Category Archives: Norman Gregory Fernandez Ride Reports

Articles, and ride reports related to rides, road trips, events, and other rides by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

A Video montage of Photos I took at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013

As you all know, I drove my RV alone from Huntington Beach, CA to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013, in Sturgis, SD from July 31, 2013 to August 16, 2013. I also drove to Custer, Montana, and to Cody and Yellowstone, WY.

This marked my first big trip since becoming a single man again.

Once at my destination, I rode my motorcycle over 1000 miles. Below is a video montage of the pictures I took at the Sturgis 2013 Motorcycle Rally. A couple of pics had to be edited to add pasties so Youtube would not delete the video. Look for my big write-up on the trip, and actual video footage taken from my various cameras to be published soon. Enjoy the video. Pictures were taken at Sturgis, SD, Full Throttle Saloon, Glencoe Campground, and all over the rally.

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California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, December 29, 2013

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A Ladies first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with his girlfriend Yvonne

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend Yvonne

Last weekend I took a friend Yvonne for her first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson. As a matter of fact she has never ridden on the back of a motorcycle before.

The lead up to the ride was classic. She was excited, and scared at the same time. We discussed the ride for a week before actually taking it.

I have been riding for so many years that I take it for granted that everyone knows how to ride or be a passenger on a motorcycle. So when Yvonne expressed her anxiety over riding as a passenger and the potential danger involved, I realized I would have to school her about everything.

I first told her about the gear she would need, i.e., leather jacket, jeans, boots, helmet and gloves. I told her she could gear up online, or go to a local Harley Davidson dealership if she wanted.

I went with her to look at a few things. She informed me that she had a jacket, and jeans, and that all she needed was a helmet.

I ordered her a Hawk modular helmet with the built in sun screen and clear visor, so that sunglasses would not be necessary on the ride, all she would have to do is flip the latch like a fighter pilot, and  the sun visor would go down.

I could tell she was scared and excited.

On the day set for the ride which was September 21, 2013, I arrived at her house in the afternoon. She had arranged with one of her girlfriends whose old man has a Harley, to meet us at Cook’s Corner in Orange County.

Due to my timing which was a bit late, her friend told her that we could meet up at a biker place in San Juan Capistrano instead of Cook’s Corner.

When I got to Yvonne’s home, her kids and across the street neighbor were all there to meet me, check out the motorcycle, and send Yvonne off on the ride.

It was great meeting everyone, but it delayed our ride for a bit as I answered questions about the motorcycle, etc. It distracted Yvonne as well, but what the hell, it was to be her first ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle and it was going to be fun.

Her gear was in fact not truly suited for motorcycles, it was more suited to high fashion. Her jacket looked like a leather motorcycle jacket, but it was in fact made of some other softer material. Her boots kind of looked like female motorcycle boots, but they were too thin for riding. She had those jeans that all the women are wearing that look like they have holes all over them. Hell when I was a kid, we made all our jeans look like that from playing, we did not pay for it, this is another story.

After I chastised her a bit about her motorcycle gear (it was all in good fun), I told her that next time she needed to gear up properly.

I then instructed her on how to get on and off the motorcycle, where to put her feet, telling her not to ever put her feet on the ground until I tell her it is okay, not to move her body around when the motorcycle is stopped, and to tap my shoulder if she needed to use the head, etc.

I then instructed her on her helmet. Since the Hawk Modular with two visors is an advanced DOT helmet compared to the fake brain bucket helmets out there, I took some time with her. I did not expect her to learn how to do everything with the helmet on the first shot, and she did not learn everything on the first shot.

It is me the rider of the motorcycle to ensure my passenger knows the rules and how to use everything.

She made a comment on the weight of the helmet. I told her she would get used to it. She did get used to it.

We finally took off on the motorcycle. I went slow on the streets of Coto de Caza where she lives. (This is the same place where all the “Real Housewives of Orange County” live.)

We then left the gated community and got on the street. I could tell she was nervous, hell it was her first time riding on the back of a motorcycle.

Shortly thereafter she relaxed a bit, but every time she got nervous she would give a little yell, or clench her legs tightly around me. I enjoyed the clenching the legs part J

We rode to San Juan Capistrano and had a good lunch. We then went over to this biker bar across the street, where I had an alcohol free O’Doul’s, and she had a cocktail.

Later we rode back to her place.

Towards the end of the ride I could tell that Yvonne was much more comfortable on the motorcycle. She was a quick learner, and she conceded that she needs to buy a new pair of boots and a real motorcycle jacket.

I think she enjoyed the ride.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Biker Lawyer; California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, © October 1, 2013

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I Will be on KCBS News Tonight (Changed to Thursday, 7/18/13, at 11pm

My Electra Glide

My Electra Glide

*** Due to the news being preempted by Travon Martin rioters last night, this news piece will now be aired on Thursday, 7/18/13 at 11pm.

Hello Biker Law Blog readers. I will be on KCBS News on Channel 2 tonight at 11pm. They did a motorcycle related piece featuring me that will be airing tonight.  Hopefully they made me look good.  :)

See you all on TV?

 

Norman Gregory Fernandez,  Esq. – A Real Biker – A Real Lawyer

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Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade, 2013

Huntington Beach Independence Day Parade, 2013

Huntington Beach Independence Day Parade, 2013

I woke up today after playing ping pong for hours last night at my law partner’s house in Laguna. I went out onto my master suite patio and had a cigar. I watched as the participants in the Huntington Beach Independence day parade, got ready to start the parade on my street. Yes, my street was closed for the parade.

Once finished with the cigar, I threw my new Sony hand held camera into my backpack, saddled up on my Schwinn bicycle and rode into the fray.

There was hundreds of thousands of folks lining the parade route on Main Street. I am sure there were more all along the parade route that I did not see.

I rode my bicycle up and down Main Street a few times. It was kind of tough with all the people walking, and little kids on bikes not knowing road rules, but I had a great time. I even got videos holding the camera in my left hand while I pedaled and held the handlebars with my right hand.

You can see two of the raw videos I took below.

Have a happy Independence Day.

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California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney, Norman Gregory Fernandez, July 4, 2013

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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 little motorcycle ride from Irvine, CA to Huntington Beach, CA

This little video shows me riding from Irvine, CA to Huntington Beach, CA by way of Pacific Coast Highway. I ride this way home every day. I go from Irvine, to Newport Beach, to Huntington Beach.

Notice the cigar :) The video cuts off just as I turn from PCH to Main Street. For those of you in sweltering heat, notice the nice cloud cover in the late afternoon at the beach.

This video also shows me doing some old fashioned California Lane Splitting on PCH.

Enjoy.

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By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 27, 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 Big 50

Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez pumping iron

Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, March, 2013

Well today is my 50th birthday, and man has it gone by real fast. It seems like the years are just zooming by now.

I understand why many moons ago someone told me that life is too short, because it is. You blink and you are now 50 years old.

Unfortunately today finds me with a terrible sore throat, but I will make the most of it.

I have been reflecting on my life over the past week, in anticipation of my birthday today, and man o’ man, I could write a book about all of the stuff I have been through over the past 50 years. Maybe I will if I can find the time.

Many of the friends I grew up with and went to High School with are no longer with us on this earth. It is amazing how fragile life is, and yet how omnipresent it is.

Many in my generation never thought that we would make 30 let alone 50, I am no different.

I remember being 18 years old in the Air Force thinking I knew all. When I met someone who was 30 when I was in my 20’s I thought they were old. When I met someone in their 40’s when I was in my 30’s I thought that they were old. Hell, now that I am 50, I know what younger people must think and it pisses me off :} This too shall pass.

I am proud and grateful to god to have made it this far in my life. I hope I have many more years to come.

My 50th birthday finds me single, and ready for a great future.

I am looking forward to traveling again this summer. I will be going to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and many other events this summer.

I look forward to sharing my journey with all of you.

By California Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 20, 2013

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The Laughlin River Run 2013, a Good Time for Most

Oatman, AZ on the last day of the Laughlin River Run 2013

Oatman, AZ on the last day of the Laughlin River Run 2013

I attended the Laughlin River Run 2013 this year as I do most years. The Laughlin River Run is billed as the largest motorcycle and biker rally on the west coast.

This year’s motorcycle rally was different than most past years rallies because the turnout appeared to be smaller than past years rallies, motorcycle club patches and soft cuts were not allowed anywhere near the strip, and there were a gaggle of what I call fake biker lawyers with booths set up at the event just waiting and hoping for those in attendance to refer their motorcycle accident cases to them.

I had for the most part a great time at the event. This was the second major motorcycle rally I have attended in many years, where I drove my motorhome to the motorcycle rally and trailered my motorcycle behind on a motorcycle trailer.

In the past when I rode to motorcycle rallies like this, I basically just rode my motorcycle to the event.

I will tell you that I have learned a valuable lesson in why it is better to take an RV and trailer the motorcycle to major motorcycle rallies. I no longer have to pay $200 a night for hotel rooms and hotels that just wait to poach money off of bikers, I put more miles on my motorcycle at the event than I ever have in the past, and there is much more fun happening at the RV parks than the hotels! I no longer have to worry about squeezing a weeks’ worth of toiletries and clothes onto my motorcycle; it all goes into my RV now.

This year I arrived at my RV Park in Bullhead City, AZ on May 24th, 2013 and proceeded to set up camp. I put up my Star Spangled Banner, California Republic, and POW/MIA flag above my RV, took the motorcycle off of the trailer, unrolled the awning, and we were ready to rock and roll.

The first thing I saw when I rode my motorcycle to the strip which was just across the river from Laughlin, NV, was an electronic sign stating that no this was a no MC Colors event, soft cuts not allowed, and bait motorcycles were being used to catch thieves.

I do not mind going after motorcycle thieves but I certainly did not like the fact that a major event such as this managed to ban all motorcycle patches from the strip. I think it is a violation of the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech.

Notwithstanding the affront to motorcycle club members, this year’s event was a great time. There were plenty of fine looking ladies all over. Obviously there were guys for all the gals as well. There was the usual full line up of good bands and plenty of booze all over the place.

Those that know me know that I do not drink alcohol or use drugs. I would rather ride than sit around watching a bunch of bikers get shit faced at the bar.

Ride is exactly what I did throughout the entire event. I put on almost 1000 miles during the 6 days I ended up staying in Laughlin/Bullhead City. I found a road that is off the beaten track near Oatman, AZ called the scenic byway. My companion and I literally owned this road on Sunday. You are basically in the middle of the desert with no contact to the outside world for many miles. It was a great and hot ride.

During the ride in the desert I kept thinking I hope nothing happens to my motorcycle because here I would be up shit’s creek without a paddle. I opted to take a more populated route back to the RV on the way home since it was getting dark.

I managed to win over $70 dollars as well on this trip where ordinarily I always lose at the casinos.

On a down note one of my friends was arrested on Friday night /Saturday morning for Disorderly Conduct and another charge. They were transported from Bullhead City to Kingman, AZ to the county jail there. There was a weekend judge on duty. Suffice is to say I got almost no sleep on Friday night / Saturday morning, and I had to go bail them out on Saturday afternoon and give them a ride back to Bullhead City. Saturday night was spend crashed out in my RV recovering from helping my friend out.

Aside from bailing my friend out and losing Saturday night, I had a good time this year at the Laughlin River Run Motorcycle and Biker Rally. I will be going to many rallies this summer including Sturgis, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.

See you on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 1, 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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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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