Category Archives: My Harley Davidson Electra Glide

Articles related to California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez’s Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle

Planning a trip to the greatest motorcycle rally in the world; Sturgis 2013

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota

This year I am planning to go to the Sturgis 2013 motorcycle rally, in Sturgis, SD, for one hell of a time.

The one way distance to the rally from my home will be approximately 1500 miles, round trip approximately 3000 miles.

You may remember last year I took an epic 8600 around the nation trip, so this trip should be a short jaunt in comparison.

This year I plan on taking my 35 foot class A motorhome, and tow my new 6×12’ enclosed trailer, with my Harley Davidson Electra Glide in the back.

The beautiful thing about the enclosed trailer, rather than the open trailer I have been using heretofore, is that my motorcycle will be safe from the elements during the trip, so I do not have to worry about washing and waxing her every time I stop. I will also be able to carry my motorcycle supplies in the trailer instead of the back of the motorhome.

I have already pre-paid for my 10 day stay at the world famous Glencoe camp resort in Sturgis, SD. This place is famous for the ongoing adult party that happens 24 hours a day during the rally, and the major concerts that happen there at night. It is also right next door to the famous Full Throttle Saloon as well.

I will be documenting, videotaping, recording, picture taking, and reporting on all of the debauchery here on the Biker Law Blog, as well as all of the great riding.

Yes, there will be some great riding in the Black Hills just like last year, except this year the rides will be caught on my GoPro Hero 3, Silver HD Camera.

I will be leaving on July 30 with an estimated arrival date of August 1, 2013, one day before the rally starts.

After the rally, I am planning on taking my RV to the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana, the scene of General Custer’s last stand, from there I will do Yellowstone by way of Cody, WY, and then go through and ride Greybull Wyoming again, like I did last year. This year I will be much more cautious on the mountains so I do not lose my brakes again.

I figure I will be back home again around August 15, plus or minus a few days.

This will mark my first major trip in the past 12 years being single, which is a major milestone for me. I look at it more as a major adventure doing it this way, but this is the way it is. My motto for the trip is “It’s on!”

Since I will be leaving on July 30, 2013, exactly 4 weeks from today’s date, I will be reporting on here my preparations for the trip.

As I write this article right now, my RV is in the shop having the In-Motion Satellite Dish and two central air conditioning covers being replaced.

My new enclosed trailer is going to go into the shop to have the floors sanded and a few coats of urethane brushed onto the wood to protect it, then I am going to have diamond plate installed on the trailer floor and swing down back door, a wheel chock installed, and a Biker Bar installed so I will not have to strap the motorcycle down in the trailer, it is a strapless system.

Finally I am going to have the exterior of the trailer wrapped with my law firm advertisement in Vinyl.

Believe it or not this will all be ready before I leave on July 30, 2013 and I will report about it on here.

I expect to be able to share to you, the biker and motorcycle community much information, including product reviews on new stuff.

So there it is, another road trip is almost here again.

Here is a video from Sturgis, 2012

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By California Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © July 2, 2013

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A Review of the Trinity 3-Rail Motorcycle Trailer

My Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer

My Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer with my Electra Glide on it in South Carolina

This review is long overdue, I am now finally able to share it.

Last year in July 2012 I purchased a Trinity 3-Rail Motorcycle Trailer from Theusatrailerstore.com .

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.

My Trinity 3 trailer with Electra Glide

My Trinity 3 trailer with Electra Glide on it behind my RV in South Carolina

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.

My Electra Glide on the Trinity 3 trailer

My Electra Glide on the Trinity 3 trailer in South Carolina

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.

I ended up buying a beefy ramp I found on Amazon for about $200 that was rated at 1500 pounds and that was really wide, and had no holes for my feet to go through.

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.

Another view of the Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer with my Electra Glide

Another view of the Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer with my Electra Glide on it in South Carolina

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.

Trinity 3 Folding Motorcycle Trailer

Trinity 3 Folding Motorcycle Trailer

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.

Trinity 3 Motorcycle Trailer in the Folded Position

Trinity 3 Motorcycle Trailer in the Folded Position

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.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 30, 2013

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A Story for CBS News and KCAL 9 News

For the past couple of weeks I have been talking to a news producer over at CBS News and KCAL 9 news about my being interviewed and doing some action shots on my motorcycle.

The gist of the story involves my crashing into road debris which you can read about by clicking here now.

I will write more about the story after it airs. The purpose of this write up is to just talk about the process of being interviewed and being filmed on my motorcycle.

I rode my motorcycle to my offices on June 27, 2013. I was interviewed by the producer and filmed by the cameraman in the parking lot next to my motorcycle. After the interview, they wanted some action shots of me riding my motorcycle.

The video below shows me on my motorcycle while being filmed by the news crew cameraman. The producer was driving the van. You will see the van on the left of me filming me with a handheld pole mounted GoPro Camera. I have my own GoPro Hero 3 HD camera mounted on my helmet.

In the video you will see me pointing to debris on the medium and in lanes.

Unfortunately, YouTube degrades the quality of the footage which is much better than what they post after compression.

The below video is a good point of view perspective where you get to ride along with me on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

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By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 27, 2013

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The Biker and Motorcycle Rally Season is upon us

Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez pumping iron

Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

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.

By California Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 8, 2013

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Getting settled in to the O.C. lifestyle.

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at age 16, before going surfing

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at age 16, before going surfing

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, and my new law firm “The Moy & Fernandez Law Group,” is fully operational.

Our phone number and fax number are the same, 800-816-1529, but we have consolidated all our California pre-litigation operations into one location in Irvine, California.

So whether your case originates in San Francisco, Eureka, Redding, Sacramento, or San Diego, the pre-litigation will be handled by our competent staff in the Irvine office, while our field staff continues to come to you anywhere in the nation.

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.

My partner Lawrence A. Moy, who has been a friend and brother since 2002 has merged his firm with mine to create a premier California Personal Injury Law firm. Together we have handled thousands of cases, and settled millions of dollars for our clients. We have many years of combined experience.

I feel sorry for the poor bastards who oppose us on cases, I give no quarter. Some lawyers say they will fight for you, we will kick ass for you.

I think we 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.

I hope you are all well.

By California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © March 13, 2013

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Had a close call on the freeway with road debris yesterday

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Malibu, CA

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Malibu, CA

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.

I need to listen to and follow my own rule!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © January 14, 2013

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The Final leg of my Epic around the Nation RV Trip, From Greybull, WY to Yellowstone, to Salt Lake City, UT, to Las Vegas to Home. August 30, 2012 – September 6, 2012, 8600 miles total.

Hoover Dam, NV

A picture of Hoover Dam taken on our trip on September 5, 2012

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.

I wonder who my next trip will be with.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © December 20, 2012

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We almost died in Big Horn National Forest

The scene of my RV accident on US-14 above Greybull, Wyoming in the Big Horn National Forest

The scene of my RV accident on US-14 above Greybull, Wyoming in the Big Horn National Forest. This shows the damage after my RV was pulled off of the embankment.

** 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.

The trailer after my RV accident.

The trailer after my RV accident. It jackknifed into the rear bumper causing a crack and a small scratch on my lower, other than that there was no damage to the motorcycle thank god.

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.

Where we would have died had I not intentionally crashed into the embankment

Had I kept on going straight in my RV instead of intentionally crashing my RV to the left, this is the cliff we would have went over, at about 300 feet we both would have died. God was with us this day.

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.

The front bumper on my RV after the accident

This is the front bumper on my RV after the accident. It was destroyed. A new bumper has to be fabricated from scratch to fix the damage.

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….

By California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

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A little raw video taken today on 8-28-12 of my visit to Mount Rushmore.

Today on 8-28-12, Liz and I rode from Deadwood, South Dakota to Mount Rushmore. Both Deadwood and Mount Rushmore are located in the historic Black Hills of South Dakota.

I have ridden many twisties all over the USA and Canada. The Black Hills are not that bad, but the beautiful scenery is distracting.

Nothing can explain how you feel when you ride up and see Mount Rushmore for the first time while riding your motorcycle.

I am posting some raw video I took at Mount Rushmore today. When I return home, I am going to edit the many hours of film I have shot and post it here.

Without further ado, here is a little bit of raw video I took today.

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Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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A little visit to Orange County Chopper

I have been on an RV trip of a lifetime for the past month. I am presently in an RV Resort at the Jersey City Marina with a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from my RV.

During the trip I have filmed hours of video which I will not be able to edit until I get home. I therefore have been spoon feeding here on the Biker Law Blog, small unedited raw video clips of interest when I have the time.

Here is another small video clip of Liz and I visiting Orange County Chopper aka OCC in Newburgh, NY on August 13, 2012. I will do a complete write-up when I return home from my vacation at the end of August.

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By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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A ride to the Gettysburg Battlefield from College Park, Maryland; a Great Day

Battle of Gettysburg; The High Water Mark

Battle of Gettysburg; The High Water Mark

On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, Liz and I rode from College Park, Maryland to the Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

To put what this ride meant to me into perspective, when I was a teenager, I read the Civil War Almanac. I have been an amateur civil war buff ever since. To me the Battle of Gettysburg signifies the point where the South lost the war.

If you read the historical as well as firsthand accounts of those who fought the battle you will come to realize that this battle, the bloodiest in American history with over 50,000 casualties in 3 days, was a great and horrific event in American history.

Now I can say that I walked the ground where all of the great fighting took place between July 1 – July 3, 1863.

I walked Little Round Top, Big Round Top, The Peach Orchard, Devils Den, Slaughter Pen, The Wheat Field, Cemetery Ridge, Culp’s Hill, The Bloody Angle, The High Watermark, the Place where Pickett’s Charge began, and the field not only where Pickett’s Charge happened, but also the ground beyond the breastworks at the Bloody Angle where the Southerners advanced toward certain death. I stood where General Armistead fell, and where General Reynolds fell.

I now know the ground of Gettysburg. When I stood at the Bloody Angle I could look at the field and imagine what the bloody and vicious hand to hand combat between Americans must have been like.

The ride from College Park, MA to Gettysburg, PA was to be frank, a nightmare on the Maryland side. Let me tell you, I have been around half of the circumference of the United States now. We have seen road construction going on in every single state. I suppose those are our stimulus dollars in action, I do not know. What I do know is so far, Floridians, and Marylanders are the worst drivers I have seen for motorcyclist so far in my travels.

Maryland drivers are by far the most aggressive drivers I have ever seen. Where there was a speed limit of 55 due to construction, these idiots were doing 70 and passing me half way in my lane. I can honestly say that after riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide thousands of miles with no fear, I felt fear on Tuesday. It was almost as if the cagers in Maryland did not see me, it was if I was invisible. If was a ride of terror on the Maryland side. The Pennsylvania side was great except on the way to Confederate Blvd. a Doe (female Deer) ran out in front of us about 50 yards ahead, then on the way back, a young Deer ran out in front of us as well. I will tell a Deer story in a future article.

I highly recommend that if anyone wants to tour the Gettysburg Battlefield that you only do it on a motorcycle. We owned the battlefield on Tuesday. In many places, Liz and I were the only ones there. Imagine being at a historic part of the battlefield with no one there with you to interfere. On the motorcycle, we could stop at will and park at will.

Unfortunatly it appears I will not be able to post any video while on the road. My laptop cannot handle the huge HD video I took at the battlefiled, and the unedited file takes too long to upload to Youtube. Therefore I will not upload any video until I get back

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, August 10, 2012

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Day 17; Touring Washington D.C. on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide (4300 miles)

map of the united statesIt has been over a week since I have given an update of my “trip of a lifetime,” wherein I am traveling around the United States in my RV with my Harley Davidson Electra Glide in tow.

I have video and pictures of my trip but have been unable to get them off of the memory cards. Tomorrow I will hit a Best Buy so I can post a few.

My last update had me in New Orleans having a great time. A lot has happened since then. I ended up staying in New Orleans for 2 days and nights.

On my first evening in New Orleans after having fun on Bourbon Street, while typing my last article, I noticed that I was starting to itch on my ankles and on my forearm.  By the time I finished the article I realized that I was being, or had already been eaten alive by bugs. I suffered over 10 bites. I think the bites were a combination of chiggers and mosquitos, or “no see um’s” and mosquitos. Suffice is to say it sucked!

Turns out with this year’s massive heat wave in the Panhandle states, there are a ton of bugs. I did not put on my insect repellant in time. I have been caking it on ever since. Elizabeth thinks the bites came from Kinder, Louisiana, I am not so sure. She had a bunch of bites on her arm as well.

While loading my Electra Glide back on to the trailer I had a bit of a mishap with the trailer. There are three motorcycle positions on the trailer. I did not hit the center position correctly and it slightly bent the diamond plate where it was not reinforced. Most would not notice it, but I am a stickler for detail so I noticed it. Putting the 4 straps on and ratcheting the motorcycle down was no big deal at all.

From New Orleans, we got back on the road and spent the next night in Tallahassee, Florida. On the way to Tallahassee, Florida we drove through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Let me tell you the deep southern USA is amongst the most beautiful and green land in the world.  I only wish I had months to explore these states instead of just driving through.

We hit some rain in Tallahassee which was no big deal. We also stopped off at the local Camping World to dump the folding bicycles; we decided to get full size bikes instead.

After spending the night in a nice RV park in Tallahassee, (I went out at night to have an O’Doul’s and a cigar and thought I saw a friggen Alligator) we hit a Wal-Mart the next day and got two full size Schwinn 22 speed mountain bikes to replace the folding bikes.

We decided to do a grind so we could get to Key West that night/morning, where we planned on staying a few days. We had a long but excellent ride all the way from Tallahassee to Key West. I was a little disappointed that I could not see the scenery while driving to Key West due to the fact that it was dark, but I figured it would be no big deal since I would see it on the way back.

We got to Key West at around 3am, and we were tired as hell. They had more security than we were used to, plus to top it off our RV space was the first one to not be a pull through. A pull through allows you to simply drive in to your space without having to back in. Since I have a motorcycle trailer on the back of a 35 foot motorhome, backing up is a big problem especially at night since the infra-red night vision on my camera reflects off the glass rendering it useless. When I get back home I will take it back to Camping World to have that problem fixed, since they installed the new camera.

Suffice is to say after a couple of attempts the Security Guard allowed us to park in the registration area. We closed the blinds and curtains, I fired up the generator from inside, and no big deal, and everything worked as though we were hooked up in a space. We crashed out until around 10am. We registered, took the motorcycle off of the trailer, folded the trailer, backed into our space, hooked up, took the new Schwinn bikes off of the ladder rack, and we were ready to have a great time for the next 4 days and 3 nights!

We stayed in a resort which was the last island before the actual island of Key West, 1 mile away. Due to its location, they charged us $100 a day for the privilege of staying so close to Key West.

On the first day, we peddled our bikes all over the island, swam in their salt water pool, and then set out for Key West on the Harley.

Key West is the southernmost part of the USA. I heard it was like 20 miles or so from the Bahamas and for all intents and purposes, it was a Caribbean island in the USA. There were a lot of foreigners there with various accents.

We toured the island on my Harley. There were tons of scooters on this island. Everyone was wearing shorts, tank tops, and no helmets. I was in shorts, wife beater shirt, and modular helmet.

Yea yea I know that driving on a Harley Davidson with shorts is crazy, but the speed limit on the entire island was 30mph and the heat and humidity was so bad that after a few minutes you are soaking wet anyway. This kind of weather takes time to get used to.

The weather throughout our entire trip heretofore was basically hotter than hell, with horrible humidity. This night was no different. I was soaking wet in no time but it was OK. I am sure in due time if I decided to move to Key West I would acclimate to the weather.

Now let me tell you, Key West is off of the charts. There were a ton of people on the main drag walking, biking, shopping, taking carriage rides, you name it.

I love beautiful women, and the fine looking gals in Key West rival that of Southern California. It was fantastic. I could get used to this place real quick. We walked around for a while and then cruised the strip on my Harley. We had a great second night!

The rest of the stay in Key West consisted of swimming, lounging in the sun, bicycle riding, and tooling around Key West.

On the night before we were about to leave, we took the Harley back in to Key West; it started to rain. We went to this restaurant that was right on the beach. We had a nice Mediterranean style meal and it appeared the rain stopped, so we decided to go back to the main drag to walk around.

All of a sudden it seemed like the sky opened up. It was pouring rain the likes of which I have not seen since around 8 years ago in San Francisco. The difference in Key West was that it was still very hot, and I was luckily in shorts. The bad news was that we were on a Harley dressed for 30mph touring, and it was pouring rain. One wrong move and we would slide out. I took it real easy. We were literally soaking wet from head to foot. We decided to head back to the RV to call it a night. The next morning after 4 nights and 4 days, we were off again. The ride back to the mainland was great with nice views of the ocean and the Florida Keys. I would actually consider moving to Key West one day.

We decided to head to Miami Beach for a day. Once we got to the Southern Tip of Florida, we headed east. It seemed like the whole southern part of Florida was gated up for the super-rich with no public access to the beaches. Unlike in California where there is no such thing as a private beach, Florida has the exact opposite. They have literally gated up miles and miles of beaches for the super wealthy. It sucks and I was pissed off.

When we got to Miami Beach, it was sure a site to see. The development was off of the charts compared to Southern California where I am from. I hope Southern California never gets like Miami Beach at least in my lifetime.

We drove through South Beach, North Beach, and all through Miami Beach in my 35 foot motorhome with motorcycle trailer attached. We got some real curious looks along with way from the valet parking guys who were all along the street we were on. It was tough to navigate the Miami Beach jungle in my huge rig. Thank god we did not get stuck somewhere.

After going north for some time we found a public parking place where it looked like they had room for my rig and we pulled in. They charged me 15 bucks because they said I had a bus. We pulled in, pulled the blinds and the curtains, fired up the generator, and changed into our swim suits. We then went down to the beach.

Miami Beach is a trip compared to where I am from; there are high rise condos all along the beach, and tons of people on the beach. There were two things that totally blew me away; (1) There were no waves whatsoever, and (2) The water was like a hot tub.

As we walked to the beach I did not hear any waves crashing like what we have on the Pacific side of the nation. I thought something was wrong. The ocean was basically like a big pond, no waves whatsoever.

We laid out our blanket and sat for a bit. I decided to check out the water. When my foot hit the water, I expected it to be cold like the Pacific Ocean, boy was I surprised. The water was actually warm like a bath tub. I jumped right in.

I noticed that no one was going out too far. In the Pacific, we like to ride waves and we go out far. In the Atlantic, I have heard there are many sharks. Hell with the warm water and the lack of anyone going out too far, I decided to hang out close to shore. I had a blast swimming in the warm waters of Miami Beach. After a couple of hours, we went back to the RV, took showers, and hit the road again.

After driving a bit, we noticed a Hometown Buffet and decided to partake. They had steak, roast beef and a bunch of other stuff. I overate and had a great meal. Afterwards, we got on the road to head north to Washington DC.

Once on the road we realized that we did not reserve a campground for the night. We were both tired from a very long day, and we could not find a park close by off of the 95. To top things off, it started to rain a bit. While looking for RV parks I got stuck in two separate places where I had to back up before I could get out, which was real fun in the rain.

After some time, we were burnt out. At around 11pm we found a Wal-Mart with a security guard and decided to park the RV on the Wal-Mart parking lot and spend the night. Wal-Mart allows RV’ers to park in their parking lot and sleep overnight because they sell RV gear in their store. I prefer an actual RV park but this particular night we had really no choice. After parking, I fired up the generator, we turned on our satellite TV and it was just like home. RV’s are basically a home on wheels. Anywhere will do!

The next day we woke up around 9am, had some breakfast in the RV, and we were off again. We had an excellent drive through Florida all the way to a great RV park in South Carolina where we spent the night. South Carolina is a truly beautiful state. I could live there! The RV Park was like something out of a movie, perfect green lawns, trees, pond, etc. I have pictures but cannot get to them right now.

Once I set up camp I enjoyed a nice cigar and an O’Doul’s, then watched some Satellite TV and Redbox videos in the RV. I went to sleep early.

I woke up early, broke camp, and got back on the road with our next stop being Washington D.C.  We decided to do the ride to D.C. in one swoop which was around 500 miles or so.

There is one thing about the ride from Georgia to DC that I should tell; Interstate 95 was lined with beautiful tall green trees on both sides of the Interstate the entire way. We are talking millions of trees. It is much more beautiful than anything Los Angeles has to offer. However, in a way it was disappointing as well. Traveling around the nation is what I am doing so I can see the nation. With trees lining the entire Interstate from Georgia to D.C. with little breaks in between, we could not really see anything but trees; it gets old after a while.

Again in the future, I will visit the Deep South again and spend some time actually seeing it instead of just driving through it or taking breaks here and there like I did on this trip.

During the trip to DC, we hit a massive thunderstorm in North Carolina. The rain was coming down so hard I could not see in front of me even with my wipers on full blast. To top it off the wind all of a sudden felt like it was going to tip my RV over. Luckily there was a rest stop a mile away. It was around 3pm but it was almost dark, that is how bad this storm was. I guess the south does not get its green grass and trees from lack of rain.

There were truckers and a bunch of cars at the rest stop. Believe you me; if you cannot see with your windshield wipers set to the fastest setting, you need to pull it over. I kind of felt bad for everyone else at the truck stop, because we had our house with us and they did not. I started up the generator from inside, Liz made us a good lunch, and we sat at the table and had a good meal while everyone else was hunkered down in their vehicles. After about a half hour to 45 minutes it stopped raining enough to where I thought we would be ok and we got back on the road.

I knew it would be a long grind to Washington DC, but it was worth it to me to just get there instead of stopping somewhere for another night. We stopped at a Waffle House at around 9pm and had dinner.

When we finally got to the DC area I thought I would give Liz a little treat and drive my RV/Motorcycle Trailer setup through the streets of the capital. Boy was that a mistake. There are turnoffs which are hard enough to handle in a car let alone a 35 foot RV with a motorcycle trailer. We almost got stuck in the Union Station roundabout.

It finally got to the point where my exhaustion, coupled with the size of the rig I was driving made me set the GPS to the RV resort where we were going to stay instead of playing around the Capitol with my RV. I was so tired that I missed several freeway options so we ended up taking the streets. Our RV resort is about 10 miles from DC.

The RV resort is a place where you really do not need to leave to leave. There are people that live here full time. Heck I could get used to it as well. I love resorts! They have multiple pools, a hot tub, gym, restaurant, store, and a bunch of great people.

When we got to the resort on Thursday night/Friday morning we pulled into our space, I set up camp and we crashed for the night. On Friday we had a blast touring the capitol on my Harley. We were the only Harley Davidson in town yesterday. It was a great time.

Today we decided to sleep in, lounge around the pool and hit DC in the evening.

So there it is, a brief update on how the trip is going so far.

We will be staying in DC until at least Tuesday maybe Wednesday. The next stop will be New York City.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, August 4, 2012

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Day 7, The Big Easy (2000 miles)

My Electra Glide

My Electra Glide

Well here I sit at 3am on what is actually day 6 and ½, 3 blocks away from the French Quarter in the nicest RV park yet, right smack dab 3 blocks from the French Quarter, within walking distance,  after having had a great evening of riding my Electra Glide and walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Let me first start off by telling you that I spent last night in an RV park that was basically in swamp land in Kinder, Louisiana. When it got dark and I shined a flash light on my RV, and what seemed like hundreds of small black bugs went for the light. Many of them got into the RV. I got rid of them within 10 minutes with a piece of paper. Last night was basically spent hunkered down in the RV resting and watching Satellite TV.

Today we left Kinder and drove to New Orleans. On the ride from Kinder to New Orleans I saw the most unique part of Interstate 10 I have ever seen and what is probably one of the top human engineering marvels of all time. The Interstate is literally raised over many miles of water logged swamp land. I have never seen anything like it.

The state of Louisiana is beautiful; it is a green state with millions of trees lining Interstate 10. The foliage is so dense that you cannot even see through it. I can only imagine what it was like when Europeans first found this place.

Another huge part of the ride today was crossing some big rivers including the mighty Mississippi River. Let me tell you something, I experienced fear driving my RV over the river bridges. My rig is as high as a regular truck. At that height the guard rails do not seem like they will do much good if you crash, and in a Class A motor home, there is no room for error on a bridge like the ones I crossed today. It was an experience I will tell you that.

I have to say that the New Orleans part of our trip has been the best so far. It was hotter than hell today with humidity that I have heretofore only read about, but it was a great day.

This is my first time in the big easy. I did not expect much except the French Quarter. Boy was I wrong. There is much to see and do here. The French Quarter was off of the charts. It is something you have to experience in person. Pictures do not do it justice.

After driving all through the French Quarter and New Orleans on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide, we parked and walked the French Quarter. We found a very nice Seafood Restaurant. Now anyone that knows me knows I hate seafood except for tuna fish sandwiches and breaded fish sticks and shrimp. Last night I decided to throw caution out with the wind and have a bowl of Gumbo. Gumbo has shrimp and Crab along with other ingredients. It tasted OK. We had a very good meal after that. We were seated literally right in the window of the café, so we could see all of the traffic walking Bourbon Street as we dined.

Across the street I noticed a cigar place, and went there after our meal to get $50 worth of hand rolled Cuban cigars. (The guy rolling the cigars was Cuban) $50 worth turned out to be 5 cigars. The guy gave me a catalog so I could order when I get back home.

As we walked Bourbon Street I smoked a big cigar that cost $10. It was the best dam cigar I have ever had. As I was walking and almost finished with the cigar some guy tried to talk me into going into his bar. I explained to him that I do not drink. He told me that he did not drink either. As we shook hands the dam cigar fell out of my mouth. Anyway…………………………

All I can say is that anyone who has not been to New Orleans needs to come here. No pictures can ever do how great this town is, justice. Everyone was friendly as hell.

The only bummer is that I noticed I have a bunch of mosquito like bites on my ankles and on my arm. I just put some deet on, hopefully that will prevent any more bites.

Well I am going to get some shut eye in a few minutes. Later today I will load the Harley back on the trailer, strike camp, and head through Mississippi and Alabama into Florida. Key West here we come.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., July 25, 2012

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My One Month Around the United States RV Road Trip is Set to Begin This Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Electra Glide Ultra Custom I am taking on the trip with me

The Electra Glide Ultra Custom I am taking on the trip with me

Being able to take off for a one month vacation, from a super busy law practice, for an around the nation RV vacation has always been a dream of mine. My dream is about to come true, my trip starts this Sunday, July 15, 2012.

My Law Offices will remain open and staffed.

My clients will be able to reach me on the road by dialing my number and extension, it will forward to my cell phone on the road. If I do not answer leave a message, and I will call you back as soon as I can.

I have a full mobile law office set up in my RV, with full computer access to my office. I will also do new client consultations from the road.

An Attorney never really takes a 100% off work vacation; if they do, they must not really have a lot of cases!

You may also dial my Paralegal Kathy at extension 420.

My partners, associates, support staff, and investigators will all still be available at their respective extensions. Nothing will change at the office.

At 6am on July 15, 2012, I will depart in my 35’ Class A Georgie Boy for my first destination, Key West, Florida by way of Interstate 10. My Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Custom will be my dingy in tow on a new Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer.

I also got a couple of folding 12 speed bikes to pedal around the various campgrounds I will be staying in.

Many of my friends have been following my updates about the trip on Facebook; you can find me on Facebook by clicking here.

I literally have dinner, ride, and social invitations from my many friends all over the nation. Unfortunately I cannot really commit to anything right now; the nature of my trip is that I will take each day as it comes with no pressure to do any one thing.

I am a member of various RV clubs and my plans on this trip are to play it by ear. Under no circumstances do I want to make this trip about having to reach a certain destination every day.

Instead, I will play it like the Tortoise and take it easy. I want to enjoy the drive, and enjoy each destination along the way. I want to explore our nation like I have never done, meet new people, and have a blast.

Some of the Class A only campgrounds that I have seen are unreal.

There is only one destination that I have to make it too by a certain date and that is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The actual motorcycle rally is August 6-12, 2012. My plan is to get there for the last 2-3 days, and then spend a day or two extra exploring without all of the crowds.

Let me tell you, making my dream come true was not easy. I have worked my ass off for the past month to get my cases in order so I could take this trip.

I also had to take my RV in for some customization for the trip. It is now outfitted with state of the art in-motion satellite, Wi-Fi internet, multiple HD flat panel TV’s, multiple color and infra-red cameras, the works.

Outfitting a 35’ RV for a trip like this is almost like furnishing a new home. I had 3 shopping carts full at Wal-Mart yesterday, and there is still more to get including food.

I plan on blogging all about this trip either every day or almost every day. I will have pictures, video, helmet cam footage, the works. I want to take you all on the trip with me.

I will write short articles while on the trip because this trip is about having fun.

So there it is, I may be coming to a town near you very soon.

Norman Gregory Fernandez, July 12, 2012

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Long Distance Motorcycle Riding; how do you Carry What You Need?

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

I have been a serious long distance motorcycle rider for many years now. You may ask what is a long distance motorcycle rider. To me a long distance motorcycle rider is someone who rides 800 or more miles on a motorcycle trip multiple times a year.

So according to my definition, even a first time rider who does a few 800 mile or more motorcycle trips per year would qualify as a long distance motorcycle rider.

I regularly do trips of 1000 miles or more like they are no big deal.

I know many guys who are bikers, and what some would consider to be hardcore bikers, that literally do nothing but bar hop on their motorcycles. To them doing 300 miles in a day is unheard of. Further, many of these guys have motorcycles that are in no way set up to do any serious mileage.

Most of these guys do not have saddle bags, and brag about how they do not need wind screens.

I am not going to knock these guys that are basically local bikers, but they really have no clue what it is like to be a long distance biker.

There are also what I call your ubiquitous trailer queens. These are guys that trailer their motorcycle to events, and then unhook them and ride at the actual event, making it appear that they rode to the event. This article not about packing up your car, it is about packing up your motorcycle.

Unless you are doing an Iron Butt Ride which is 1000 miles in a 24 hour period, (basically nonstop riding except to stop for gas and quick meals) a 1000 mile or more motorcycle trip will be a trip that is at least a 2 days or more.

I have done runs that last a week or more.

The big issue for me on long distance motorcycle trips is; what should I carry on the trip, and how should I carry what I need on the trip.

For me what to carry with on long distance motorcycle runs is almost automatic. I carry:

Water
Sunscreen
Flashlight
Small Tool Kit
Knife
1 Quart of Oil
Flare
Lighter
Sunglasses, and clear night glasses
Warm weather and cold weather gloves.
Leather Jacket
Leather Chaps
Spare clothes
Tennis Shoes
Emergency Contact Form
Cell Phone
GPS
Fine cotton cloths
Spray Wax
Plexus windshield cleaner
And whatever else I may need.

When I go on long distance motorcycle runs at least for the past 11 years or so, Elizabeth has been with me. Therefore inevitably, I also have to carry her purse, gloves, jacket, chaps, and whatever else she might want to bring as well which always includes her makeup and cloths.

In the past when I just had a softail or regular large cruiser motorcycle and no bagger, (see the picture above, the motorcycle is packed up to the brim, with tents, chairs, and everything for a full motorcycle rally.) my solution to accommodate all of the stuff that I like to carry, was to first to buy soft saddlebags, or a locking rigid saddlebag system, install a luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and buy a T-Bag soft luggage system that sat on the luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and then secured around the sissy bar.

The locking saddlebag system, called Leatherlykes Bags, was better than soft saddle bags, because they were bigger, and  I could lock the bags and walk away without worrying about being ripped off.

I used the soft T-Bag motorcycle luggage system on a couple of my motorcycles. After a few years, I switched from the T-Bags, to something called the Kuryakyn Full Dresser Bag, when they first came out. This bag had a rigid plastic shelving system in it, held more stuff then the T-Bags, and actually looked better as well. Not only that, but it had a wheel system on it like conventional luggage so when I got to a destination, I could lift it off, and wheel it in.

I used this system a few times on my FLHT Electra Glide Standard when I got her, but once I put the removable Tour Pak on; there was no room for the Full Dresser Bag.

For 6 years with the Electra Glide we would use plastic bags to fill up the side hard Harley Davidson Saddle bags, and the Tour Pak. We would also utilize the luggage rack on top of the tour pak to bungee tie our leathers as necessary.

I eventually went back to T-Bags and got a Dakota bag which is specifically designed to fit the premium luggage rack on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Tour Pak.

The Dakota Bag is so big, that it pretty much holds everything we need. Obviously there are some items that will not fit in the Dakota, so we continue to keep small plastic bags in the hard side saddle bags.

The Future

Liz and I are talking about riding cross country this summer. I figure on a cross country run we are not going to want to have to constantly lift the Dakota Bag off everytime we stop, and we are not going to want to have to park in a place where we can see the bike everytime we stop so someone does not rip off our Dakota bag.

So after doing some research, I have found a motorcycle tow behind cargo trailer solution that I may purchase and use for our cross country trip on the Electra Glide.

I can get a cargo trailer that holds anywhere from 18 cubic feet of stuff, up to 25-26 cubic feet depending upon how much I want to spend, or how big I want the trailer to be.

I would need to install a motorcycle ball hitch onto my motorcycle for the trailer to hook onto, and rig up a wiring harness for brake and signal lights on the trailer.

It looks like there are many off the shelf trailer solutions for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

A cargo trailer at least to me would be the optimum way to travel cross country on a motorcycle, because we can just throw everything we want to take in the trailer, plus there will be room to store souvenirs if we decide to buy any along the way.

The trailer will take away the fun of trying to cram everything into a few small spaces on the motorcycle.

Even with a full Harley Davidson Electra Glide Custom Ultra, things can get tight real quick.

On a cross country trip I want to be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, without worrying about having to wash clothes every couple of days on the road.

There are many out there that say towing a cargo trailer behind a motorcycle is dangerous. Based upon my research, it can be done safely so long as you get used to it and take it easy just like anything else.

In closing, I have found that rigid saddlebags, a nice luggage rack mounted soft or rigid motorcycle luggage system, tour paks, and cargo trailers, all will allow you to carry the things you need on a long distance motorcycle run. What you do is really up to you.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 13, 2011

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If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident ANYWHERE in The State of California, call me now 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation at 800-816-1Law (800-816-1529), Extension 1

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