.
When I finally made it out of the gate, there is excitement in the air. Basically there were motorcycles everywhere. Further, as I rode down the road I discovered that the world-famous Full Throttle Saloon was directly across the street from the Glencoe campground. The main road was packed with motorcycles going in both directions.
I was kind of upset that the speed limit on the main drag was 25 mph. I know they’re trying to keep the motorcyclist safe, but 25 mph is kind of ridiculous. It was obvious to me that it was a big speed trap so I took my time to not go above the speed limit. As I got closer to downtown Sturgis, I saw even more motorcycles. When I finally got to downtown, it was packed with motorcycles all over the place, as far as the eye can see, a sea of motorcycles.
I did what everybody who goes to Sturgis does as a rite of passage, I paraded up and down the main street twice each direction on my motorcycle.
There were tens of thousands of people walking on both sides of the street, and thousands of motorcycles in the main drag. I knew that the rally would get even more crowded, since this was officially the first day of the rally. I have never seen so many motorcycles or bikers in my entire life in any one place. It was almost like going home. I felt like I belonged there at Sturgis. It’s hard to explain. Bikers and motorcyclists already have what I consider to be a camaraderie between them, because they ride motorcycles. However, the bikers at Sturgis all seems to be connected in some way. It was like one interconnected extended family even though everyone are strangers. We all had motorcycles in common, and everyone is friendly to each other. Only bikers at Sturgis will ever understand what a ritcheous feeling this is.
The bikers and motorcyclists at Sturgis come from all over the world, and all walks of life. You have lawyers like me commiserating with motorcycle mechanics. All professions, all classes, and all the people Sturgis, are for all intents and purposes part of one huge motorcycle family while you are there. There’s no way that I could put this in the words so that you can understand, the only way to truly understand the Sturgis experience, is to go yourself.
I have talked to many bikers about Sturgis, most of them have never been there. Each one of them says that one day they will go. I can only say one thing to these people, Sturgis is something that you have to do at least once in your life. For me, I will be there again next year, and probably every year thereafter.
Let’s get back to the story.
Now I was at Sturgis from August 2, 2013 to August 11, 2013. I’m not going to write a day by day, hour by hour Chronicle of the rally. What I will do is describe the things I did at the rally as a whole, and I will discuss specific days as they stood out from the rest.
Where I come from in Southern California, we have some of the best motorcycle riding in the world. The Sturgis’s, South Dakota area, and the Black Hills of South Dakota are truly a beautiful place to ride, and an excellent time. For most Americans, I am sure the Black Hills of South Dakota are probably the best rides they will do their life. I am spoiled because I live in the land of twisties and mountains, in Southern California. With that being said I cannot sit here and say that the Black Hills of South Dakota, are any better riding than I’m used in Southern California. I will say, that I truly do enjoy riding the Black Hills of South Dakota, and because you are at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, it is a truly bitchin ride. In other words, the riding is no better than I am used to at home, but it is still excellent riding.
I rode over 1000 miles on my motorcycle while at Sturgis, South Dakota in 2013. I rode all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. I went to Mount Rushmore multiple times, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer National Park, and all over the place. I rode to Deadwood, South Dakota may times as well.
You can read about a trip I took in 2012 to the same location, but not during the rally, by clicking here now.
Part of this year’s trip to Sturgis, was about me finding myself again. Having just got out of a 12 year long-term relationship with my wife, and having just been to the same location a year ago with my wife, made this trip a bit melancholy in a way. It was melancholy in a way, simply because I rode to some the same places with my wife just a year before, and now we were no longer together.
This trip to Sturgis for me was not about meeting women or getting laid, it was about me finding myself again, and doing some great riding.
I took many pictures at Sturgis you can see some of them sprinkled throughout this article, and you can see a video of some of my pictures by clicking here, or going to the bottom of this article.
I took much video at Sturgis as well. I’m not going to post the video in this article, I will save it for a later article.
Sturgis is the granddaddy of all motorcycle rallies. It is the biggest motorcycle rally in the world. All the motorcycle vendors that you can think of, or anybody in the motorcycle world you can think of were represented at Sturgis. You can find any leather item, motorcycle part, T-shirts, literally anything you want in the motorcycle world at the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
I have been to so many motorcycle rallies in my time, that the vendors all look the same to me. I am one of those unique bikers who can honestly say, that there is literally nothing I need. So walking through the vendor village which is basically the entire Main Street in Sturgis, and all the side streets, was just something to do to check out all the people, since I did not need anything.
Yes, I bought a whole ton of Sturgis motorcycle rally T-shirts, including my first Harley-Davidson T-shirt, and still to this day almost a year later, I have not worn any of them. I bought a bunch of t-shirts at the Full Throttle Saloon, and I haven’t worn any of them either.
I am one of those bikers, that simply does not buy and wear what I consider to be motorcycle paraphernalia T-shirts to prove I’m a biker. I have no need to prove I’m a biker. I will never buy another rally T-shirt, or Harley-Davidson T-shirt again. Why, because I never wear them.
Every night at Sturgis I saw a major headliner band. I spent most nights at the concert venue at the Glencoe campground, and a couple of nights at the Full Throttle Saloon.
There were beautiful women all over the place at Sturgis. Women running around with nothing at all on except for body paint, or pasties. I will tell you, nowhere on earth will you see
so many women running around with so little on everywhere except for maybe a nudist beach somewhere in Europe, or where I live in Huntington Beach.
One day when I was heading to the Crazy Horse Monument, I got stuck in the beginnings of a major thunderstorm. As I was going up the hill with no jacket on it started raining. I decided to head back to the campground. I went through Rapid City, South Dakota, and got back on the interstate headed towards Sturgis. I stopped at the Black Hills Harley-Davidson dealership on the way. This place was massive, and they had tons of vendors. The makers of the Biker Bar, the motorcycle trailer mounting bracket that I installed in my trailer, were also at the Black Hills Harley-Davidson dealership.
While at the dealership, I got a replacement lighter for my Harley-Davidson Electra glide, and my first Harley-Davidson T-shirt. To this day I have never worn the T-shirt.
The sky looked ominous. Dark storm clouds were approaching. After my visit to the Black Hills Harley-Davidson dealership, I continued to ride back to Sturgis.
No matter where I rode while in Sturgis, I always made sure to do the ubiquitous parade up and down the main drag while leaving or arriving in downtown Sturgis. This day was no different. I rode my bike up and down the main drag twice when I got into town. There were as usual thousands of people and motorcycles on the main drag.
As I was heading to the Glencoe campground, the entire sky seemed to open up with one hell of a massive thunderstorm, and hail. The hail was so large, that it hurt tremendously as it hit my head. (yes, I did not wear a helmet the entire time I was in South Dakota, Montana, or Wyoming)
The rain was coming down so hard, it was impossible to see in front of me, even with no helmet on. I like many other people stopped on the side of the road, to try to wait the storm out. When the rain let up a little bit, I jumped back on my bike and made it to the gas station on the road outside of the Glencoe campground, and huddled under the awning there with many other stranded bikers, as the rain came down so hard it was unbelievable.
This was the worst rain I have seen since I was at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally in Durango, Colorado in 2001. Had I stayed on the road during this rainstorm, there was a very good chance I might have wiped out.
When the rain let up a little bit, I managed to ride back to the campground. My campsite was a muddy mess by the time I got there. My motorcycle sunk into the mud as I rode up to my motorhome; there was mud everywhere.
I opened the door to the motorhome and got undressed on the steps leading up to the motorhome. I had mud all over my boots, and pants; all my clothes were soaking wet.
Because of the tremendous rainstorm, and the mud outside, there was really nothing to do at this point but to put the heater on, throw some sweat pants on, put the satellite TV on and have a little dinner.
By this time in the rally, I had been partying to three or four in the morning every night, and I was a bit sleep deprived. I laid down and crashed out for the evening. It pretty much rained all night anyway.
Other than what I want to call the night of thunder, every other night at the rally was excellent.
Now let me tell you about the Glencoe campground, it’s full of debauchery. Another way of putting it is there are a lot of adult games going on in the campground.
The main drag is affectionately known as Perverts Row. All night long motorcycle riders, and people on golf carts and small ATVs go up and down Perverts Row, looking at all the naked girls parading and exhibiting themselves up and down Perverts Row.
I even saw a couple sex acts going on at night on Perverts Row. I had women coming up to me, doing some nasty things. It was all in good fun. You guys that get motel rooms would never know that all the action occurs at motorcycle rallies in the campgrounds. If you are in a motel or hotel, your are not experiencing the true essence of motorcycle rallies.
On Perverts Row, many girls earn their beads throughout the rally by flashing their tits. There are no prudes at the Glencoe campground during the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
As the rally came to an end on August 10, 2013, the Glencoe campground started to empty out very fast. As is my custom, I always stay an extra day at motorcycle rallies. I owned Sturgis on August 10, 2013. There were only a small fraction of riders left in and around Sturgis on this day. It was actually kind of depressing to see the rally winding down.
I wished inside that the rally never had to end, but I knew it had to.
I rode to Deadwood, Custer National Park, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and to many other places on that last day. It was kind of sad to see that all the bikers had pretty much departed already.
That night I went to the Full Throttle Saloon for a last night of fun. Traditionally, on the last night of the rally, the locals go to the Full Throttle Saloon. I saw many people at the Full Throttle Saloon who are a part of the famous TV show Full Throttle Saloon, including Fajita Mike, the little person dressed as a leprechaun, and many of the gals from the TV show. Hell, Fajita Mike asked me to give him a hand getting up on the bar. I put my hand out so he could step onto my hand to get onto the bar. The son of a bitch got mud all over my hand, he is a big boy.
To be frank, tried as I might, I did not really have a good time that last night, because I knew I would be leaving the next day, and I did not want the rally the end.
When they announced last call at the Full Throttle Saloon at around 2 AM, I walked outside the door for the last time for this particular rally, jumped on my Harley-Davidson Electra glide, and rode to Glencoe across the street.
I first did my traditional parade up and down Perverts Row, but this time there was no action like there was throughout the entire rally. I doubled back and drove by the concert venue inside Glencoe. I went inside and it was dead, no one around. I knew the rally was over.
I went to my motorhome, and went to sleep the last time at the Sturgis 2013 motorcycle rally.
On the morning of August 11, 2013, my plan was to do my laundry, strike camp, and drive to Montana, so I could visit the Little Bighorn National Battlefield the next day. I figured that since most of the people had left the campground already, and the campground went from a full city packed full of motorhomes and tents, to just a few motorhomes left in the entire place, that it would be easy to do my laundry.
Unfortunately, many of the locals who worked at the campground apparently saved their laundry up for the last day as well. I had to wait for quite some time, but I was finally able to do my laundry before departing. While waiting for my laundry to finish, I listened to rock & roll, and sat outside and smoked a cigar thinking about how great the rally was, and watching the very few holdouts like me, slowly getting ready to leave.
It was depressing to see the campground so empty, and thinking that the rally was officially over.
After my laundry was finished, I went to the motorhome and proceeded to strike camp. I attached the Biker Bar to my motorcycle, rode my motorcycle up into the trailer, and clicked the Biker Bar in place. I locked the trailer, put everything away, and for a last act took my flagpole down.
There was something inside of me that just did not want to leave, but I knew I had to. There was a motorhome three spaces to the left of me who also did not want to go home. This guy had a couple naked girls walking around his motorhome, and unfortunately he was naked too. They looked like hippie types, and they looked like they were having a good time.
I decided to make myself lunch before departing. By the time I finally decided to get on the road, it was already 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
By my calculations, my drive to Montana would be about 2 to 3 hours, so it did not matter to me that I left so late.
I started up the motorhome, let it warm up, and drove out of the Glencoe campground thus ending the Sturgis 2013 Rally part of my trip.
As I was driving out of town, I saw a few hundred holdouts hanging at the local bars in and around Sturgis, as well as riding their motorcycles. But for all intents and purposes, Sturgis was a ghost town compared to during the rally. You could see all the vendors packing up, it really was depressing.
From Sturgis, I rode to Hardin, Montana, the Little Bighorn National Battlefield, Cody Wyoming, Yellowstone National Forest, Las Vegas, Nevada, and then finally home.
I got back home on August 16, 2013.
This article is about my trip to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, therefore I’m not going to discuss the other parts of my trip. I will say that by the time I decided to drive home, it was time to go home. I put a lot of miles on my motorcycle, and my motorhome, and this is one hell of a fantastic trip.
In my life as in many other men’s lives, I have had to experience many things alone. When I went to US Air Force basic training, I went alone. Sometimes, you just have to face things alone. I did this trip alone because it was something I had to do alone. Maybe next time, I won’t do this trip alone.
As I write this article, we are less than three months away from the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I am planning on bringing somebody with me to this year’s rally, but you never know if they’ll back out at the last minute. It is difficult for many people to take two weeks off for rally such as this. I will be at the Rally either way.
I have been to motorcycle rallies all of the country, there is no doubt that every biker and motorcyclists must experience the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally once in their lives.
It is a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, that I can assure you, you will never forget, and that you will want to repeat over and over again. I plan on going to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as many times as I possibly can for the rest of my life.
Here are some raw videos I took at the Sturgis 2014 Motorcycle Rally
Last weekend I took a friend Yvonne for her first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson. As a matter of fact she has never ridden on the back of a motorcycle before.
The lead up to the ride was classic. She was excited, and scared at the same time. We discussed the ride for a week before actually taking it.
I have been riding for so many years that I take it for granted that everyone knows how to ride or be a passenger on a motorcycle. So when Yvonne expressed her anxiety over riding as a passenger and the potential danger involved, I realized I would have to school her about everything.
I first told her about the gear she would need, i.e., leather jacket, jeans, boots, helmet and gloves. I told her she could gear up online, or go to a local Harley Davidson dealership if she wanted.
I went with her to look at a few things. She informed me that she had a jacket, and jeans, and that all she needed was a helmet.
I ordered her a Hawk modular helmet with the built in sun screen and clear visor, so that sunglasses would not be necessary on the ride, all she would have to do is flip the latch like a fighter pilot, and the sun visor would go down.
I could tell she was scared and excited.
On the day set for the ride which was September 21, 2013, I arrived at her house in the afternoon. She had arranged with one of her girlfriends whose old man has a Harley, to meet us at Cook’s Corner in Orange County.
Due to my timing which was a bit late, her friend told her that we could meet up at a biker place in San Juan Capistrano instead of Cook’s Corner.
When I got to Yvonne’s home, her kids and across the street neighbor were all there to meet me, check out the motorcycle, and send Yvonne off on the ride.
It was great meeting everyone, but it delayed our ride for a bit as I answered questions about the motorcycle, etc. It distracted Yvonne as well, but what the hell, it was to be her first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle and it was going to be fun.
Her gear was in fact not truly suited for motorcycles, it was more suited to high fashion. Her jacket looked like a leather motorcycle jacket, but it was in fact made of some other softer material. Her boots kind of looked like female motorcycle boots, but they were too thin for riding. She had those jeans that all the women are wearing that look like they have holes all over them. Hell when I was a kid, we made all our jeans look like that from playing, we did not pay for it, this is another story.
After I chastised her a bit about her motorcycle gear (it was all in good fun), I told her that next time she needed to gear up properly.
I then instructed her on how to get on and off the motorcycle, where to put her feet, telling her not to ever put her feet on the ground until I tell her it is okay, not to move her body around when the motorcycle is stopped, and to tap my shoulder if she needed to use the head, etc.
I then instructed her on her helmet. Since the Hawk Modular with two visors is an advanced DOT helmet compared to the fake brain bucket helmets out there, I took some time with her. I did not expect her to learn how to do everything with the helmet on the first shot, and she did not learn everything on the first shot.
It is me the rider of the motorcycle to ensure my passenger knows the rules and how to use everything.
She made a comment on the weight of the helmet. I told her she would get used to it. She did get used to it.
We finally took off on the motorcycle. I went slow on the streets of Coto de Caza where she lives. (This is the same place where all the “Real Housewives of Orange County” live.)
We then left the gated community and got on the street. I could tell she was nervous, hell it was her first time riding on the back of a motorcycle.
Shortly thereafter she relaxed a bit, but every time she got nervous she would give a little yell, or clench her legs tightly around me. I enjoyed the clenching the legs part J
We rode to San Juan Capistrano and had a good lunch. We then went over to this biker bar across the street, where I had an alcohol free O’Doul’s, and she had a cocktail.
Later we rode back to her place.
Towards the end of the ride I could tell that Yvonne was much more comfortable on the motorcycle. She was a quick learner, and she conceded that she needs to buy a new pair of boots and a real motorcycle jacket.
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.
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