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!
I have created a series of videos to help people wrench on their Harley Davidson motorcycles. The below video discusses not only how to get to the fuse panel on your Harley Davidson Electra glide motorcycle, it also teaches you how to remove your hard saddlebags, how to remove your seat, and how to put it all back together again.
I realize that I am I California motorcycle accident lawyer, but like all bikers I love to wrench on my motorcycle.
I hope you enjoy the below video, and I’m sure it’ll help many people who don’t blow to get to their fuse box, or how to remove their hard saddlebag, or how to remove their seat, to do so with ease.
For several years now I’ve used a GPS set up in my different Harley-Davidson Electra glides with a cigarette charger type of cable that I had the jerry-rigged into the GPS. You can read an article that I wrote about my GPS setup back in 2007 by clicking here now.
It not only looked like crap, but when I wanted to take the GPS off the motorcycle and use it in my car, I would have to unwrap the charging cable, and then rewrap it when I wanted to use it on the motorcycle again. You can see a picture of how the old setup looked on my 02 Electra Glide by clicking here now.
It was not the most optimum solution for having a GPS on a motorcycle.
Another issue was when I went to take the GPS off of the motorcycle at let’s say a motorcycle rally, or even a restaurant, the cable wrapped around the ram mount did not look very good at all.
I’ve been wanting to hardwire my GPS power cable to the Harley-Davidson for a long time. I finally decided to do it.
Below I have produced a full video on the exact procedure for hardwiring your GPS power cable into the Harley-Davidson Electra glide.
I demonstrate how to remove your fairing from the Electra glide, where to get power for the GPS on your motorcycle, the type of hard wire motorcycle to USB power adapter cable adapter that I used, how to run the cable through the fairing, how to test the set up, and how to put the fairing back onto the motorcycle.
You can see the type of cable that I purchased for the hardwiring the
GPS to the motorcycle by clicking here now. I purchased it from Amazon.com for approximately $16.
It is very important to select an adapter meant for this specific purpose. The voltage on your motorcycle is 12 V DC, whereas a standard USB mini plug uses 5 V DC with much less current than the motorcycle puts out. The cable that you choose actually has a step down transformer to convert the voltage to the appropriate level for your GPS.
I must stress if you attempt to hardwire 12 V directly to the USB connector, you will blow out your GPS, and potentially the auxiliary fuse on your motorcycle if you choose power from the source that I chose it from.
For this install, I grabbed my 12 V power on the motorcycle, from the extra two wires that exists on the headlight assembly of your Electra Glide.
All Harley-Davidson Electra Glides that are not produced for Europe have an additional two tables in the headlight assembly cable that are unused.
When you take your fairing off, you will see the two wires off of the cable going to the headlight. One of the cables is 12 V, the other is ground. They have spade lug connectors on them, which you will need to cut off, in order to connect the USB adapter.
With the video that I produce below, anybody should be able to do this install. I hope you enjoy the video, and I will see you on the road.
If you had a motorcycle accident anywhere in the state of California, call us now 24 hours a day for a free consultation at 800-816-1529, extension one.
Here is the video I produced that demonstrates in detail how to hard-wire your GPS into your Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle.
I have been meaning to write this article for quite some time, unfortunately I have been too busy since I returned back from my trip, to write this article until now.
My trip to the 2013 Sturgis motorcycle rally, was not only a trip to the rally itself, but was also a trip to the Little Big Horn National Battlefield, in Custer Montana, and to the Yellowstone National Forest in Wyoming.
Further, this trip would mark my first major trip, or motorcycle rally, as a single man.
For this trip, my plan was to tow my motorcycle in my new custom trailer, behind my 35 foot class A motorhome. This would be a small trip of approximately 3000 miles, as opposed to my 8000 mile plus around the country RV trip that I took two summers ago in 2012.
I prepaid two months in advance for a weeks stay at the world-famous Glencoe campgrounds, in Sturgis South Dakota.
At the time of the writing of this article, I do not remember the exact amount of money it cost me for my space at Glencoe Campground, but I’m guessing it was around $600 for the week for a 75 foot, 50 amp space, plus a couple hundred dollars for a wristband.
The campground requires everyone that enters the campground to have a wristband, because they have headliner bands playing at night, which they sell tickets to separately.
Glencoe campground in Sturgis is famous for all the shenanigans that happen there during the rally. No children are allowed in the campground during the rally, and it only opens for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The rest of the year it is closed. If you do a Google search for Glencoe campgrounds you’ll see that there’s a lot of nudity there during the rally. I experienced said nudity firsthand, see below.
For a trip like this, the plan was to take approximately a month to do the entire trip. It is almost impossible to find friends or family that can take that much time off work for a trip like this. This was the case for this trip, nobody was available to come on the trip with me. Anyway, I needed this time by myself anyway, to find myself again after the breakup of my long-term relationship and marriage.
I contemplated taking a lady with me on the trip, but in the end, I decided not to bring her. After thinking about it, I decided that I needed some alone time. Unfortunately, I already paid for her wristband before the trip and couldn’t get a refund, oh well.
The excitement leading up to this trip was almost unbearable. My new custom motorcycle trailer, made the thought of going to Sturgis even that much more exciting, because it is an enclosed trailer and I would not need to use any straps like I did on my last long trip.
I bought many new things for this trip. I bought a new camera, a new camcorder, a GoPro HD camera for the motorcycle, and many mounts for the cameras so I could get a lot of footage.
Two days before the trip was about to begin, I started loading the motor home up for the trip. Most people would think I’m crazy leaving the resort town where I live, Huntington Beach, CA, to travel to Sturgis, South Dakota during the summer for a month. Only a biker, and motorcycle rider, would know why I would take a trip like this. Over a half a million people every year make the same journey.
The morning of August 1, 2013, I pulled my motorhome out of the storage space, attached my new custom motorcycle trailer to the motorhome, and proceeded to load my motorcycle into the new trailer for the first time.
The biker bar mounting system was incredible. The biker bar was the new mounting system that I had installed in the trailer so that i would no longer have to strap my motorcycle in like me and everyone else with a trailer had to in the past.
Sometime soon, I will write a separate article and review about the biker bar mounting system, because I believe everybody who has a motorcycle trailer should get one of these things.
Suffices to say, once I clicked my motorcycle into the biker bar, it was a plug-and-play type of deal. I did not have to worry about tightening straps, or the motorcycle whatsoever for the rest of the 1300 mile trip to Sturgis South Dakota.
I did get a late start on August 1, 2013. By the time I left Huntington Beach, California, it was already about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I did not care, I just wanted to get on the road. The weather was nice when I left, but I did hit heavy-duty traffic on the 91 freeway, and the 15 freeway headed to Las Vegas. Further, I had massive traffic in Las Vegas because I got there during rush hour.
It was hotter than hell in the Las Vegas area, and beyond in the afternoon. I drove to a truck stop approximately 100 miles north of Las Vegas to fill up gas, and to fill up my main propane tank in the motorhome. I also fixed myself a sandwich in the motorhome, and had a cigar, because I was planning on driving until I could not drive anymore. It was going to be a late night.
I drove that night until I could not drive any further. The new GPS I got for the motorhome is set up for recreational vehicles, so it directed me to a truck stop where I parked for the evening and dry camped with all the truckers.
When I woke up on August 2, 2013, my plan was to drive until I could not drive anymore again. At this point I was approximately 700 miles away from Sturgis South Dakota. I made myself some breakfast in the motorhome, got some coffee, and filled the motorhome up with gas and I was off.
It was a great ride in the motorhome from where I had camped on August 1 in Utah, through Wyoming on my way to South Dakota. The GPS took me over 100 miles out of my way on a scenic route. I had no clue that the GPS was set up to take scenic routes. In a way I’m kind of glad it did take me on the scenic route, it was a great drive.
There was a point on the drive in Wyoming, where I was so far off the beaten track, I was concerned that I would not be able to find gas. I was literally in the middle of nowhere. Everything turned out okay.
There was major road construction in Wyoming, and I encountered dirt roads and closed roads along the way. In one case construction crews had the road closed; I had to wait for about 45 minutes for them to reopen it. When they did reopen the road, a pace car guided us on a very bumpy dirt road to where the pavement started again. This would’ve been fine except me being in a big motorhome with the new motorcycle trailer, with my motorcycle inside. It was very bumpy to say the least.
When it got dark, I decided to keep on driving until I could not drive anymore. When I got to around two hours outside of Sturgis at approximately 12 midnight, I was tired, and about ready to just park the RV at Walmart for the night. The winds were howling, and I can see major thunderstorms in the direction of where I was heading. When you’re in a 35 foot class a motorhome, strong winds are not your friend.
However, I was so excited to be so close to Sturgis, I decided to just drive the last two hours, and get to Sturgis. The weather was so bad on the way in, that I did not make it into Sturgis until about 4 AM.
My GPS was set up to take me to the Glencoe campground. To get there, you have to drive directly through downtown Sturgis. I could see all the vendors set up as I drove in, and I became very excited.
When I got to the Glencoe campground, I was thoroughly exhausted. I could barely stay awake. I had been driving essentially nonstop for over 700 miles. I checked in at the front shack at the front gate, got my wristband, and waited for a guy to come around on a little cart to show me where my Space was. It was still dark as I was driving in, but as I drove in, I could see a couple of naked people walking on the road.
The guy from Glencoe showed me my Space, and directed me while I backed my motorhome into the space. After almost 19 hours of straight driving and sheer exhaustion from doing the 1300 mile one way drive in less than two days, it was a trickey proposition. We are talking an over 50 feet rig with the motorcycle trailer. It was not easy backing it in being so tired, and it being pitch dark, but I did it.
I then set up my camp as quickly as possible. I hooked up the 50 amp power cord, fresh water, and sewer to my RV.
Believe it or not, I was so excited to be at the rally, that it was difficult to get the sleep, but I did eventually get to sleep that first morning.
When I woke up on August 3, 2013, the first thing I did was to remove my motorcycle from the trailer, unleash my flagpole and flags, and get ready to go to town.
Before going into town the first day, I decided to ride through the campground to check it out. Glencoe has vendors set up in the middle area of the campground. They say that Glencoe is the largest campground in the world. I’m not sure, I heard that the Buffalo Chip is big as well, but I have never been there and cannot tell from personal experience.
When I rode through the campground, I saw a couple of naked guys with their dongs hanging out, not something I wanted to see, along with an older lady that was walking around topless.
The campground was semi-full, and I knew it would get much more full as the rally progressed.
When I finally made it out of the gate, there is excitement in the air. Basically there were motorcycles everywhere. Further, as I rode down the road I discovered that the world-famous Full Throttle Saloon was directly across the street from the Glencoe campground. The main road was packed with motorcycles going in both directions.
I was kind of upset that the speed limit on the main drag was 25 mph. I know they’re trying to keep the motorcyclist safe, but 25 mph is kind of ridiculous. It was obvious to me that it was a big speed trap so I took my time to not go above the speed limit. As I got closer to downtown Sturgis, I saw even more motorcycles. When I finally got to downtown, it was packed with motorcycles all over the place, as far as the eye can see, a sea of motorcycles.
I did what everybody who goes to Sturgis does as a rite of passage, I paraded up and down the main street twice each direction on my motorcycle.
There were tens of thousands of people walking on both sides of the street, and thousands of motorcycles in the main drag. I knew that the rally would get even more crowded, since this was officially the first day of the rally. I have never seen so many motorcycles or bikers in my entire life in any one place. It was almost like going home. I felt like I belonged there at Sturgis. It’s hard to explain. Bikers and motorcyclists already have what I consider to be a camaraderie between them, because they ride motorcycles. However, the bikers at Sturgis all seems to be connected in some way. It was like one interconnected extended family even though everyone are strangers. We all had motorcycles in common, and everyone is friendly to each other. Only bikers at Sturgis will ever understand what a ritcheous feeling this is.
The bikers and motorcyclists at Sturgis come from all over the world, and all walks of life. You have lawyers like me commiserating with motorcycle mechanics. All professions, all classes, and all the people Sturgis, are for all intents and purposes part of one huge motorcycle family while you are there. There’s no way that I could put this in the words so that you can understand, the only way to truly understand the Sturgis experience, is to go yourself.
I have talked to many bikers about Sturgis, most of them have never been there. Each one of them says that one day they will go. I can only say one thing to these people, Sturgis is something that you have to do at least once in your life. For me, I will be there again next year, and probably every year thereafter.
Let’s get back to the story.
Now I was at Sturgis from August 2, 2013 to August 11, 2013. I’m not going to write a day by day, hour by hour Chronicle of the rally. What I will do is describe the things I did at the rally as a whole, and I will discuss specific days as they stood out from the rest.
Where I come from in Southern California, we have some of the best motorcycle riding in the world. The Sturgis’s, South Dakota area, and the Black Hills of South Dakota are truly a beautiful place to ride, and an excellent time. For most Americans, I am sure the Black Hills of South Dakota are probably the best rides they will do their life. I am spoiled because I live in the land of twisties and mountains, in Southern California. With that being said I cannot sit here and say that the Black Hills of South Dakota, are any better riding than I’m used in Southern California. I will say, that I truly do enjoy riding the Black Hills of South Dakota, and because you are at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, it is a truly bitchin ride. In other words, the riding is no better than I am used to at home, but it is still excellent riding.
I rode over 1000 miles on my motorcycle while at Sturgis, South Dakota in 2013. I rode all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. I went to Mount Rushmore multiple times, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer National Park, and all over the place. I rode to Deadwood, South Dakota may times as well.
You can read about a trip I took in 2012 to the same location, but not during the rally, by clicking here now.
Part of this year’s trip to Sturgis, was about me finding myself again. Having just got out of a 12 year long-term relationship with my wife, and having just been to the same location a year ago with my wife, made this trip a bit melancholy in a way. It was melancholy in a way, simply because I rode to some the same places with my wife just a year before, and now we were no longer together.
This trip to Sturgis for me was not about meeting women or getting laid, it was about me finding myself again, and doing some great riding.
I took many pictures at Sturgis you can see some of them sprinkled throughout this article, and you can see a video of some of my pictures by clicking here, or going to the bottom of this article.
I took much video at Sturgis as well. I’m not going to post the video in this article, I will save it for a later article.
Sturgis is the granddaddy of all motorcycle rallies. It is the biggest motorcycle rally in the world. All the motorcycle vendors that you can think of, or anybody in the motorcycle world you can think of were represented at Sturgis. You can find any leather item, motorcycle part, T-shirts, literally anything you want in the motorcycle world at the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
I have been to so many motorcycle rallies in my time, that the vendors all look the same to me. I am one of those unique bikers who can honestly say, that there is literally nothing I need. So walking through the vendor village which is basically the entire Main Street in Sturgis, and all the side streets, was just something to do to check out all the people, since I did not need anything.
Yes, I bought a whole ton of Sturgis motorcycle rally T-shirts, including my first Harley-Davidson T-shirt, and still to this day almost a year later, I have not worn any of them. I bought a bunch of t-shirts at the Full Throttle Saloon, and I haven’t worn any of them either.
I am one of those bikers, that simply does not buy and wear what I consider to be motorcycle paraphernalia T-shirts to prove I’m a biker. I have no need to prove I’m a biker. I will never buy another rally T-shirt, or Harley-Davidson T-shirt again. Why, because I never wear them.
Every night at Sturgis I saw a major headliner band. I spent most nights at the concert venue at the Glencoe campground, and a couple of nights at the Full Throttle Saloon.
There were beautiful women all over the place at Sturgis. Women running around with nothing at all on except for body paint, or pasties. I will tell you, nowhere on earth will you see
so many women running around with so little on everywhere except for maybe a nudist beach somewhere in Europe, or where I live in Huntington Beach.
One day when I was heading to the Crazy Horse Monument, I got stuck in the beginnings of a major thunderstorm. As I was going up the hill with no jacket on it started raining. I decided to head back to the campground. I went through Rapid City, South Dakota, and got back on the interstate headed towards Sturgis. I stopped at the Black Hills Harley-Davidson dealership on the way. This place was massive, and they had tons of vendors. The makers of the Biker Bar, the motorcycle trailer mounting bracket that I installed in my trailer, were also at the Black Hills Harley-Davidson dealership.
While at the dealership, I got a replacement lighter for my Harley-Davidson Electra glide, and my first Harley-Davidson T-shirt. To this day I have never worn the T-shirt.
The sky looked ominous. Dark storm clouds were approaching. After my visit to the Black Hills Harley-Davidson dealership, I continued to ride back to Sturgis.
No matter where I rode while in Sturgis, I always made sure to do the ubiquitous parade up and down the main drag while leaving or arriving in downtown Sturgis. This day was no different. I rode my bike up and down the main drag twice when I got into town. There were as usual thousands of people and motorcycles on the main drag.
As I was heading to the Glencoe campground, the entire sky seemed to open up with one hell of a massive thunderstorm, and hail. The hail was so large, that it hurt tremendously as it hit my head. (yes, I did not wear a helmet the entire time I was in South Dakota, Montana, or Wyoming)
The rain was coming down so hard, it was impossible to see in front of me, even with no helmet on. I like many other people stopped on the side of the road, to try to wait the storm out. When the rain let up a little bit, I jumped back on my bike and made it to the gas station on the road outside of the Glencoe campground, and huddled under the awning there with many other stranded bikers, as the rain came down so hard it was unbelievable.
This was the worst rain I have seen since I was at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally in Durango, Colorado in 2001. Had I stayed on the road during this rainstorm, there was a very good chance I might have wiped out.
When the rain let up a little bit, I managed to ride back to the campground. My campsite was a muddy mess by the time I got there. My motorcycle sunk into the mud as I rode up to my motorhome; there was mud everywhere.
I opened the door to the motorhome and got undressed on the steps leading up to the motorhome. I had mud all over my boots, and pants; all my clothes were soaking wet.
Because of the tremendous rainstorm, and the mud outside, there was really nothing to do at this point but to put the heater on, throw some sweat pants on, put the satellite TV on and have a little dinner.
By this time in the rally, I had been partying to three or four in the morning every night, and I was a bit sleep deprived. I laid down and crashed out for the evening. It pretty much rained all night anyway.
Other than what I want to call the night of thunder, every other night at the rally was excellent.
Now let me tell you about the Glencoe campground, it’s full of debauchery. Another way of putting it is there are a lot of adult games going on in the campground.
The main drag is affectionately known as Perverts Row. All night long motorcycle riders, and people on golf carts and small ATVs go up and down Perverts Row, looking at all the naked girls parading and exhibiting themselves up and down Perverts Row.
I even saw a couple sex acts going on at night on Perverts Row. I had women coming up to me, doing some nasty things. It was all in good fun. You guys that get motel rooms would never know that all the action occurs at motorcycle rallies in the campgrounds. If you are in a motel or hotel, your are not experiencing the true essence of motorcycle rallies.
On Perverts Row, many girls earn their beads throughout the rally by flashing their tits. There are no prudes at the Glencoe campground during the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
As the rally came to an end on August 10, 2013, the Glencoe campground started to empty out very fast. As is my custom, I always stay an extra day at motorcycle rallies. I owned Sturgis on August 10, 2013. There were only a small fraction of riders left in and around Sturgis on this day. It was actually kind of depressing to see the rally winding down.
I wished inside that the rally never had to end, but I knew it had to.
I rode to Deadwood, Custer National Park, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and to many other places on that last day. It was kind of sad to see that all the bikers had pretty much departed already.
That night I went to the Full Throttle Saloon for a last night of fun. Traditionally, on the last night of the rally, the locals go to the Full Throttle Saloon. I saw many people at the Full Throttle Saloon who are a part of the famous TV show Full Throttle Saloon, including Fajita Mike, the little person dressed as a leprechaun, and many of the gals from the TV show. Hell, Fajita Mike asked me to give him a hand getting up on the bar. I put my hand out so he could step onto my hand to get onto the bar. The son of a bitch got mud all over my hand, he is a big boy.
To be frank, tried as I might, I did not really have a good time that last night, because I knew I would be leaving the next day, and I did not want the rally the end.
When they announced last call at the Full Throttle Saloon at around 2 AM, I walked outside the door for the last time for this particular rally, jumped on my Harley-Davidson Electra glide, and rode to Glencoe across the street.
I first did my traditional parade up and down Perverts Row, but this time there was no action like there was throughout the entire rally. I doubled back and drove by the concert venue inside Glencoe. I went inside and it was dead, no one around. I knew the rally was over.
I went to my motorhome, and went to sleep the last time at the Sturgis 2013 motorcycle rally.
On the morning of August 11, 2013, my plan was to do my laundry, strike camp, and drive to Montana, so I could visit the Little Bighorn National Battlefield the next day. I figured that since most of the people had left the campground already, and the campground went from a full city packed full of motorhomes and tents, to just a few motorhomes left in the entire place, that it would be easy to do my laundry.
Unfortunately, many of the locals who worked at the campground apparently saved their laundry up for the last day as well. I had to wait for quite some time, but I was finally able to do my laundry before departing. While waiting for my laundry to finish, I listened to rock & roll, and sat outside and smoked a cigar thinking about how great the rally was, and watching the very few holdouts like me, slowly getting ready to leave.
It was depressing to see the campground so empty, and thinking that the rally was officially over.
After my laundry was finished, I went to the motorhome and proceeded to strike camp. I attached the Biker Bar to my motorcycle, rode my motorcycle up into the trailer, and clicked the Biker Bar in place. I locked the trailer, put everything away, and for a last act took my flagpole down.
There was something inside of me that just did not want to leave, but I knew I had to. There was a motorhome three spaces to the left of me who also did not want to go home. This guy had a couple naked girls walking around his motorhome, and unfortunately he was naked too. They looked like hippie types, and they looked like they were having a good time.
I decided to make myself lunch before departing. By the time I finally decided to get on the road, it was already 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
By my calculations, my drive to Montana would be about 2 to 3 hours, so it did not matter to me that I left so late.
I started up the motorhome, let it warm up, and drove out of the Glencoe campground thus ending the Sturgis 2013 Rally part of my trip.
As I was driving out of town, I saw a few hundred holdouts hanging at the local bars in and around Sturgis, as well as riding their motorcycles. But for all intents and purposes, Sturgis was a ghost town compared to during the rally. You could see all the vendors packing up, it really was depressing.
From Sturgis, I rode to Hardin, Montana, the Little Bighorn National Battlefield, Cody Wyoming, Yellowstone National Forest, Las Vegas, Nevada, and then finally home.
I got back home on August 16, 2013.
This article is about my trip to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, therefore I’m not going to discuss the other parts of my trip. I will say that by the time I decided to drive home, it was time to go home. I put a lot of miles on my motorcycle, and my motorhome, and this is one hell of a fantastic trip.
In my life as in many other men’s lives, I have had to experience many things alone. When I went to US Air Force basic training, I went alone. Sometimes, you just have to face things alone. I did this trip alone because it was something I had to do alone. Maybe next time, I won’t do this trip alone.
As I write this article, we are less than three months away from the 2014 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I am planning on bringing somebody with me to this year’s rally, but you never know if they’ll back out at the last minute. It is difficult for many people to take two weeks off for rally such as this. I will be at the Rally either way.
I have been to motorcycle rallies all of the country, there is no doubt that every biker and motorcyclists must experience the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally once in their lives.
It is a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, that I can assure you, you will never forget, and that you will want to repeat over and over again. I plan on going to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as many times as I possibly can for the rest of my life.
Here are some raw videos I took at the Sturgis 2014 Motorcycle Rally
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.
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.
You see I have never trailered any of my bikes ever, but when I planned my epic around the country motorhome trip, I needed a trailer so I could bring my motorcycle along.
I researched all different types of trailers. I looked at the Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag, the Kendon Trailers, Enclosed Trailers, and every type of trailer you can possibly imagine. I put a lot of time into finding the right trailer, at the right price.
I was almost set to pull the trigger on a used Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag, when I found the Trinity 3, from theusatrailerstore.com .
I contacted them through their website, they contacted me right back. The head guy gave me his phone number and I gave him a call. As it turns out, this company if located back east in the South, but they had a local distribution center right here in Southern California.
They offered me a brand new Trinity 3 for around $1,375, plus another $75 for a chrome spare tire. After all was said and done, this trailer looked a lot more beefier and safer for my new Electra Glide Ultra Classic than the Motorcycle in a bag, I told him I would come the next day to pick up the trailer.
At this time my motorhome was in the shop getting customized and I had nothing to pull the trailer with, so I rented a pickup truck for $75 plus tax so I could go pick up the trailer and pull it home.
When I went to pick up the trailer, it was literally brand new and just assembled at the distribution center. It was beautiful. To my surprise, the trailer folded up and could be stored upright like a Kendon, but it did not have the casters like the Kendon. This was ok with me since I was saving at least $2,000 right off the bat by getting this trailer.
This trailer was rated at 2,000 pounds, whereas the single Kendon was only rated at 1,000 pounds. My Electra Glide Ultra Classic is almost 1,000 pounds without rider or passenger.
This trailer also came with 3 Wheel Chocks. The owner even offered and shipped to me 3 lowered wheel chocks to accommodate the low fender on my Electra Glide.
The manufacturer says that you can fit 3 small bikes, 2 medium bikes, or 1 bagger on the trailer at the same time. All I cared about was my Electra Glide.
Another issue I had was that on my trip I would need to load and unload my motorcycle from the trailer by myself, and I wanted to be able to ride my motorcycle up onto the trailer, since it was going to be only me, and my now ex on the trip, and I knew she was not going to be able help me getting it on and off.
Like Kendon, the Trinity trailer comes with its own ramp that is secured to the bottom of the folding part of the trailer by wingnuts. However in looking at it, I knew I would need a larger ramp just to make sure I could load and unload my motorcycle onto the trailer.
The owner of theusatrailerstore.com told me that I should take off the rubber caps from the wheel axels and lube them every 5,000 miles, however, in extreme heat, I should lube them every 3,000 miles.
He showed me how to hook up the trailer and the safety cables, and the electrical and I was off.
I learned on my own that when backing up with a trailer if your trailer is going left you need to turn left to straighten it and visa versa. I learned that the speed limit in California for persons hauling trailers is 55.
The owner of theusatrailerstore.com told me to keep my speed down as much as possible.
When I first got home with the trailer, I backed it up my driveway, unhooked it, found a space for it in the garage, then lifted it so that it was upright and not taking up too much space in my garage. When the lowered wheel chocks arrived, I installed them by unbolting the original ones, and bolting on the new ones.
When it was time for my trip on July 16, 2012, I hooked up my beefy ramp to my new trailer and rode my motorcycle up onto the trailer. When my front tire engaged the wheel chock, the motorcycle was locked in place. I was now able to get off and strap my motorcycle down.
I did my research before the trip so I knew exactly what to do. I purchased some Kuryakyn tie down brackets and installed them onto my front forks where the front fairing mounts to the forks. They are custom made for Electra Glides and give you place on each side to strap you bike down with.
I strapped the back two straps onto each hard luggage bag guard.
I had previously purchased the most expensive and heavy duty straps I could find, hell I was driving around the country, not just across country, so I only wanted the best. I got the 440 lb. 2” wide by 6’ long Ratchet with snap hook kit. The kit also came with soft covers and soft loop straps. I paid around $100 for the whole kit which came in its own plastic case.
The first few times I strapped the motorcycle on and off of the trailer it took a while, but after my almost 2 month trip I became a pro and could do it real fast.
I had one major snafu in New Orleans when I was putting the motorcycle on the trailer. I was on a wet lawn, I had basic thongs on which become real slippery when wet. When I went to put the motorcycle on the trailer my thongs slipped and I dropped the bike halfway on the trailer and the ramp.
Thank god the bike did not fall off of the trailer or there would have been some real damage. After getting the motorcycle upright, I was shaken, but shocked to find literally no damage whatsoever on the motorcycle, the engine and luggage guards did their job.
The next few times putting the motorcycle on the trailers I was much more cautious.
The trailer did exactly what it was supposed to do with no problems whatsoever for over 8,600 miles on the trip. The tires held up, the trailer help up, no problem whatsoever.
The only real issues I had was because Camping World installed my new infrared back camera on the RV behind the stock Plexiglas housing, I became blind at night because the infrared reflected off of the Plexiglas.
This became a major problem on a couple of areas on the trip because there was no way to see my small trailer at night without the camera behind a 35 ft. motorhome. My ex and I had walkie talkies and did our best when we had to.
I used the trailer on a few other major trips to the Las Vegas Bikerfest, the Laughlin River Run, etc. The trailer gave me no problems whatsoever, and was solid.
I give the Trinity 3 trailer and solid 10 out of 10 and highly recommend it to anyone who has a need to tow up to three motorcycles, and has limited space. The trailer folds and can be stored upright so it can be put into a small place in the garage.
Let it be known that I was not compensated, comped or paid anything for my review of this trailer.
POSTSCRIPT – I recently sold my Trinity 3 trailer for $1250, because I decided to get an enclosed trailer for the upcoming Sturgis Motorcycle rally. So in the end I basically paid $200 for my trailer and got around 10,000 miles out of her.
I also sold my beefy motorcycle ramp for $150 since my new enclosed trailer has a ramp door on the back and I did not need it.
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.
The weather is warming up, it is April 2013, and it is time for that annual tradition that we all love otherwise known as Biker and Motorcycle Rallies.
On April 24-28th, the biggest motorcycle rally in the Western US will take place in Laughlin, Nevada. This rally is known at the Laughlin River Run.
There will be 1000’s of bikers there, and yes I will be there as well.
I myself am kind of tired of doing the same thing at motorcycle rallies. You know, riding to the rally, checking in to your hotel room, riding the local drags, walking around and looking at all of the people and vendors, and gawking at the debauchery.
This year I am going to mix it up a little Beginning with the Laughlin River Run.
This year I am going to take my motorhome to the rally, and trailer my bike behind. I will stay at an RV resort in Bullhead City right off of the Colorado River.
The beautiful thing about taking the RV is that it is like my home away from home. It is far more comfortable than a hotel room, all of my stuff is in it, and I do not have to fight a bunch of riff raff to get to my room.
The gas and such driving the RV along with the RV space rental will probably cost more than just getting a room at one of the local Casinos, but that is OK. At motorcycle rallies, most of the action happens at RV parks and camp grounds anyways.
Anyone who has gone to Laughlin knows that it is such a small place packed full of Casinos that it really gets old just hanging out at the Casinos and the vendors, even with the concerts and all the other stuff going on.
The Harley Davidson dealer in Kingman, AZ has a bunch of stuff going on. There is always stuff going on in Oatman as well.
My first day at the rally on the 24th, will consist of me setting up my RV at the campground, taking the motorcycle off of the trailer, and tolling around the local area. The next morning I will ride to the Grand Canyon bright and early. On Friday, I am going to rent a Seedoo and tool around on the Colorado River.
The rest of the time at the rally will be spent by me do the traditional Laughlin experience. It is going to be a blast.
This year I will going to many rallies including Sturgis, South Dakota.
I look forward to giving you photo and video reports during my travels.
Feel free to contact me if you plan on being at Laughlin. Who knows, maybe we can meet up.
Here it is March 13, 2013, and it has been a while since I posted my last article here on the Biker Law Blog.
I have moved to Huntington Beach, 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.
Yesterday, Sunday, January 13, 2013, I rode my motorcycle from Palmdale, CA to Huntington Beach, CA as the first part of my move to Huntington Beach, CA.
Since I am moving this Sunday, January 20, 2013 to Huntington Beach a distance of approximately 100 miles, and I have to drive my car on the day of the move, I had to ride my motorcycle to Huntington Beach in advance of the move because I would not be able to do it on moving day.
It has been freezing cold these past few days; there is some sort of artic cold front that has been coming through. Before daylight on January 13, 2013, temperatures were about 17 degrees where I live, and it supposedly felt like 3 degrees with the wind. Imagine how cold it would have been on the motorcycle.
I decided to not ride in the morning, but to wait until midafternoon to do the ride. It was still freezing cold, at least for a southern California guy like me.
When I got on the motorcycle, it was in the 40’s at my home, but quickly got down to the 30’s in Acton and Agua Dulce.
It was a great ride, but a freezing ride. My hands and feet quickly went almost numb. There was a very real danger of hypothermia.
While riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the 405 freeway south, past the Los Angeles International Airport, at around 70 miles per hour in the Diamond Lane, the car in front of me suddenly kicked up what appeared to be the remains of a hot tub or some sort of fiberglass tub.
I quickly grabbed my front brake, realized I was going too fast to avoid it, or to swerve away from it (there was no time), so I accelerated through it and held on tight.
The debris hit my motorcycle hard on the front fairing and the lower fairing which is attached to the right engine guard. Although traffic was going fast, there were a lot of cars around.
I shook my head in utter disbelief. I have been riding on the street on motorcycles since the age of 16 and I have never hit road debris which was this bad, ever.
As I type this I am having flashbacks of the incident. I realize now that I was riding too close to the car in front of me, violating one of my own rules. Had I kept a safer distance from the car in front of me, I would have had more time to react to the debris.
I was damm lucky that my front tire did not roll up on the debris and get stuck on it, which would have caused me to crash for sure. As a matter of fact there are many scenarios with the large amount of debris that was kicked up in front of me which could have caused me to crash. Had I locked my brakes up, or swerved to avoid it, I would have surely crashed.
Luckily, I was able to power through it.
Again, keep a safe distance from the car in front of you while riding your motorcycle, because on a motorcycle there are no second chances.
Although I am writing this article on December 19, 2012, I actually returned home from my epic around the nation RV trip on September 6, 2012. Being gone almost two months, driving approximately 8600 miles not including the hundreds of miles I rode on the motorcycle while on the trip, almost going over a cliff when we lost the brakes in the RV in Wyoming, etc., required a lot of my time when I got home. It was all worth it. This is the final article I will write about my epic trip. Later I will post pictures and videos from the trip.
When we left off, Liz and I were dry camped in Greybull, Wyoming waiting for the brakes to be fixed on my motorhome. My front bumper was destroyed in the accident, and the back bumper was cracked in two places when the trailer fishtailed into it.
The guys at the shop where we were camped out and who repaired the brakes on my RV were amongst the most reputable and nicest people I have ever dealt with. They could have totally screwed me and told me that I needed a $3,000 brake repair. Instead they told me that my rotors were good, that the pads were totally gone, and the fluid had completely boiled out of the system due to overheating, but that there were no leaks. The total repair bill was $600.00. Another interesting thing about being dry camped at the repair shop in Greybull was that our cell phone service did not work at all, nor did my internet Wi-Fi. We were basically totally out of touch with civilization while we were there.
The total time we were in Greybull Wyoming was approximately 2 nights and 3 days. It was a very small town full of great people. It is the kind of town where I could see myself setting up a cattle ranch someday.
We had a choice to make; should we just count our blessings and drive our damaged RV home or should we continue north to Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park? There really was no question, we had come this far and we were not turning around now; Cody, Wyoming would be our next stop on the way to Yellowstone.
We left Greybull, WY for Cody, WY in the afternoon. It was a cloudy day. The total drive from Greybull to Cody was around 54 miles. It was really good to be back on the road in our motorhome. You must understand, this was essentially our last week of vacation, and after the accident we had no clue whether we would have to leave our RV and all of our possessions in Greybull and rent a car to get home, or what would happen. We were geared up for a two month trip and you can carry lots of stuff in and underneath a Class A motorhome. Had the RV not been drivable there would have been no way to carry everything home in a rental car or even a rental van.
Being back on the road at this point felt fantastic.
When we got to Cody the first thing we did was go to Wal-Mart and get a throwaway cell phone that worked in the area because our carrier did not work in Wyoming. We called our relatives and I checked in with my office to let them know what had happened. Afterwards we stopped and got some Chinese buffet food.
Turns out Cody is a really cool western town, the gateway to Yellowstone. I really fell in love with Wyoming and its people.
We found a really cool RV park and camped out for the night with the intent of riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to Yellowstone in the morning.
In the morning we woke up and there were ominous clouds in the sky but it did not look like it was going to rain.
As soon as we got on the road just north of Cody, the clouds got much worse and the sky opened up. I was only wearing a soft flannel jacket, Liz had on a leather jacket, we both had jeans on, and of course, no rain gear. Plus it was damm cold. We decided that we were not going to stop now, Yellowstone, here we come.
It literally rained during the entire ride to Yellowstone from Cody, it was cold and it was miserable, but it was also one of the most beautiful rides I have ever taken. The grand mountains, the rocks, the sites all were too much to take in on one ride; however, I tried the best I could.
This is one ride that everyone must take at least once in their lives.
When we got to the gate of Yellowstone, I got off the motorcycle, paid the entrance fee, got back on, and rode into the park. It was very cold at this point, and we were soaking wet from head to toes, but nothing was going to stop us.
Yellowstone is much bigger than I expected, plus it is at a very high elevation. The riding in this park was excellent. The sites were breathtaking.
I am sure the ride in Yellowstone would have been much better if we were not soaking wet and freezing cold but hey, you cannot have everything.
While riding in the park there were several places where Buffalo roamed, literally, right on the road. All the cars stopped to observe. Hell they walked right next to us. On a motorcycle it is a bit different having huge Buffalo walking in front of you and next to you, than if you are in a car. Any one of these huge animals could have taken us out.
We rode the loop to one of the boiling water sites. Yellowstone itself sits atop the largest Caldera (volcano) in the world. If the volcano underneath it ever erupted it would take out much of our nation.
Yellowstone was a great ride. I will definitely go back to Cody, WY and Yellowstone soon.
The ride back to Cody was a cold and cloudy ride. The rain had stopped, but it was still cloudy. When we got near Cody it got dark and a bit warmer. We decided to cruise the main drag in Cody and find a place to eat, we chose an Italian place and had a good meal. After dinner we went back to the RV because we knew we would have a long ride the next day.
Upon waking up the next day, I put the motorcycle on the trailer and strapped her on, struck camp, and we were off.
After a month and a half, we were finally heading south towards our home in Southern California.
When we left Cody, we were not sure where we would spend the night. Usually on the trip we would look for RV resorts in several of the books we had with us or the GPS. We really were not sure how far we would drive.
I was nervous due to the fact that we had lost the brakes in the mountains, our RV was damaged, and I did not want a repeat performance of losing the brakes.
Sure enough we ended up driving through some major mountains on the ride south out of Wyoming. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful drive. The mountains were awesome. When we hit the Continental Divide, the mountains were awe inspiring.
After the Continental Divide, southern Wyoming turned out to be mostly a desert type of environment. It was a stark contrast to northern Wyoming.
It was basically open road with small towns sprinkled in vast distances.
We finally hit Utah in the late afternoon and continued driving south. We ended up in ski country by nightfall. Unfortunately, it became real dark, and we could not find any RV resorts anywhere nearby on any of our resources. We decided to try to find a Wal-Mart where we could park and dry camp for the evening.
We were both exhausted and very tired by this point. Hell I had been driving all day and well into the night. We had no luck finding any place to camp for the night so we kept on driving.
We finally found a Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City, UT to camp in for the night. When we got there our generator would not start and I had no clue why. We had to rough it for the night without TV, just on our battery power and internal water supply. I was so tired that I did not really care. We fell asleep almost immediately.
The next morning we stopped at a Denny’s for breakfast, and got on the road with our destination being Las Vegas, NV. This would be the last major stop before home.
The ride from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas was an excellent ride as well. I had no clue how cool the mountains north of Las Vegas were because I had never traveled this route before.
We found a great RV resort a block from the Las Vegas strip, but a few miles south of the main casinos on the strip. The normal rate there was $60-$80 a day, with my RV membership, we paid less than $30 per day.
We must have looked like ragamuffins when we pulled in. My RV was coated with bugs from an over 8,000 mile trip at this point, the front bumper was basically gone from our accident, the back bumper was cracked, and everything was dirty. All of the other RV’s looked new and pristine in the park. No problem, hell thinking about how far we had come was a mind trip in of itself.
The RV resort in Las Vegas was off the hook, every amenity you could possibly want. However, this was Las Vegas. We waxed the motorcycle to clean her up, got her off of the trailer and took off into town for a great evening. By this time Liz had become adept at helping me was the motorcycle, it was actually nice to have her help.
Our plan was to stay in Las Vegas for two nights, then head home.
The next day Liz and I rode to Hoover Dam. This was her first time there. It was as usual hotter than hell in Las Vegas and Boulder City. But it was OK.
Both Liz and I at this point did not want to go home. We both wanted to stay on the road forever. For both of us, going home would mean going back to work and responsibility. This had been the best and longest vacation of both of our lives, a trip that maybe less than 1% of all Americans would ever get to make.
The fact that we would head home the next day kind of made us both sad and excited. I must admit that I kind of missed just being in a house without having to drive!
On our last night in Las Vegas after the ride to Hoover Dam we had another good time. We both lost money in the casinos, and then we headed back to the RV Park knowing we were going home the next day.
The last day of our trip saw us waking up with a mission, to get home. I put the motorcycle on the trailer for the last time on this trip, strapped her up, struck camp, and we were off again.
I could tell Liz was not happy about having to go home, but since her aunt was house and dog sitting for us, and we were about 3 weeks over the time we were supposed to be gone, she knew we had to go home.
The ride home was a decent trip. Compared to the 8600 miles we had driven, the ride from Las Vegas to our home in Acton was nothing. A little 200 mile or so jaunt compared to where we had driven on the trip.
When we got home on the evening of September 6, 2012, and I walked in my home, I was shocked at how big it seemed compared to the RV which was our home for the last approx. two months. It took me a while to get used to it.
The epic two month 8600 mile trip we took around the circumference of the United States was probably a trip that can never really be repeated although I have every intention of doing it again. The gas alone was almost $10,000 for the RV.
The memories Liz and I shared during the trip will last for a lifetime. It was that kind of a trip, something you could write a book about.
Here it is December 20, 2012, and in a way I am still recovering from the trip.
Two weeks later Liz and I took the RV back to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Bikerfest and had a great time.
** This article was written on August 30, 2012, 2012, but it is being published on December 18, 2012. There will be one final article to be published soon about the rest of my epic vacation. There will also be a post of many videos from the vacation. Again, this article was written on August 30, 2012.
First off, before I get started, let me follow-up with my status on August 27, 2012.
Liz and I toured all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Sturgis, and Rapid City. We had a good time in South Dakota especially on the motorcycle. The Black Hills offer some great riding in what I consider to be intermediate twisties. I think the twisties we have where I live in the Angeles National Forest or in some places in the Santa Monica Mountains are much more difficult to ride than the Black Hills.
All in All though, the Black Hills are beautiful and I will be back next year.
We left South Dakota on August 29, 2012 for Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
When we reached the mountains off of US 14, I knew we were in for some exciting views. These are the steepest mountains I have taken my RV on since getting the RV. We went up to an altitude of 8,900 feet.
On the downside of the mountain, there was a sign showing a truck on a downgrade stating that it was for the next 17 miles. Another sign stated for trucks to switch into lower gears. I shifted into 2nd gear.
The downgrade was extreme. I pumped my brakes rather just holding them down. I cannot describe what it is like to try to slow down a very large 35’ RV with an Electra Glide and trailer in tow, on declines such as the one we were on. It was scary.
On the way down, we both heard a noise that we could not identify. Later on, I felt the brakes get a bit mushy but they still worked. We came to a visitor’s area where there were waterfalls and a viewing area. I told Liz that I was going to stop to check out the brakes.
It was around 6-6:30pm or so and starting to get a bit dark in the mountains. Since the sun was going down Liz did not want to stop or possible or get stuck in this desolate place. I told her we had to stop. I got the rig slowed down and turned right into the area, I downshifted to 1st gear to slow down more without using the brakes, when I pushed down on the brakes to stop, the pedal went to the floor and to my horror were gone. We were not slowing down and we were not stopping.
In my 49 years heretofore, I have driven or ridden many cars, trucks, motorcycles, you name it, nothing that I have driven or ridden has lost all brake power before, nothing.
Here I was heading for a sheer cliff straight ahead, literally a sheer cliff, and I had no brakes. I yelled to Liz that we had no brakes. I tried shifting the rig into park; it just made a click click sound but did not slow down.
I told Liz that we were going to crash.
I intentionally steered the rig sharply to the left so that we would hit the side of the road which were rocks rather than go off of the cliff. I could not believe that when I made the sharp turn to the left that we did not tip over on our side.
I told Liz to brace herself. Literally from the time I realized I had no brakes until the time we crashed was just a few seconds.
I noticed a white thing where we were headed, I steered to avoid it.
We jumped up onto a curb, crashed through a wood fence, and by the grace of god were finally stopped by two beefy barriers that the National Park Service has planted along the sides of the road.
After the initial impact we kept going until we hit these barriers. We did not stop right away.
After the impact we just sat there. I was freaked out about the damage to the rig, Liz said “Norman don’t worry, we are alive.”
Let me tell you, had I steered wrong or stayed on the road that day, I have no doubt we would no longer be here on this earth. What if I would have lost the brakes on the road? I would have gone 35-40 mph or faster right over the edge. If anyone has ridden the US 14 in Wyoming, you know what I mean.
Two days ago I lost my brakes on a severe downgrade on US 14 in the Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming. I had to intentionally crash my RV in order to get the rig stopped.
Thanks to the fine people of Greybull, Wyoming, we were towed off of the mountain into a KOA RV Park last night, and the same guy came this morning to pick up the rig to repair the brakes. The parts won’t be in until tomorrow, so the repair guy is allowing us to bunk down in the RV on his property.
I have fallen in love with Greybull, Wyoming and so has Liz. The town has about 1100 people who all seem to know each other. Went to dinner tonight and ended up meeting some of the town folk. I was invited to attend a shooting event on a private ranch. The people here leave their keys in the car, and will bend over backwards to help you.
I rode up to the crash site twice today, from Greybull, Wyoming east on US 14 up into Big Horn Forest, once by myself, once with Liz. This ride is the most beautiful and awe inspiring ride I’ve ever taken in my life. No words can describe the wide vistas, the ancient canyons, the trees, and the waterfalls. It was as if I was in the most beautiful place on earth on my Harley.
Getting back to the accident; had I not turned the way I did Liz and I would not be here. There was a sheer cliff in front of us when I lost the brakes. It was a scary experience. The RV sustained damage to the lower front where it hit, and the back where the trailer fish tailed. We are not injured. I was told that many RV’ers lose their brakes up here every month; live and learn. I lost my lower lights in the front and some fiberglass. It can be repaired.
If the parts come in tomorrow and the RV is otherwise safe to drive we will be heading to Cody, Wyoming, where I will set up camp. Saturday we will ride the Harley through Yellowstone from the east entrance. Until then….
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.
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
It 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.
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