Palm Springs American Heat 2011 Motorcycle Rally, a Review.

This year Liz and I have ridden to motorcycle rallies all over the western United States. You can read my many reviews about these rallies here on the Biker Law Blog.

The key word that you will notice in the previous paragraph is “ridden.” I have never caged and/or trailered a motorcycle to a motorcycle rally. I always ride, and I will continue to do so long as god lets me.

The reason I mention this is that when you watch the video below taken by me at the rally, you will hear me confronting bottom feeder so-called biker attorney’s representatives at these rallies. Don’t worry, I will write a complete article on this subject coming up.

So let’s talk about the Palm Springs American Heat 2011 Motorcycle Rally.

Palm Springs is approximately 125 miles from my house plus or minus a few miles one way.

I really wanted to attend this rally because I am going to have what I am told is an extremely painful surgery that I have been putting off on October 28, 2011. The surgery and the recovery therefrom will take me off work, and put me out of the saddle from what I am told, for at least a month.

Further, this motorcycle rally marks the last major motorcycle rally on the west coast for the season.

The last time I went to this rally, I actually laid my motorcycle down to avoid a careless motorcycle rider who turned directly in front of my while I was leading a pack of motorcycles. The result was minor injuries to me and my motorcycle. It would have been much worse had I t-boned the idiot that pulled in front of me. Further, right after the accident, I lost my ATM card at a gas station, and when I called my bank to report it, I was informed that my account had been cleaned out. This is a whole other story. I was basically stuck in Palm Springs with just the money in my pocket. The experience kind of ruined the rally for me the last time I was there.

This year was much better.

I was actually going to ride to the rally by myself this year, however, due to Liz being able to find someone to care for our dogs and puppies; I was able to take her with me. We will give away the pups in the next few days so we will not have to worry about this issue anymore.

The ride to the rally took about 2 hours, and it was a real good ride. The weather was basically in the mid 90’s the entire time. Eat your heart out, mid 90’s in the middle of October, which is warm this time of year, even for Southern California.

The new Harley Davidson I have has a built in intercom, with the speakers and microphone setup mounted in our modular helmets. It is really cool being able to listen to tunes clearly while on the road, plus have a conversation with Liz while riding.

However, we still like to be quite most of the time while we ride, it is just habit.

We pulled into Palm Springs in the afternoon at around 2pm. It was about 100 degrees out and hot. We decided to cruise the strip before we got something to eat.

The strip was full of the roar of motorcycles, and of course many motorcycles. I have been to hundreds of motorcycle rallies, but I always get excited when I see this many motorcycles and hear the roar. For me it is addicting.

They had the main drag blocked off for pedestrians and vendors. We cruised around once, and then decided to hit Denny’s to get some chow before we came back to the rally location.

After lunch we rode to the rally location on the main drag. You can see from my video below courtesy of my GoPro helmet cam, the ride from the Denny’s to almost the rally location. Due to my not having fully charged batteries on the GoPro cam, I was only able to get a little bit of video from the Denny’s to the main rally location. However, the rest of the video with my hand held HD camera shows the main drag.

Once we got to the rally location, some guy with a custom and what must have been a 400 tire on the rear of his motorcycle, asked me about my GoPro cam, we had a short conversation, and then Liz and I did our thing.

Most motorcycle rallies at least to me, have basically become shopping malls with mostly girly type of jewelry and other stuff. Palm Springs is probably worst of all because it appeared that the local merchants were out with totally non related biker stuff, also selling their wares. I can understand it.

We had a good time walking the main strip looking at merchandise, and buying some merchandise, listening to the band, the stunt entertainment, and looking at all of the people.

We did not leave until dark. It seemed to me that it kind of got real weird after dark. There were a lot of cops at the rally, and they seemed to me to be more aggressive and more visible when it got dark. They were doing some pull overs and they were all over the place.

Hell I am an attorney and a law abiding citizen and to be frank, I felt real uncomfortable with what I saw going on at night.

Liz and I decided to head over to the Morongo Casino to try our luck. She lost around 300 bucks, I won around 200 bucks, and then we called it a night.

The next day, we did our traditional Joshua Tree – Pioneer Town run, and then rode home.

All in all I enjoyed the Palm Springs motorcycle rally. To be frank it was better than Reno and Las Vegas combined this year. I just enjoyed it more for some reason.

Now for me the 2011 motorcycle rally season is pretty much over since I am having the surgery on 10/28/11, and will be out for a month.

I am going to try to get a ride in this weekend, because the surgery is next Friday. Fun fun fun.

Check out the video of the Palm Springs American Heat Rally 2011 I shot below. Tell me if there is a problem with the audio. The master tape has no problem with the audio but it seems like YouTube may be screwing up the audio.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

Las Vegas Bikerfest 2011; a Review

Liz and I decided to ride to the Las Vegas Bikerfest biker rally last weekend. We rode to the rally on September 30, 2011 through October 2, 2011.

Below you can see 1 ½ hours of video I shot at the Las Vegas Bikerfest. Lots of interesting sites in the video.

We took off for the rally on Friday evening, September 30, 2011. We had a great ride to Las Vegas except for a few minor rain showers on the way.

The weather was warm and balmy all the way to Las Vegas.

We have gone to this biker rally before, and it was packed, so this is kind of what we were expecting when we got there.

We arrived at our hotel, The Palace Station at approximately 2am or so. The hotel was kind of dead when we arrived and notwithstanding the fact that we stayed off strip; I was really surprised to only see a few motorcycles parked at the hotel.

We gambled for a couple of hours and then hit the sack so we could get an early start for Saturday’s festivities.

We woke up on Saturday, grabbed some excellent buffet food from the Palace Station, and proceeded to head to Vendor Village at the Cashman Center.

We had to pay $15.00 bucks a piece just to get in to see the vendors, because we did not pre-register for the event on the internet. I must say that I did try pre-registering for the event on the internet like I have done in past years, but for some inexplicable reason, they cut off pre-registration a few days before the event which makes no sense. Anyway……

I do not understand why we had to pay $15.00 a piece to see vendors who then charge you for what they are selling. At events like Laughlin and Reno, and other events all over the nation, the vendors are set up in a public place and there is no charge to basically shop the vendors.

One thing we noticed was the vendor village was basically dead compared to the other biker events we have gone to this year. I am not sure why the event did not seem to be as crowded this year. Don’t get me wrong there were people there, just not as many as I have seen in past years.

I found a leather vendor who offered me a distressed heavy brown leather motorcycle jacket that I have seen in the biker stores before for around $400, for $60.00. The motorcycle jacket has all of the bells and whistles, armor in the elbows, vents, zip liner, etc. Although I already have a bunch of jackets, I could not resist. I pulled the trigger for $60.00.

I also scored some bandanas which I do not need, and a few other things.

We walked around inside and out, looked at the cool motorcycles in the Artistry in Iron exhibit, listened to the band outside, and then decided to split.

We went to downtown where all of the Saturday night events at the rally usually happen. There were lots of bikes, but again, not as many as in past years.

Downtown was very busy as you can see in the video, however, I remember in past years where you could barely walk through the crowd.

Downtown was a trip. They had a Led Zeppelin and AC/DC tribute bank going, along with another tribute band playing 80’s glam rock.

Check out the video, it gives you a good idea what downtown was like.

There was a very heavy police presence at the event.

We walked around, listened to the bands, had a good time, and then split at around 2am to go back to the hotel.

The next day we went to a Las Vegas Biker shop that has the largest selection of leather items supposedly on the west coast. I picked up a few things there, and then we got on the road. Most biker rallies empty quickly on the last day.

We had a good time at the rally as usual, and a good ride home.

Next we have Palm Springs American Heat biker rally in two weeks………..

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 7, 2011

An Example of Extreme Weather Riding, Reno 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My old lady and I just completed a run up to the Reno Street Vibrations Biker Rally this past weekend.

It was around a 450 mile run each way from our home, and sure was an exercise in extreme weather riding for us Southern Californians, who are used to mild temperatures.

The route we took was from the 14 freeway to Highway 395  to the 80, and to our hotel in Reno.

The day we rode up to Reno, Friday, September 23, 2011, started out to be a mild day. The weather was calm at 5:30am when we left our home, around 75 degrees.

As we started riding north, the weather got hotter and hotter, cooled off, and then got hot again as the day went on.

You see highway 395 took us through the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, past Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in North America, up around 8,000 feet and higher, then through Carson City (Lake Tahoe is just above Carson City), and then to Reno which is basically in the Nevada Desert.

I usually wear a light long sleeve type of t-shirt on hot days to protect my skin from the sun, and blue jeans. I know I should wear an armored fabric type of jacket, and I am in the process of trying to find a good one.

My old lady also wears long sleeves, and usually always wears chaps as well.

On Friday, due to traffic conditions, an accident in a bad spot where a biker went down due to a defective road under construction, the heat, and the extreme traffic in Reno again due to construction and the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, Liz and I were totally spent by the time we got to Reno.

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My new Electra Glide Ultra got so hot that it almost cooked that day.

We tried as best as we could to hydrate along the way, but I think that we over did it on Friday. We both almost suffered severe heat stroke by the time we got to Reno. We were both dizzy and sick upon arrival.

I was in such a rush to get to Reno; I ignored my basic riding principals!

In the future, I will make sure we take more breaks, hydrate more, and give ourselves more time to get to a long destination.

450 miles in one day riding two up, is a very long ride under any circumstances. In heat it can be tough.

On the way back from Reno, it was warm when we left, but soon, when we got up into the mountains, we suffered severe weather. There was lighting storms, rain, hail, and cold. Imagine going from warm to very cold in just a few miles.

I let Liz use my chaps since she left hers with a friend by mistake, I put a sweatshirt on, my leather jacket, my gauntlet gloves, and we proceeded through the severe weather.

Upon reaching Lone Pine, we stopped to get some food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. (A great local restaurant with damn good food.)

Lone Pine is a tourist town along the 395 which caters to people on their way to see Mt. Whitney and Yosemite.

When we walked into the restaurant to eat, we were all bundled up in leathers and more, all of the locals were in t-shirts and shorts. I took my jacket off and sure enough it was at least 80 degrees outside.

We went from warm in Reno when we left, to cold lighting storms, back to warm again, all within a 300 mile stretch.

I proceeded to take my leather jacket and gauntlet’s off again, and switch to light gloves, and then we got on the road again.

There was a 30 mile stretch after Lone Pine, just before Mohave and the 14, where I never was so afraid in my life while riding a motorcycle.

Out of no-where we hit cold, and 60-70 mile per hour wind gusts or more that literally almost knocked my bike over while we were riding.

The wind was hitting us from the side going north to south. When a gust would hit us it caused my head to jerk hard to the left. It also caused the bike to jerk violently, and I have a very heavy bike.

Liz and I had our intercom hooked up, and she was freaking out. I had to tell her to be quiet and not panic. The wind was so bad that I knew if I slowed down and tried to pull over there would be no way I could hold the bike up. I knew the wind would knock us over.

I knew the forward energy and centrifugal force of the tires turning made it safer for us to keep riding than trying to stop.

I was genuinely afraid like I have never been before in my life while riding. It was a horrible experience, especially in the pitch dark of the Mohave Desert.

When we got to a 76 truck stop in Mohave where the 14 hits the 395 we pulled over to get our bearings back. It was then that another couple pulled in on a motorcycle in a panicked state.

They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide, they each had beanie helmets on with clear glasses on for eye protection, and they were even more panicked than we were.

The women got off of the back of her old man’s bike and literally hugged him and would not let go.

We discussed the fact that it was by the grace of god that we all made it through unscathed.

I put my leather jacket and gauntlet’s back on and we rode off watching the woman from the other bike hugging her old man like there was no tomorrow.

Moral to the story; when riding a motorcycle, be prepared for any weather.

I can’t wait for next year 🙂

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2011

Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez to speak at the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law, at Arizona State University on April 6, 2011.

California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez

I, along with Mark Britton the founder of Avvo, and Attorney Janelle Orsi, will speak at the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University on April 6, 2011.

You can see a flyer of the event by clicking here.

I am honored to join with the Legal Rebels project which is a part of the American Bar Association, and the American Bar Association Journal, in this event.

The Legal Rebels project’s goal is to profile attorneys who are remaking the legal profession. I am honored to be associated with this program.

The Biker Law Blog was picked at one of the top 100 law blogs by the American Bar Association Journal in 2007.

It is my opinion that there can be immense improvement in the practice of law, while maintaining strict old fashioned ethical boundaries.

It is my intent as an Attorney at Law and Officer of the Court, to make legal services accessible to all.

I enjoy speaking to fellow attorneys, and to law students who will soon be the next generation of attorneys themselves.

I believe that it is important to give back to the profession that I love as much as possible.

I will see you all at the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University on April 6, 2011.

By California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Joys of Biker Toy Runs during the Holiday Season

Bikers at recent Motorcycle Toy Run
Bikers at recent Motorcycle Toy Run

I don’t have to tell you because you probably already know that we for the most part have year round motorcycle riding in most parts of California.

This time of year is a bit colder for us in California, than other times of the year.

Heck it is 57 degrees where I live right now as I am writing this article. It is kind of chilly, but with the right type of jacket and clothes, no problem for riding your motorcycle.

As you all know, there are many families and children in need even without a great recession like we are having now. However, due to the great recession, there are many more families and children in need than during normal times.

Many people don’t know that Bikers, Motorcycle Riders, and Motorcycle Clubs, put on Toy Runs this time of year, all over the nation, to help kids get toys, who may not be able to get toys during the holiday season, especially due to the recession.

Every year, I either go to various motorcycle toy runs here in Southern California, or I give toys or money.

Bottom line, I am recommending that all Bikers and Motorcycle Riders go to as many toy runs as possible to help the kids.

Some of the perks of supporting motorcycle toy runs this time of year are: (1) You are helping needy kids get gifts, and in many cases your donation is tax deductible; (2) It is a great excuse to go our riding for a good cause; many of these toy runs give out or sell good grub at the event; (3) you get a chance to socialize with other bikers and motorcycle riders during the winter months; and (4) it feels downright good to help needy children.

There is a website that lists California events and California toy runs called Motorcycle Monster. This website also lists other States as well.

To see some California Toy Runs listed on this site click here now.

If you have an event, I suggest you list it on their site. F.Y.I. I am not affiliated with this site, nor do I receive compensation from this site. I found them on Google by search for toy runs California.

See you on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 27, 2010

Hello from San Francisco

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Well it is 3:51am on Thursday morning. I just arrived at my hotel in downtown San Francisco after an uneventful trip from Los Angeles.

I am here to give a speech at the American Bar Association Convention. For us lawyers, the ABA convention is the superbowl of nationwide attorney conventions.

 I received the honor to be asked to speak at this year’s convention. I could not turn it down. 

Stays tuned for videos and pictures, and wish me luck! 

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., August, 2010

Lucky to be alive after the Laughlin River Run 2010; however, we still had a good time!

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2010
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2010

See Videos Below

Well the title says it all, my wife and I owe our lives to god after this years Laughlin River Run. I will explain below.

If you did not know it, it is said that the Laughlin River Run is the largest motorcycle rally in the western United States, and some people say that it is the second largest motorcycle rally in the nation next to Sturgis. It is a great time.

You can read an article I wrote about a previous Laughlin River Run that I did by clicking here.

This year’s run began when we packed up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to go to the Laughlin River Run 2010 on Friday, April 23, 2010.

Since I had to be in Court early Friday morning in Victorville, CA, we could not leave for the Laughlin River Run until Friday afternoon. Many of my friends left on the Thursday, the day before, but I could not go with them because I had to be in Court.

Therefore my wife and I planned on riding alone to Laughlin. By the time I did my pre-ride routine, and we got the motorcycle all packed up, it was very late. We did not get out of dodge until around 7pm; it was already dusk. I had to make a couple of stops along the way before we got on the road. Read the rest of the article below the videos.

By the time we hit the Pearblossom Highway, it was almost dark. We made good time to Victorville and onto the I-15 east. We stopped at Denny’s in Barstow and had dinner because we knew we would not get into Laughlin until around 1am or so according to the GPS.

Once back on the road we made good time from the I-15 to the I-40 split. If any of you have ridden on the I-40 between Barstow and Needles, you know that this is amongst the most isolated and desolate places in the United States. This is the Mohave Desert and there is nothing there except Rattlesnakes, Scorpions, and a couple of gas stations along the way.

Continue reading “Lucky to be alive after the Laughlin River Run 2010; however, we still had a good time!”

The Yuma Prison Run 2010; a Great Time

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with wife at the Yuma Prison Run
California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Yuma Prison Run

*** 4/21/10 Update – See the Short Video Below!

Living in Southern California we are blessed with year round riding. However, when April comes along there are several west coast biker rallies that take place every year. The Yuma Prison Run is one of those rallies. This is my review of this years rally.

This year the Yuma Prison Run was scheduled for the weekend of April 16-18, 2010. You can check out the Yuma Prison Run website by clicking here now.

The Yuma Prison Run is put on by the Norwalk Motorcycle Club, and has been an ongoing charity event since 1961; two years before I was born! The run is in Yuma, Arizona, and is located at the Yuma County Fair.

I decided to ride to this rally months ago. The rally location is approximately 300 miles from my home one way, or around 600 miles round trip, not including the miles I put on at or near the event once I get there. I consider this to be a medium distance sleepover run.

If any of you have read my blog, you will see many articles where I mention my fiancé. Well since we got married on January 31, 2010, she will now be referred to as my wife. I am still getting used to saying it! We have been together for 9 years, but wife is a new term in my life.

As usual, I started getting anxious and excited the night before we took off for the rally. I have been riding for many years, but it does not matter. Any of you who ride like I do know exactly what I am talking about; biker rallies are analogous to going to an amusement park when you are a kid.

There are not too many things that adults can look forward to that are fun and exciting like a good old fashioned biker rally. Unlike vacation travel, riding to a biker rally is different. It involves physically getting on your motorcycle and riding to and from the event. It is a much more involved and physical experience than just jumping on a plane and going somewhere. I am not going to even mention the ubiquitous trailer queens who don’t actually ride to an event; they are not worth mentioning!

My wife and I packed up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the Thursday before the Yuma Prison Run. The Harley Davidson hard saddle bags and tour pak really makes it much easier to pack up and go then in the past where I have had to squeeze everything for two into special motorcycle travel luggage. (Which I still have)

Since this is a 3 day, 2 night rally we try to pack as light as possible. As usual, I had reservations at one of the two Motel 6’s in town. Motel 6 is set up with laundry rooms, so worst case scenario; you can wash your clothes if you have to. What this means is that you do not have to pack as many clothes, which saves room on the motorcycle.

Hell if you are like me and are toting along your wife, you will need the extra room, because she will use it up 🙂

Basically we had the motorcycle mostly packed up on Thursday night, the day before we left.

Continue reading “The Yuma Prison Run 2010; a Great Time”

Breaking News: The World Famous Love Ride Has Been Cancelled Due to Lack of Money.

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discussing the Love Ride being cancelled
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Love Ride with Steppenwolf on stage.

The single largest one day motorcycle event in the country, the Love Ride has been cancelled this year due to lack of funds.

This year would have been the 26th consecutive year that the Love Ride was held. The organizers of the event state that the event raised money for over a dozen charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics of Southern California, and Children’s Hospitals of Los Angeles.

The founder of the event Oliver Shokouh, the owner of Glendale Harley Davidson stated that it was a gut wrenching decision for him. He stated that this has absolutely nothing to do with the Love Ride staff, volunteers or organizers. He stated that everyone has worked hard for the past 25 years. He stated that their problem boiled down to the economy, and that the Love Ride is a victim of the recession. He stated that after a careful analysis over the past few months, they realized that ticket sales were not enough to offset costs; there was no money left over to help with the kids, the reason for the Love Ride.

As I found at about this cancellation on Wednesday evening, October 7, 2009, the first thing I thought about was that the Love Ride had grown too big for its britches, meaning, that the ticket prices were to much, and the event lost its luster.

In past years the event was held in December during the Christmas season. Tens of thousands of bikers would meet in Glendale in the morning, in front of Glendale Harley Davidson, listen to a concert, and then ride to Castaic where all of the vendors were camped out. There would be food and a good concert. The even raised a million dollars for charity.

Last year they changed the event to be in October from December; probably a bad move. Reno Street Vibrations was just a few weeks ago, Las Vegas Bikerfest was just last week, the Palm Springs Biker Rally is just around the corner, and well you get the picture. Secondly, instead of riding from Glendale to Castaic, they changed the event to the Los Angeles County fairgrounds. Basically the Love Ride went from a grass roots event to raise money for charity, to a huge monster at the Los Angeles County fairgrounds.

In my opinion, the Love Ride can and should come back, and it will, if they go back to their roots. Bring back the event in December; don’t pay big name performers to appear, hell garage bands will do, lower the price of tickets back to a reasonable level, let’s say $35.00 or $40.00 for couples, $25.00 or $30.00 for singles, and people will come back.

This is the way I see it.

Above you will see a picture of me at Love Ride 17, right in the front of the stage listening to Steppenwolf. It was a great day.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Hollister Independence Day Motorcycle Rally, 2007; a Nightmare!

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses Hollister 2007This is not your usual ride report from me. I was unable to ride to the newly revamped Hollister Motorcycle Rally this year; thank god. This ride report is a first hand account of the rally from a very good friend of mine who rode to the rally for the first time, with his old lady.

First off, I have ridden to the Hollister Independence Day Motorcycle Rally for many years, excluding last year when it was cancelled by some very idiotic town leaders. They were idiotic because they probably lost millions of dollars in revenue by cancelling the rally, which is why they brought it back this year.

In the past the rally was an awesome 3 day event. All of the motorcycles were parked on both sides of San Benito Blvd., and in the center, all the way down the main drag. There were the usual vendors, bands kicking ass not only on the drag, but at houses past the commercial part of San Benito Blvd. It was a laid back rally with plenty of partying and fun for all. This has all apparently changed.

It seems the newly revamped rally has turned into a law enforcement nightmare from hell that for me makes the event no longer palatable.

The first hand account that I received from my friend who I will refer to as XYZ here, was given to me today.

When he arrived at the rally with his old lady, (It was his first and last time doing this rally) he found the main drag completely closed off to motorcycles. I have never heard of a motorcycle rally where they close off the main drag to motorcycles. That is like having a tattoo convention closed off to people with tattoos!

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses Hollister Motorcycle Rally 2007XYZ noted that he has never seen so many law enforcement officers, from so many agencies, all in one place at the same time. He said that many of them seem to be decked out in full combat gear. He said it was bizarre. Furthermore, he stated that the entire time he was at the rally, there were multiple Police helicopters in the sky the entire time. The sound from the helicopters was so bad that you could not even hear one another talking in the street.

He and the other bikers and motorcyclist were directed to parking lots off of the main drag, and onto side streets by what he described as hordes of law enforcement personnel from multiple law enforcement agencies.

Now I am a law abiding guy, as well as XYZ. Neither of us has a criminal record, or anything to worry about from law enforcement. We respect the law, and we both just ride because we are bikers and like to ride our motorcycles.

As XYZ explained to me, he was directed to park along a side street by law enforcement when he arrived. There was an area that was coned off, with a bunch of other motorcycles parked in the coned off area. No big deal, he parked his custom Softail with the other motorcycles.

Within 5 minutes of getting off his motorcycle and walking to the main drag, he was confronted by a law enforcement officer who told him that he had to surrender his 3 and 1/2 inch folding pocket knife. Just so you know, pursuant to California State Law, you are allowed to carry a concealed knife with a blade that is no more than 3 and ½ inches, otherwise the knife has to be carried openly in a sheath and not concealed in any way.

Just for the record XYZ is not in any motorcycle club, and was just wearing a T-Shirt, jeans, and riding boots! He presented as an ordinary biker and motorcyclist.

XYZ knows a thing or two about the law and politely asked the law enforcement officer what law gave him the right to confiscate his pocket knife when he had done nothing wrong. The law enforcement officer told him that a temporary law had been enacted in Hollister for the weekend prohibiting anyone from having any kind of knife.

XYZ knowing that this was a flat out lie, asked the officer to show him any sign that advised the public that a temporary emergency law had been enacted to prohibit anyone from carrying any kind of a knife. The officer then asked XYZ if he was an attorney or something. XYZ said no, but that he knew the law. The officer then changed his tune and said that he would not confiscate his folding pocket knife so long as he did not clip it on the inside of his pocket, and that he must put it all the way in his pocket, and that if any other law enforcement officer approached him during the event, he would have to tell them that he had a pocket knife in his pocket.

My astonishment upon hearing this story was of amazement. I will get into this more later.

Rather than further argue with the officer and potentially risking being arrested or something, XYZ complied with the officers order and put his 3 and ½ pocket knife all the way in his pocket rather than clipping into the inside of his pocket.

XYZ and his old lady then walked the main drag on San Benito, (no motorcycles parked there at all) checked out the vendors, and a local watering hole.

They then decided to split and ride to their hotel which was about 10 miles out of town. When they walked to where they were directed to park by law enforcement, all the bikes that were parked where the cones were laid out were gone and there were no cones.

He was shocked just as anyone would be. He called the Hollister Police Department to find out if his motorcycle was stolen or towed. He was told that his motorcycle was towed and that he would not be able to get it back until Monday morning.

Imagine going to a motorcycle rally, being told to park somewhere by law enforcement, only to be told on a Saturday that your motorcycle had been towed, and there would no way to get it back until Monday morning, especially if your motel was 10 miles away! I could not imagine it.

XYZ and his old lady then walked to the Police Station to see what they could do. They begged, argued, and did everything that they could to get their motorcycle out of the impound lot, while at the Hollister Police Department for 5 hours to no avail. A lady officer told them that they would not even get the necessary paperwork for the impound of his motorcycle until Monday because of the rally, and because they did not have the resources. She was extremely rude. XYZ was told in no uncertain terms that if did not leave he would be arrested for obstruction.

Then to make matters worse XYZ tried to call a cab so that he and his old lady could get back to their hotel, only to hear a recording that there would be no cab service during the rally weekend.

What could they do; they proceeded to start walking the 10 mile distance to the motel. He was wearing motorcycle boots, and she was wearing high heels.

If anyone of you has ever been to Hollister, you have to realize that it is a tiny town in the middle of no where. Literally once you get off of the main drag, there is nothing but farmland and open land. There is nothing there!

They were about two miles out walking on the road, when of all people, a tow truck driver stopped and offered to give them a lift. Apparently the tow truck company made a killing for the town on this weekend. The tow truck driver told them that he had to go tow another motorcycle, and then he would pick them up on the way back, which he did.

They got back to their motel, and were basically stuck waiting until Monday to get the motorcycle out of impound.

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses the 2007 Hollister Independence Day Motorcycle RallyWhen XYZ got to the impound lot, both of his motorcycle tires were flat, and there was a scratch on his custom paint. He asked the impound people why his tires were flat. He was told that they did not know, but they would probably be OK if he just put some air in them. Sure enough, when he put air in the tires, they were OK. Apparently the impound lot let the air out the tires on purpose. After some discussion XYZ and I figured that they probably let the air out of the tires to make it harder for someone to roll the motorcycle out of the impound lot. With respect to the scratch, it was there and there was not a damm thing he could do about it.

XYZ finally made it home from his nightmare first and last Hollister Independence day rally late Monday night. He missed a day of work because of the BS he was put through in Hollister.

I have been to literally hundreds of rallies in my years; so has XYZ, I have never heard of such a horror story. XYZ was rousted for no other reason than the fact that he is a biker, had his motorcycle towed because he made the mistake of following law enforcements orders on where to park, he had to wait two days to get his motorcycle out of the impound yard, and his custom paint was scratched to boot. XYZ states that he will never ride Hollister again.

My take on Hollister 2007, is that they brought the rally back, and then proceeded to roust and rip-off unsuspecting bikers. The parking and tow thing sounds like some kind of scam to put money into the city coffers. The unprecedented law enforcement turnout was way out of line. Above all, what kind of motorcycle rally prohibits motorcycles from parking on the main drag?

With respect to law enforcement basically lying to XYZ about carrying a pocket knife, all I can say is that this cannot be tolerated whatsoever. I am sure that many unsuspecting bikers gave up legal pocket knives because of the BS they were being told by law enforcement. I myself always carry a legal folder when riding, or doing almost anything. A good pocket knife always seems to come in handy, and they are legal.

We cannot have police officers or the government lying to the public about the law, and their rights. This seems like a worsening trend since Bush II took office. However, I am not going to discuss politics in this article.

Suffices is to say, I am glad that I did not ride Hollister this year, and unless I hear that they have brought back the rally like it used to be, then they will not be seeing me or my money again. I trust XYZ’s account of what happened. I am not going to ride 800 miles round trip to be subjected to the same kind of BS that XYZ and his old lady were. When I ride Hollister, I usually stay 20-30 miles out and sometimes more. I can only imagine what BS it would have been if it were me.

This is a true account of Hollister, 2007. No matter what you read to the contrary, this is how it really was this year.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

Laughlin River Run 2007; A Spur of the Moment Thing!

California Motorcycle and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2007One of the largest Biker and Motorcycle Rallies in the west is the Laughlin River Run. You can check out the official website for the run by clicking here.

On Friday after a very rough week, I knew that I had to get away for some stress relief. My doctor has actually ordered me to take a vacation and to take it easy. He actually wrote me a prescription to take a one week vacation! Being a lawyer is a very stressful career choice to say the least, and I am a class AAA personality all the way. Suffices to say, I have not been able to get away from the office for a straight one week in a very long time. Saying that I care about my clients is an understatement!

For me the best stress relief of all is to do a very long motorcycle run. Getting on the open road and clearing the mind keeps a good lawyer sane.

Getting back to my decision to get away for some stress relief; I was contemplating riding to Mount Whitney which is the highest point in the contiguous 48 States, until I saw all of the bikers on the road headed for Laughlin. I instead decided to ride to Laughlin. What the heck right? It is not where you are going it is the ride that counts! This would be one of my famous 2 day runs with a one night stay.

I knew that every room even remotely close to Laughlin had already been sold out for many months prior to the event. Going to the Laughlin River Run website confirmed that everything in town was booked. I did not even bother to try the other online reservation sites, because I knew everything would be sold out! It did not matter because I knew that my favorite Motel 6 in Kingman, Arizona would have rooms. I got online and booked my room. I then called the front desk to confirm my online reservation. This Motel 6 has never let me down in over 10 years.

Kingman, Arizona is the best kept secret in Arizona. Most people literally just drive right by it on the Interstate 40 and not even realize it is there! For the past 10 years, maybe longer, I have always stayed at the same Motel 6 in Kingman, Arizona, while doing runs such as the 4 Corners Rally, now known as the Rally in the Rockies, Sturgis, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley Utah, and other runs in that direction. You can say that I am a creature of habit when it comes to certain things. The people in Kingman are all very nice, and there is a great restaurant right next door called Calicos that serves up some of the best old fashioned American food that you will ever want.

Continue reading “Laughlin River Run 2007; A Spur of the Moment Thing!”

It Looks Like the one and only Hollister Independence Day Motorcycle Rally is Officially Back!

Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Hollister Biker Rally 2004

I have recently read in multiple newspaper articles that the world-famous Hollister Independence Day Motorcycle Rally will be back on again this year after a one-year hiatus in 2006. You can check out an article about the issues in the Hollister Free Lance here.

Last year the city Council voted not to allow an official motorcycle rally, however tens of thousands of bikers still showed up anyway. The city ended up having to foot the bill, without reaping the benefits that bikers and motorcyclist bring when they come to a biker rally; money!

It looks like the Hollister city Council learned their lesson. Bikers and motorcyclists have been going to Hollister, California on Independence Day since the 40s; well before most of the members of the city Council were born.

You can see a picture of me at the Hollister Independence Day motorcycle rally in 2004 above.

Although there are still some hoops to jump through, it looks like the rally will officially be back on. In the end, no matter what the city Council decides to do, we bikers will still be at Hollister on Independence Day. Tradition is hard to break.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, ESQ., © 2006

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