If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1, to discuss your case.
I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.
I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.
Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.
Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.
Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!
** 12-26-16 Update: In order to experience this video in wvirtual reality, 360 degree, you must view on Youtube, to do this click on the white title text within the frame of the video below, or click here now.
I recently acquired a virtual reality camera, and experimented filming my 1st motorcycle ride in virtual reality on December 17, 2016.
Since this was my 1st attempt, I screwed up the settings on the camera, and had the camera set for time lapse photography. Unfortunately, it condensed the 35-minute ride from Malibu California to Neptune’s net on Pacific Coast Hwy. in California, to just over 4 minutes.
I promise the next time I will do better.
If you look at the posted video on a cell phone or tablet, you will literally be able to move your cell phone or tablet and see anywhere in the video.
You can look at my passenger and I, you can turn and look at the front of the motorcycle, you can look to the side, and you can look up and down. Basically, it’s like you were in the driver seat, except for you can actually see better than me it’s a 360° sphere.
If you have virtual reality goggles, you simply need to click on the goggle icon on the bottom of the video, and you will take a time-lapse ride with me in virtual reality on my Harley-Davidson Electra glide. On a desktop you will just see it all at once without the virtual reality experience.
I will be producing many virtual reality movies in the future. Stay tuned.
Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think about the video.
By California biker lawyer and founder of www.injuredbikers.com, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. December, 2016.
This is a Movie showing Italy in pictures, produced and directed by California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, http://www.thepersonalinjury.com .
Attorney Fernandez is an amateur photographer and journalist who took almost 2000 pictures and put them into a Ken Burns style photo movie showing Rome, Florence, and Venice, Italy.
His movie show detailed pictures of the museum, The Colosseum, the Forum, Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Arch of Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus, Piazza del Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Arno River, Ponte Vecchio, SAINT MARK’S SQUARE, SAINT MARK’S BASILICA, THE DOGE PALACE, THE GRAND CANAL,. The movie features the music of Beethoven and Mozart as it shows detailed pictures of some of the greatest art in the history of mankind.
This is not your normal biker style movie, but enjoy anyway!
Many moons ago on a sunny day, my girlfriend, my father, and my childhood friend who I grew up with drove me from the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles Airport for my trip to United States Air Force basic training.
I had just turned 17 a few months earlier, and hadn’t even started shaving yet. It was February, 1981. All my friends were still in high school, and 12 grade. I opted to skip 12 grade to go into the military.
I was a long haired blond kid from the San Fernando Valley dressed in a surfer shirt when I got the boot camp. The nightmare for me began when I climbed on the bus with all the other recruits going to Lackland Air Force Base Texas. The nightmare really began when we disembarked at the base from the bus. The multitude of drill instructors made us quite welcome.
Suffices to say it was the worst night of my life, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
When I got off active duty a long time later, I was lost. I put my fatigue pants on, my black combat boots bloused and ready to go, and my Air Force issue white T-shirt, and walked my bald ass down to the liquor store to buy a six-pack of Schlitz malt liquor.
As I walked it was very hard for me to acclimate to being home from active duty military. A couple hour plane I went from hard core military to the land of civilians and hippies. I had no clue what to do. Back then, everybody were longhairs. Being bald was not yet in vogue.
Thank god I did the palace chase, and went to the reserves. When I reported to my air National Guard station I felt at home again.
Believe me when I tell you that there are many many stories I can tell you here about my military experiences. But this is not the point of my story. The point of my story is that many many thousands of men and women have gone through a similar experience that I have gone through.
Some have fought in combat, been grievously injured in the service of their country. Many have not come home alive, and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.
Veterans Day is not just about a day off work. On this day in 2014, we still have men and women in combat in Afghanistan, advisers in Iraq, and Air Force and Navy combat pilots flying sorties against the terrorist group Isis.
I would appreciate you making a donation to a reputable veterans group today. Many veterans have come home completely fucked up. They have PTSD, or wounds, and many are not able to get jobs or fend for themselves because the economy still is not recovered completely.
The least we can do for our veterans is help them. While your sorry asses are enjoying barbecue today, many veterans put their asses on the line for you and yours.
Don’t thank me for my service, donate to other veterans for their service. They deserve it.
When I left Hardin, Montana, on August 13, 2014, I drove my motorhome, with my Harley-Davidson Electra glide in my enclosed trailer in tow, to Cody, Wyoming.
Due to road construction, and the fact that part of this trip was through mountain roads, the trip took me approximately 3 to 4 hours. It was a good ride, and I was looking forward to getting to Cody Wyoming.
When I got to Cody, Wyoming, it was like seeing an old friend again. This trip marked my second year in a row coming to Cody, Wyoming, to ride the Yellowstone national park on my Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
This time around I selected an RV Park which was closer to the center of Cody Wyoming, whereas last year, I stayed in RV Park on the north end of Cody.
I stopped in the local Walmart, to get a few supplies, and headed to the RV Park. By the time I checked in, got parked, removed my motorcycle from the trailer, and set up camp, it was starting to get dark, and the sky was overcast.
I got my portable barbecue from the basement the motorhome, fired it up, and made some burgers and hot dogs on the grill.
It was with great anticipation that I ate, thinking about the great ride to Yellowstone national park I was going to make the next day. Although I intended to go to the rodeo that they have every night and Cody, Wyoming, that evening, instead, I opted after dinner to kick back in the motorhome and watch movies. By this time in my trip, I was burnt out to say the least.
The next morning on August 14, 2014, I saddled up on my Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, and rode through Cody, Wyoming, which is a Wild West town whose sole existence relies on the tourist the travel to Yellowstone national forest each summer.
I stopped and got some gas, and proceeded to start my 70 mile ride north to the south gate of the Yellowstone national forest. Unlike last year, where I rode with my now ex-wife in cold cloudy rainy weather, this year the ride was sunny and nice.
Although there were some ominous clouds in the sky, by the time I got to Yellowstone they were all but gone.
The ride north of the main highway from Cody to Yellowstone is an awesome, awe-inspiring ride which words cannot describe. There were beautiful mountains, rivers, rock faces, the kind of scenery that makes you want to cry it’s so beautiful. This type of scenery, makes you know that there is a God, because only God can create such beauty.
The ride from Cody to Yellowstone National Park is an event all by itself let alone the actual ride through the Yellowstone National Park. It was awesome.
When I finally got to the Yellowstone National Park south entrance, I waited my turn to pay the entrance fee to the Park. When it was my turn to pay the fee to get into the park, I paid my fee, then hit the restroom at the entrance.
At this point I was very excited to be back at the Yellowstone national forest.
I entered the park, and had one hell of a great ride. For the heck of it, I stopped at the same Lake that I stopped at the year before with my ex-wife. This time however, it was nice and sunny, and I got some great pictures.
There were a lot of cars on the road this time around. As usual, there are your ubiquitous what I call Sunday drivers, who drive slower than the speed limit, and block everybody in behind them. It was with great pleasure, that I passed the Sunday drivers when I got the chance.
Yellowstone has some of the greatest riding in the world. As you can see from the pictures throughout this article, and my ride video below, it is awesome.
A few years back there was a massive forest fire in Yellowstone national forest. Much of the vegetation is been burned in many parts of the park. I am quite positive that the Park was much more beautiful before the forest fire that it is right now because the vegetation is burned, however it is still beautiful.
I rode over the Continental divide, and to Old Faithful, where I along with many other tourist enjoyed the geyser.
I actually rode so many miles in the park that I lost track of time, and suddenly it was late in the afternoon. I knew that I had at least an hour ride to get out of the park, and then another hour to get back to Cody. Further, the entire ride consists of twisties through beautiful mountain ranges.
It was with great trepidation, I began the journey from Old Faithful, to the south entrance of the park. Many of the tourists actually camp within Yellowstone National Park, so the ride out of the park at this time in the afternoon was really easy. As a matter of fact, there were no other cars on the road it was kind of odd.
I stopped to get gas at the last gas station, and the last stop before you ride to the south park entrance.
There I met a couple other or motorcycle riders who were on Harley-Davidson’s, they were surprised that I intended to ride out of the park at this time in the afternoon. They were staying in the park.
Let me tell you, I’ve ridden all over the country, at all times of the day and evening. Unless it is snowing, or pouring rain, I have no fear of riding at any time whether it be day or night.
I knew it would be a hard ride back to Cody, but I was looking forward to it.
As a left the gas station a few miles down the road, there were Buffalo smack dab in the middle of the road. As you can see from the first picture in this article, a bull Buffalo basically stared me down for a couple of minutes.
Now I will admit, on the straightaway leading up to where the Buffalo was standing, I opened my bike up. I must have been doing at least 100 miles an hour. At that speed, you have to have your shit together.
When I saw the Buffalo, I basically locked my breaks up, that’s how fast I was going, and that’s how fast the Buffalo appeared. My heart was beating rapidly to say the least. I stopped in time luckily.
It was an ass puckering moment in time that only bikers know.
There is nothing more exciting than having a huge bull Buffalo that probably weighs a ton or more staring you down while you are sitting on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
I had nowhere to go, he was blocking the road. There was no way to safely turn around.
My plan if the beast decided to charge me, was to drop the bike and run like hell. If you know anything about Buffalo, you know full well that these things Buck each other head-on during mating season, and can run a hell lot faster than I can.
Basically, I was worried that the beast would mistake my motorcycle, for another Buffalo and try to buck me. I was screwed.
I stood my ground and did not move. The Buffalo just stared at me.
Take a look at the picture how would you react? In a car you’re protected, on a motorcycle you’re screwed.
Thank goodness the Buffalo lost interests after a while, and moved on. As soon as he moved on I moved on.
As I was riding the twisties out of the park, I contemplated my close call with the Buffalo both as I speeded up towards him and locked up my brakes at high speed to avoid hitting him, and as he stared me down.
I knew I was lucky to have made it out of there without either hitting the Buffalo, or having him hit me.
Sundown was fast approaching, as I was leaving the park, about 20 miles from the south entrance, I came upon a grand Valley, and Canyon. You can literally look down thousands of feet and see the most beautiful valley that you have ever seen in your life. I must stress that there was no other cars on the road, I owned the road. I finally got to a steep Canyon Road at around 8000 feet elevation, and parked my bike on the side of a steep cliff to get a couple of pictures.
The beauty was just so unbelievable, that it makes you want to go back year after year. I knew that I would not see this site again for another year and I took it in before finally doing the final ride back to Cody.
I was still in Yellowstone National Park.
At this time I unleashed my leather jacket from the saddlebags, and got ready for the 70+ mile ride back to Cody Wyoming.
I took it easy on the ride back to Cody, and just took it all the sites, and really enjoyed the ride. I love Wyoming.
When I got back to Cody, it was already dark. I passed the rodeo on the way in. I could hear the announcer, and see the tourists at the rodeo. I had a long day in the saddle, and I was very tired.
When I got back to the RV Park, I fired up my grill and made some burgers. I met a couple of people at the RV Park who were going to ride the Yellowstone national forest the next day.
After saying good night, I went into the RV, and watched a movie, knowing that the next day I would be headed towards Las Vegas, and ultimately home in a few days.
The next day I struck camp and began the long journey home.
I’m looking forward to riding Yellowstone national forest again in about 45 days.
Check out some of my ride video below, which includes GoPro footage taken from my motorcycle while riding the Yellowstone National Park in August, 2013.
On June 8, 2014, I decided to take a little motorcycle ride down Pacific Coast Highway with one of my friends affectionately known as “the Swede.”
This also happened to be her first ride on or Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Previously, I purchased a new helmet for her, because none of the helmets that I have in my collection would fit her head. She wears a medium.
After giving her some instruction on how to get on the bike, where to put her feet, and how to act on the motorcycle, we both saddled up and took off from my condo in Huntington Beach California. We went down Main Street, to Pacific Coast Highway, and headed south to San Clemente California.
The ride down Pacific Coast Highway from Huntington Beach, California, to San Clemente, California, is marked by brief moments of good cruising, and a lot of stop and go traffic. The stop and go traffic is mostly in Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach.
There is however, some excellent ocean views on this run, and for the most part it is a stress reliever.
I always like to smoke a big cigar on this run. That is the beautiful part of having a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, Ultra Classic. The fairing is a good wind blocker which makes smoking cigars while riding a breeze.
We had a pretty good ride, and I could tell that the Swede was really enjoy herself. It’s always a good thing when a beautiful lady enjoys the backseat of a Harley-Davidson. I always like to be the first one they ride with 🙂
The Swede was a trooper, she did not complain at all. On some stops she even rubbed my shoulders, which is always a good sign.
I ended up taking her to a Mexican restaurant in San Clemente that I always go to. As usual, I had a protein bar, while I watched her eat a regular meal. I’m a weirdo when it comes to my diet. To be ripped at my age, you have to really watch what you eat. This is another story for another time.
For some reason on this day I did not bring a sweatshirt with me or a jacket. I have done this ride many times, since I live next to the beach. I should’ve known better. As we left the Mexican restaurant at approximately 7 PM, the weather was cooling significantly. Luckily the Swede brought a little jean jacket, and I had a pair of gloves for her use. I had nothing on myself but a muscle T-shirt. I knew it was going to get cold fast.
We rode back up the coast, back to Huntington Beach. One of my customs, is a stop in at Starbucks in Seacliff Village and have a coffee before I go home.
It was a great ride with my beautiful friend the Swede. I look forward to riding with her again very soon.
Unfortunately, I developed an issue with the volume control switch on my handlebar control, and will have to take it in the Harley-Davidson to get fixed.
Looking forward to going to Sturgis in less than two months.
As you all know, I drove my RV alone from Huntington Beach, CA to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013, in Sturgis, SD from July 31, 2013 to August 16, 2013. I also drove to Custer, Montana, and to Cody and Yellowstone, WY.
This marked my first big trip since becoming a single man again.
Once at my destination, I rode my motorcycle over 1000 miles. Below is a video montage of the pictures I took at the Sturgis 2013 Motorcycle Rally. A couple of pics had to be edited to add pasties so Youtube would not delete the video. Look for my big write-up on the trip, and actual video footage taken from my various cameras to be published soon. Enjoy the video. Pictures were taken at Sturgis, SD, Full Throttle Saloon, Glencoe Campground, and all over the rally.
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.
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.
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.
Although I am writing this article on December 19, 2012, I actually returned home from my epic around the nation RV trip on September 6, 2012. Being gone almost two months, driving approximately 8600 miles not including the hundreds of miles I rode on the motorcycle while on the trip, almost going over a cliff when we lost the brakes in the RV in Wyoming, etc., required a lot of my time when I got home. It was all worth it. This is the final article I will write about my epic trip. Later I will post pictures and videos from the trip.
When we left off, Liz and I were dry camped in Greybull, Wyoming waiting for the brakes to be fixed on my motorhome. My front bumper was destroyed in the accident, and the back bumper was cracked in two places when the trailer fishtailed into it.
The guys at the shop where we were camped out and who repaired the brakes on my RV were amongst the most reputable and nicest people I have ever dealt with. They could have totally screwed me and told me that I needed a $3,000 brake repair. Instead they told me that my rotors were good, that the pads were totally gone, and the fluid had completely boiled out of the system due to overheating, but that there were no leaks. The total repair bill was $600.00. Another interesting thing about being dry camped at the repair shop in Greybull was that our cell phone service did not work at all, nor did my internet Wi-Fi. We were basically totally out of touch with civilization while we were there.
The total time we were in Greybull Wyoming was approximately 2 nights and 3 days. It was a very small town full of great people. It is the kind of town where I could see myself setting up a cattle ranch someday.
We had a choice to make; should we just count our blessings and drive our damaged RV home or should we continue north to Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park? There really was no question, we had come this far and we were not turning around now; Cody, Wyoming would be our next stop on the way to Yellowstone.
We left Greybull, WY for Cody, WY in the afternoon. It was a cloudy day. The total drive from Greybull to Cody was around 54 miles. It was really good to be back on the road in our motorhome. You must understand, this was essentially our last week of vacation, and after the accident we had no clue whether we would have to leave our RV and all of our possessions in Greybull and rent a car to get home, or what would happen. We were geared up for a two month trip and you can carry lots of stuff in and underneath a Class A motorhome. Had the RV not been drivable there would have been no way to carry everything home in a rental car or even a rental van.
Being back on the road at this point felt fantastic.
When we got to Cody the first thing we did was go to Wal-Mart and get a throwaway cell phone that worked in the area because our carrier did not work in Wyoming. We called our relatives and I checked in with my office to let them know what had happened. Afterwards we stopped and got some Chinese buffet food.
Turns out Cody is a really cool western town, the gateway to Yellowstone. I really fell in love with Wyoming and its people.
We found a really cool RV park and camped out for the night with the intent of riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to Yellowstone in the morning.
In the morning we woke up and there were ominous clouds in the sky but it did not look like it was going to rain.
As soon as we got on the road just north of Cody, the clouds got much worse and the sky opened up. I was only wearing a soft flannel jacket, Liz had on a leather jacket, we both had jeans on, and of course, no rain gear. Plus it was damm cold. We decided that we were not going to stop now, Yellowstone, here we come.
It literally rained during the entire ride to Yellowstone from Cody, it was cold and it was miserable, but it was also one of the most beautiful rides I have ever taken. The grand mountains, the rocks, the sites all were too much to take in on one ride; however, I tried the best I could.
This is one ride that everyone must take at least once in their lives.
When we got to the gate of Yellowstone, I got off the motorcycle, paid the entrance fee, got back on, and rode into the park. It was very cold at this point, and we were soaking wet from head to toes, but nothing was going to stop us.
Yellowstone is much bigger than I expected, plus it is at a very high elevation. The riding in this park was excellent. The sites were breathtaking.
I am sure the ride in Yellowstone would have been much better if we were not soaking wet and freezing cold but hey, you cannot have everything.
While riding in the park there were several places where Buffalo roamed, literally, right on the road. All the cars stopped to observe. Hell they walked right next to us. On a motorcycle it is a bit different having huge Buffalo walking in front of you and next to you, than if you are in a car. Any one of these huge animals could have taken us out.
We rode the loop to one of the boiling water sites. Yellowstone itself sits atop the largest Caldera (volcano) in the world. If the volcano underneath it ever erupted it would take out much of our nation.
Yellowstone was a great ride. I will definitely go back to Cody, WY and Yellowstone soon.
The ride back to Cody was a cold and cloudy ride. The rain had stopped, but it was still cloudy. When we got near Cody it got dark and a bit warmer. We decided to cruise the main drag in Cody and find a place to eat, we chose an Italian place and had a good meal. After dinner we went back to the RV because we knew we would have a long ride the next day.
Upon waking up the next day, I put the motorcycle on the trailer and strapped her on, struck camp, and we were off.
After a month and a half, we were finally heading south towards our home in Southern California.
When we left Cody, we were not sure where we would spend the night. Usually on the trip we would look for RV resorts in several of the books we had with us or the GPS. We really were not sure how far we would drive.
I was nervous due to the fact that we had lost the brakes in the mountains, our RV was damaged, and I did not want a repeat performance of losing the brakes.
Sure enough we ended up driving through some major mountains on the ride south out of Wyoming. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful drive. The mountains were awesome. When we hit the Continental Divide, the mountains were awe inspiring.
After the Continental Divide, southern Wyoming turned out to be mostly a desert type of environment. It was a stark contrast to northern Wyoming.
It was basically open road with small towns sprinkled in vast distances.
We finally hit Utah in the late afternoon and continued driving south. We ended up in ski country by nightfall. Unfortunately, it became real dark, and we could not find any RV resorts anywhere nearby on any of our resources. We decided to try to find a Wal-Mart where we could park and dry camp for the evening.
We were both exhausted and very tired by this point. Hell I had been driving all day and well into the night. We had no luck finding any place to camp for the night so we kept on driving.
We finally found a Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City, UT to camp in for the night. When we got there our generator would not start and I had no clue why. We had to rough it for the night without TV, just on our battery power and internal water supply. I was so tired that I did not really care. We fell asleep almost immediately.
The next morning we stopped at a Denny’s for breakfast, and got on the road with our destination being Las Vegas, NV. This would be the last major stop before home.
The ride from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas was an excellent ride as well. I had no clue how cool the mountains north of Las Vegas were because I had never traveled this route before.
We found a great RV resort a block from the Las Vegas strip, but a few miles south of the main casinos on the strip. The normal rate there was $60-$80 a day, with my RV membership, we paid less than $30 per day.
We must have looked like ragamuffins when we pulled in. My RV was coated with bugs from an over 8,000 mile trip at this point, the front bumper was basically gone from our accident, the back bumper was cracked, and everything was dirty. All of the other RV’s looked new and pristine in the park. No problem, hell thinking about how far we had come was a mind trip in of itself.
The RV resort in Las Vegas was off the hook, every amenity you could possibly want. However, this was Las Vegas. We waxed the motorcycle to clean her up, got her off of the trailer and took off into town for a great evening. By this time Liz had become adept at helping me was the motorcycle, it was actually nice to have her help.
Our plan was to stay in Las Vegas for two nights, then head home.
The next day Liz and I rode to Hoover Dam. This was her first time there. It was as usual hotter than hell in Las Vegas and Boulder City. But it was OK.
Both Liz and I at this point did not want to go home. We both wanted to stay on the road forever. For both of us, going home would mean going back to work and responsibility. This had been the best and longest vacation of both of our lives, a trip that maybe less than 1% of all Americans would ever get to make.
The fact that we would head home the next day kind of made us both sad and excited. I must admit that I kind of missed just being in a house without having to drive!
On our last night in Las Vegas after the ride to Hoover Dam we had another good time. We both lost money in the casinos, and then we headed back to the RV Park knowing we were going home the next day.
The last day of our trip saw us waking up with a mission, to get home. I put the motorcycle on the trailer for the last time on this trip, strapped her up, struck camp, and we were off again.
I could tell Liz was not happy about having to go home, but since her aunt was house and dog sitting for us, and we were about 3 weeks over the time we were supposed to be gone, she knew we had to go home.
The ride home was a decent trip. Compared to the 8600 miles we had driven, the ride from Las Vegas to our home in Acton was nothing. A little 200 mile or so jaunt compared to where we had driven on the trip.
When we got home on the evening of September 6, 2012, and I walked in my home, I was shocked at how big it seemed compared to the RV which was our home for the last approx. two months. It took me a while to get used to it.
The epic two month 8600 mile trip we took around the circumference of the United States was probably a trip that can never really be repeated although I have every intention of doing it again. The gas alone was almost $10,000 for the RV.
The memories Liz and I shared during the trip will last for a lifetime. It was that kind of a trip, something you could write a book about.
Here it is December 20, 2012, and in a way I am still recovering from the trip.
Two weeks later Liz and I took the RV back to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Bikerfest and had a great time.
** This article was written on August 30, 2012, 2012, but it is being published on December 18, 2012. There will be one final article to be published soon about the rest of my epic vacation. There will also be a post of many videos from the vacation. Again, this article was written on August 30, 2012.
First off, before I get started, let me follow-up with my status on August 27, 2012.
Liz and I toured all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Sturgis, and Rapid City. We had a good time in South Dakota especially on the motorcycle. The Black Hills offer some great riding in what I consider to be intermediate twisties. I think the twisties we have where I live in the Angeles National Forest or in some places in the Santa Monica Mountains are much more difficult to ride than the Black Hills.
All in All though, the Black Hills are beautiful and I will be back next year.
We left South Dakota on August 29, 2012 for Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
When we reached the mountains off of US 14, I knew we were in for some exciting views. These are the steepest mountains I have taken my RV on since getting the RV. We went up to an altitude of 8,900 feet.
On the downside of the mountain, there was a sign showing a truck on a downgrade stating that it was for the next 17 miles. Another sign stated for trucks to switch into lower gears. I shifted into 2nd gear.
The downgrade was extreme. I pumped my brakes rather just holding them down. I cannot describe what it is like to try to slow down a very large 35’ RV with an Electra Glide and trailer in tow, on declines such as the one we were on. It was scary.
On the way down, we both heard a noise that we could not identify. Later on, I felt the brakes get a bit mushy but they still worked. We came to a visitor’s area where there were waterfalls and a viewing area. I told Liz that I was going to stop to check out the brakes.
It was around 6-6:30pm or so and starting to get a bit dark in the mountains. Since the sun was going down Liz did not want to stop or possible or get stuck in this desolate place. I told her we had to stop. I got the rig slowed down and turned right into the area, I downshifted to 1st gear to slow down more without using the brakes, when I pushed down on the brakes to stop, the pedal went to the floor and to my horror were gone. We were not slowing down and we were not stopping.
In my 49 years heretofore, I have driven or ridden many cars, trucks, motorcycles, you name it, nothing that I have driven or ridden has lost all brake power before, nothing.
Here I was heading for a sheer cliff straight ahead, literally a sheer cliff, and I had no brakes. I yelled to Liz that we had no brakes. I tried shifting the rig into park; it just made a click click sound but did not slow down.
I told Liz that we were going to crash.
I intentionally steered the rig sharply to the left so that we would hit the side of the road which were rocks rather than go off of the cliff. I could not believe that when I made the sharp turn to the left that we did not tip over on our side.
I told Liz to brace herself. Literally from the time I realized I had no brakes until the time we crashed was just a few seconds.
I noticed a white thing where we were headed, I steered to avoid it.
We jumped up onto a curb, crashed through a wood fence, and by the grace of god were finally stopped by two beefy barriers that the National Park Service has planted along the sides of the road.
After the initial impact we kept going until we hit these barriers. We did not stop right away.
After the impact we just sat there. I was freaked out about the damage to the rig, Liz said “Norman don’t worry, we are alive.”
Let me tell you, had I steered wrong or stayed on the road that day, I have no doubt we would no longer be here on this earth. What if I would have lost the brakes on the road? I would have gone 35-40 mph or faster right over the edge. If anyone has ridden the US 14 in Wyoming, you know what I mean.
Two days ago I lost my brakes on a severe downgrade on US 14 in the Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming. I had to intentionally crash my RV in order to get the rig stopped.
Thanks to the fine people of Greybull, Wyoming, we were towed off of the mountain into a KOA RV Park last night, and the same guy came this morning to pick up the rig to repair the brakes. The parts won’t be in until tomorrow, so the repair guy is allowing us to bunk down in the RV on his property.
I have fallen in love with Greybull, Wyoming and so has Liz. The town has about 1100 people who all seem to know each other. Went to dinner tonight and ended up meeting some of the town folk. I was invited to attend a shooting event on a private ranch. The people here leave their keys in the car, and will bend over backwards to help you.
I rode up to the crash site twice today, from Greybull, Wyoming east on US 14 up into Big Horn Forest, once by myself, once with Liz. This ride is the most beautiful and awe inspiring ride I’ve ever taken in my life. No words can describe the wide vistas, the ancient canyons, the trees, and the waterfalls. It was as if I was in the most beautiful place on earth on my Harley.
Getting back to the accident; had I not turned the way I did Liz and I would not be here. There was a sheer cliff in front of us when I lost the brakes. It was a scary experience. The RV sustained damage to the lower front where it hit, and the back where the trailer fish tailed. We are not injured. I was told that many RV’ers lose their brakes up here every month; live and learn. I lost my lower lights in the front and some fiberglass. It can be repaired.
If the parts come in tomorrow and the RV is otherwise safe to drive we will be heading to Cody, Wyoming, where I will set up camp. Saturday we will ride the Harley through Yellowstone from the east entrance. Until then….
Well tonight the last episode of American Chopper was aired and after a 10 year run, the show is finally over.
On August 13, 2012 I paid a little visit to Orange County Chopper and you can read a little post about it by clicking here. I will post extensive video on my trip to OCC later on.
The gist of this article is about the American Chopper show.
I will admit, I have watched the show for the past 10 years and have written several articles about it here in the Biker Law Blog. If you want to read my previous articles go to the search box on the top of the right sidebar and type in American Chopper. A list of the articles I have written will appear.
No matter what you or I think about the motorcycles Orange County Chopper and Paul Junior Designs built over the years, you have to admit, these guys out lasted most of the bike builders that I have become familiar with over the past decade. There is a long list of motorcycle builders including Jesse James who basically disappeared, all the while, Orange County Choppers and American Chopper continued plugging along.
I am not sure if the show was cancelled or the players did not want to be on the show anymore, it seems to me that their entire operation revolved around the show. Who knows if Orange County Choppers and Paul Junior Designs will survive without American Chopper? Maybe the Discovery Channel will do some kind of spin-off.
I am going to miss watching these guys build bikes. What is ironic is that I am I am sure all of you have gone though many things over the 10 years that American Chopper had its run.
I think that the years 2000-2010 consisted of one hell of a biker and motorcycle popularity craze, which the bad economy and other factors has ended. I have seen many acquaintances that I have ridden with over the past 10 years die in motorcycle accidents, disappear, or quit riding motorcycles.
So at least to me with American Choppers going away, it also signals an end of an era to me in my personal life and so on.
The good news is that the biker and motorcycle scene is still going very strong, albeit not as strong as years past. I am going to miss watching America Choppers and the dysfunctional family behind it building funky motorcycles. I am sure they made a small fortune over the past 10 years while entertaining us all.
Good by American Choppers.
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