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Norm’s Tidbits August 13, 2013

Norm's TidbitsThe Sturgis 2013 motorcycle rally was a blast. I left for the rally on August 1, 2013, got there on August 2, 2013, and stayed until August 11, 2013. When I get home I will write an extensive article about the rally, plus I will post videos and many pictures.

On August 11, 2013, I departed Sturgis for Hardin, Montana and The Little Bighorn National Battlefield Memorial. I spent the entire day of August 12, 2013 touring, photographing, and videotaping the extensive battlefield on foot and on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide. When I get home I will write an extensive article about that as well.

Today on August 13, 2013, I departed Hardin, Montana for Cody, Wyoming where I now find myself camped and ready to ride Yellowstone and the Bighorn National Forest starting tomorrow. As usual I will get some good pictures and video and write a separate article about that when I return as well. I enjoyed Greybull and Cody Wyoming so much from last year that I had to return this year to do it again.

Also look for an upcoming review of the Biker Bar Strapless Towing system.

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., August 13, 2013

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The birth of a Custom Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer Part 1

My Stock Carry-All 12''x6'x7' cargo trailer before custominzation

My Stock Carry-All cargo trailer before customization

As part of my thousands of miles of travel each year to various motorcycle rallies all over the nation, I have come to the conclusion that for motorcycle rallies of great distance up to and including 1000 miles or more each way, it is not practical to ride my motorcycle to every event.

I used to be one of those hard core bikers who laughed at “the trailer queens” trailering their motorcycles to rallies. Hell I was so hardcore that I only put on a Windscreen on my motorcycles in the past 10 years.

I remember the good old days of doing 90mph in the deserts of Arizona with the temperature at 120, no helmet on, no windscreen on, holding on for dear life. I have ridden with hundreds and probably thousands of people over the years, who can attest to this.

Well at this point in my life, especially since I acquired a Class A Motorhome, I have decided to join the ranks of those who go for comfort and fun when traveling to motorcycle rallies that are a long distance away.

My custom cargo trailer at the storage yard before customization

My custom cargo trailer at the storage yard before customization

I have come to the conclusion that many people tow their motorcycles for one reason or another, and it is okay. You will notice many bikers and motorcyclists at the rallies with their RV’s.

Furthermore, my law firm, The Moy & Fernandez Law Group, Real Bikers – Real Lawyers, has had enough of watching other so-called marketing outfits holding themselves out as real biker lawyers at the rallies, while I just sit by and complain.

I have decided that my firm will also have booths at the rallies. However, instead of being a marketing outfit, we are the real deal. We will prove it at our booth. Let’s see the other guys do that. Anyway……..

Along these lines, I have acquired a 6 foot wide, by 12 foot long, by 7 foot high, brand new enclosed cargo trailer from Carry-All.

My plan is to customize it to not only trailer my motorcycle to events behind my RV, but to make it in to a bad ass trailer that will carry my law firm booth stuff, for when we start appearing at events next year.

The inside of my cargo trailer at the shop, before customization

The inside of my cargo trailer at the shop, before customization

You can see the before pictures here in this article.

The phase 1 plan is to surface sand the floor, add a couple of coats of urethane to weather proof the floor, install a 2 by 10 strip of diamond plate metal in the middle for motorcycle traction, install a Biker Bar strapless motorcycle fastening system in the middle, along with a front wheel chock, and to install a wireless camera in the back of the trailer, since with my 35 foot RV, I won’t be able to see squat behind me at 50 feet away. A wireless receiver will also have to be powered and hooked up to my camera monitor in the RV which already has 3 cameras attached to it.

The phase 2 plan is to add a few cabinets, racks, and storage items within the trailer for all my motorcycle cleaning stuff, extra oil, helmets, and motorcycle gear. I am also going to acquire a spare tire.

The phase 3 plan will begin on July 23, 2013, with Monster Graphics of Huntington Beach wrapping the entire trailer with a custom Vinyl advertisement for my law firm. I will unveil it on here first. I will give you a little hint, there are some hot babes on it!

My cargo trailer at the shop before customization

My cargo trailer at the shop before customization

The trailer will be ready for its first big road trip on July 30, 2013, when I travel 1500 miles to Sturgis one way.

I will review all the items being installed into the trailer including the trailer itself in future articles.

I hope my journey helps you to acquire and customize your own motorcycle trailer.

One curious note about the customization so far, the shop that is doing the work is so worried that the Biker Bar strapless trailering system will not work, they made me sign a waiver in case any damage happens to the motorcycle while using the Biker Bar strapless motorcycle trailering system.

I am going to do a full write up on the Biker Bar strapless system, once I have a chance to test it out, but I have all confidence it will work as promised. If I see any reason for concern, I will reinforce the trailer floor. The instructions say for a 3/4″ wood floor, it is all that is necessary.

I am going to have 3/4″, plus diamond plate. Hell, worst case scenario, I will use straps as well. The trailer has 4 recessed D-Rings for strapping if necessary.

We will see!

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © July 9, 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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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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Getting settled in to the O.C. lifestyle.

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

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

Here it is March 13, 2013, and it has been a while since I posted my last article here on the Biker Law Blog.

I have moved to Huntington Beach, and my new law firm “The Moy & Fernandez Law Group,” is fully operational.

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

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

We handle the entire State of California. We welcome all of our new and existing clients to the new law firm. We look forward to kicking ass for you on your cases.

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

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

I think we have what most would call one of the most high tech law firms in the nation. The technology we have employed at our firm is mind blowing.

I am a Southern California native, but I have lived in many places during my life. I would say that the move to Orange County for me will be permanent, in that I cannot see living anywhere else.

I love Huntington Beach. I have taken up walking on the pier each night around sunset, the people are great, the lifestyle is fantastic, and the motorcycle riding is good as well.

When I was younger, I used to surf. As a matter of fact, as a teenager I lived at the beach. I learned to surf at Topanga, my home beach was Zuma. Back then, the wave break was much different at Zuma and Point Dume, then it is now.

Believe it or not, I just bought a brand new 9’ Greco Longboard surfboard. It will be delivered this Friday. I got a new full wetsuit to go along with it. Hell, at 49 who says you are too old to start surfing again. I figure a longboard, will help me to ease back into it, and on those days with a small surf, I will be catching waves while the guys on short boards will be watching me ride. I figure if I start surfing each morning at 5am, I can still get to the office easily by 9am.

I wonder if they make a surfboard rack for a Harley Davidson. Once I get used to surfing again, I will have a custom Harley Davidson themed surfboard made for me.

So there it is. As you can imagine, I am swamped with work right now. As I type this article, I have spent the last 4 days out of 5 days in Court. I am still at the office catching up. Nonetheless I wanted to let you all know what is going on.

Looking forward to the Laughlin Biker Rally coming up next month. This will first year I take “Bessie,” my motorhome, (the same one I rode around the country with) to a major motorcycle rally this year.

I hope you are all well.

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

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Had a close call on the freeway with road debris yesterday

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

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

Yesterday, Sunday, January 13, 2013, I rode my motorcycle from Palmdale, CA to Huntington Beach, CA as the first part of my move to Huntington Beach, CA.

Since I am moving this Sunday, January 20, 2013 to Huntington Beach a distance of approximately 100 miles, and I have to drive my car on the day of the move, I had to ride my motorcycle to Huntington Beach in advance of the move because I would not be able to do it on moving day.

It has been freezing cold these past few days; there is some sort of artic cold front that has been coming through. Before daylight on January 13, 2013, temperatures were about 17 degrees where I live, and it supposedly felt like 3 degrees with the wind. Imagine how cold it would have been on the motorcycle.

I decided to not ride in the morning, but to wait until midafternoon to do the ride. It was still freezing cold, at least for a southern California guy like me.

When I got on the motorcycle, it was in the 40’s at my home, but quickly got down to the 30’s in Acton and Agua Dulce.

It was a great ride, but a freezing ride. My hands and feet quickly went almost numb. There was a very real danger of hypothermia.

While riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the 405 freeway south, past the Los Angeles International Airport, at around 70 miles per hour in the Diamond Lane, the car in front of me suddenly kicked up what appeared to be the remains of a hot tub or some sort of fiberglass tub.

I quickly grabbed my front brake, realized I was going too fast to avoid it, or to swerve away from it (there was no time), so I accelerated through it and held on tight.

The debris hit my motorcycle hard on the front fairing and the lower fairing which is attached to the right engine guard. Although traffic was going fast, there were a lot of cars around.

I shook my head in utter disbelief. I have been riding on the street on motorcycles since the age of 16 and I have never hit road debris which was this bad, ever.

As I type this I am having flashbacks of the incident. I realize now that I was riding too close to the car in front of me, violating one of my own rules. Had I kept a safer distance from the car in front of me, I would have had more time to react to the debris.

I was damm lucky that my front tire did not roll up on the debris and get stuck on it, which would have caused me to crash for sure. As a matter of fact there are many scenarios with the large amount of debris that was kicked up in front of me which could have caused me to crash. Had I locked my brakes up, or swerved to avoid it, I would have surely crashed.

Luckily, I was able to power through it.

Again, keep a safe distance from the car in front of you while riding your motorcycle, because on a motorcycle there are no second chances.

I need to listen to and follow my own rule!

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

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

Hoover Dam, NV

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

Although I am writing this article on December 19, 2012, I actually returned home from my epic around the nation RV trip on September 6, 2012. Being gone almost two months, driving approximately 8600 miles not including the hundreds of miles I rode on the motorcycle while on the trip, almost going over a cliff when we lost the brakes in the RV in Wyoming, etc., required a lot of my time when I got home. It was all worth it. This is the final article I will write about my epic trip. Later I will post pictures and videos from the trip.

When we left off, Liz and I were dry camped in Greybull, Wyoming waiting for the brakes to be fixed on my motorhome. My front bumper was destroyed in the accident, and the back bumper was cracked in two places when the trailer fishtailed into it.

The guys at the shop where we were camped out and who repaired the brakes on my RV were amongst the most reputable and nicest people I have ever dealt with. They could have totally screwed me and told me that I needed a $3,000 brake repair. Instead they told me that my rotors were good, that the pads were totally gone, and the fluid had completely boiled out of the system due to overheating, but that there were no leaks. The total repair bill was $600.00. Another interesting thing about being dry camped at the repair shop in Greybull was that our cell phone service did not work at all, nor did my internet Wi-Fi. We were basically totally out of touch with civilization while we were there.

The total time we were in Greybull Wyoming was approximately 2 nights and 3 days. It was a very small town full of great people. It is the kind of town where I could see myself setting up a cattle ranch someday.

We had a choice to make; should we just count our blessings and drive our damaged RV home or should we continue north to Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park? There really was no question, we had come this far and we were not turning around now; Cody, Wyoming would be our next stop on the way to Yellowstone.

We left Greybull, WY for Cody, WY in the afternoon. It was a cloudy day. The total drive from Greybull to Cody was around 54 miles. It was really good to be back on the road in our motorhome. You must understand, this was essentially our last week of vacation, and after the accident we had no clue whether we would have to leave our RV and all of our possessions in Greybull and rent a car to get home, or what would happen. We were geared up for a two month trip and you can carry lots of stuff in and underneath a Class A motorhome. Had the RV not been drivable there would have been no way to carry everything home in a rental car or even a rental van.

Being back on the road at this point felt fantastic.

When we got to Cody the first thing we did was go to Wal-Mart and get a throwaway cell phone that worked in the area because our carrier did not work in Wyoming. We called our relatives and I checked in with my office to let them know what had happened. Afterwards we stopped and got some Chinese buffet food.

Turns out Cody is a really cool western town, the gateway to Yellowstone. I really fell in love with Wyoming and its people.

We found a really cool RV park and camped out for the night with the intent of riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to Yellowstone in the morning.

In the morning we woke up and there were ominous clouds in the sky but it did not look like it was going to rain.

As soon as we got on the road just north of Cody, the clouds got much worse and the sky opened up. I was only wearing a soft flannel jacket, Liz had on a leather jacket, we both had jeans on, and of course, no rain gear. Plus it was damm cold. We decided that we were not going to stop now, Yellowstone, here we come.

It literally rained during the entire ride to Yellowstone from Cody, it was cold and it was miserable, but it was also one of the most beautiful rides I have ever taken. The grand mountains, the rocks, the sites all were too much to take in on one ride; however, I tried the best I could.

This is one ride that everyone must take at least once in their lives.

When we got to the gate of Yellowstone, I got off the motorcycle, paid the entrance fee, got back on, and rode into the park. It was very cold at this point, and we were soaking wet from head to toes, but nothing was going to stop us.
Yellowstone is much bigger than I expected, plus it is at a very high elevation. The riding in this park was excellent. The sites were breathtaking.

I am sure the ride in Yellowstone would have been much better if we were not soaking wet and freezing cold but hey, you cannot have everything.

While riding in the park there were several places where Buffalo roamed, literally, right on the road. All the cars stopped to observe. Hell they walked right next to us. On a motorcycle it is a bit different having huge Buffalo walking in front of you and next to you, than if you are in a car. Any one of these huge animals could have taken us out.

We rode the loop to one of the boiling water sites. Yellowstone itself sits atop the largest Caldera (volcano) in the world. If the volcano underneath it ever erupted it would take out much of our nation.

Yellowstone was a great ride. I will definitely go back to Cody, WY and Yellowstone soon.

The ride back to Cody was a cold and cloudy ride. The rain had stopped, but it was still cloudy. When we got near Cody it got dark and a bit warmer. We decided to cruise the main drag in Cody and find a place to eat, we chose an Italian place and had a good meal. After dinner we went back to the RV because we knew we would have a long ride the next day.

Upon waking up the next day, I put the motorcycle on the trailer and strapped her on, struck camp, and we were off.
After a month and a half, we were finally heading south towards our home in Southern California.

When we left Cody, we were not sure where we would spend the night. Usually on the trip we would look for RV resorts in several of the books we had with us or the GPS. We really were not sure how far we would drive.

I was nervous due to the fact that we had lost the brakes in the mountains, our RV was damaged, and I did not want a repeat performance of losing the brakes.

Sure enough we ended up driving through some major mountains on the ride south out of Wyoming. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful drive. The mountains were awesome. When we hit the Continental Divide, the mountains were awe inspiring.

After the Continental Divide, southern Wyoming turned out to be mostly a desert type of environment. It was a stark contrast to northern Wyoming.

It was basically open road with small towns sprinkled in vast distances.

We finally hit Utah in the late afternoon and continued driving south. We ended up in ski country by nightfall. Unfortunately, it became real dark, and we could not find any RV resorts anywhere nearby on any of our resources. We decided to try to find a Wal-Mart where we could park and dry camp for the evening.

We were both exhausted and very tired by this point. Hell I had been driving all day and well into the night. We had no luck finding any place to camp for the night so we kept on driving.

We finally found a Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City, UT to camp in for the night. When we got there our generator would not start and I had no clue why. We had to rough it for the night without TV, just on our battery power and internal water supply. I was so tired that I did not really care. We fell asleep almost immediately.

The next morning we stopped at a Denny’s for breakfast, and got on the road with our destination being Las Vegas, NV. This would be the last major stop before home.

The ride from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas was an excellent ride as well. I had no clue how cool the mountains north of Las Vegas were because I had never traveled this route before.

We found a great RV resort a block from the Las Vegas strip, but a few miles south of the main casinos on the strip. The normal rate there was $60-$80 a day, with my RV membership, we paid less than $30 per day.

We must have looked like ragamuffins when we pulled in. My RV was coated with bugs from an over 8,000 mile trip at this point, the front bumper was basically gone from our accident, the back bumper was cracked, and everything was dirty. All of the other RV’s looked new and pristine in the park. No problem, hell thinking about how far we had come was a mind trip in of itself.

The RV resort in Las Vegas was off the hook, every amenity you could possibly want. However, this was Las Vegas. We waxed the motorcycle to clean her up, got her off of the trailer and took off into town for a great evening. By this time Liz had become adept at helping me was the motorcycle, it was actually nice to have her help.

Our plan was to stay in Las Vegas for two nights, then head home.

The next day Liz and I rode to Hoover Dam. This was her first time there. It was as usual hotter than hell in Las Vegas and Boulder City. But it was OK.

Both Liz and I at this point did not want to go home. We both wanted to stay on the road forever. For both of us, going home would mean going back to work and responsibility. This had been the best and longest vacation of both of our lives, a trip that maybe less than 1% of all Americans would ever get to make.

The fact that we would head home the next day kind of made us both sad and excited. I must admit that I kind of missed just being in a house without having to drive!

On our last night in Las Vegas after the ride to Hoover Dam we had another good time. We both lost money in the casinos, and then we headed back to the RV Park knowing we were going home the next day.

The last day of our trip saw us waking up with a mission, to get home. I put the motorcycle on the trailer for the last time on this trip, strapped her up, struck camp, and we were off again.

I could tell Liz was not happy about having to go home, but since her aunt was house and dog sitting for us, and we were about 3 weeks over the time we were supposed to be gone, she knew we had to go home.

The ride home was a decent trip. Compared to the 8600 miles we had driven, the ride from Las Vegas to our home in Acton was nothing. A little 200 mile or so jaunt compared to where we had driven on the trip.

When we got home on the evening of September 6, 2012, and I walked in my home, I was shocked at how big it seemed compared to the RV which was our home for the last approx. two months. It took me a while to get used to it.

The epic two month 8600 mile trip we took around the circumference of the United States was probably a trip that can never really be repeated although I have every intention of doing it again. The gas alone was almost $10,000 for the RV.

The memories Liz and I shared during the trip will last for a lifetime. It was that kind of a trip, something you could write a book about.

Here it is December 20, 2012, and in a way I am still recovering from the trip.

Two weeks later Liz and I took the RV back to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Bikerfest and had a great time.

I wonder who my next trip will be with.

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

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We almost died in Big Horn National Forest

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

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

** This article was written on August 30, 2012, 2012, but it is being published on December 18, 2012. There will be one final article to be published soon about the rest of my epic vacation. There will also be a post of many videos from the vacation. Again, this article was written on August 30, 2012.

First off, before I get started, let me follow-up with my status on August 27, 2012.

Liz and I toured all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Sturgis, and Rapid City. We had a good time in South Dakota especially on the motorcycle. The Black Hills offer some great riding in what I consider to be intermediate twisties. I think the twisties we have where I live in the Angeles National Forest or in some places in the Santa Monica Mountains are much more difficult to ride than the Black Hills.

All in All though, the Black Hills are beautiful and I will be back next year.

We left South Dakota on August 29, 2012 for Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

When we reached the mountains off of US 14, I knew we were in for some exciting views. These are the steepest mountains I have taken my RV on since getting the RV. We went up to an altitude of 8,900 feet.

The trailer after my RV accident.

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

On the downside of the mountain, there was a sign showing a truck on a downgrade stating that it was for the next 17 miles. Another sign stated for trucks to switch into lower gears. I shifted into 2nd gear.

The downgrade was extreme. I pumped my brakes rather just holding them down. I cannot describe what it is like to try to slow down a very large 35’ RV with an Electra Glide and trailer in tow, on declines such as the one we were on. It was scary.

On the way down, we both heard a noise that we could not identify. Later on, I felt the brakes get a bit mushy but they still worked. We came to a visitor’s area where there were waterfalls and a viewing area. I told Liz that I was going to stop to check out the brakes.

It was around 6-6:30pm or so and starting to get a bit dark in the mountains. Since the sun was going down Liz did not want to stop or possible or get stuck in this desolate place. I told her we had to stop. I got the rig slowed down and turned right into the area, I downshifted to 1st gear to slow down more without using the brakes, when I pushed down on the brakes to stop, the pedal went to the floor and to my horror were gone. We were not slowing down and we were not stopping.

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

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

In my 49 years heretofore, I have driven or ridden many cars, trucks, motorcycles, you name it, nothing that I have driven or ridden has lost all brake power before, nothing.

Here I was heading for a sheer cliff straight ahead, literally a sheer cliff, and I had no brakes. I yelled to Liz that we had no brakes. I tried shifting the rig into park; it just made a click click sound but did not slow down.

I told Liz that we were going to crash.

I intentionally steered the rig sharply to the left so that we would hit the side of the road which were rocks rather than go off of the cliff. I could not believe that when I made the sharp turn to the left that we did not tip over on our side.

I told Liz to brace herself. Literally from the time I realized I had no brakes until the time we crashed was just a few seconds.

I noticed a white thing where we were headed, I steered to avoid it.

We jumped up onto a curb, crashed through a wood fence, and by the grace of god were finally stopped by two beefy barriers that the National Park Service has planted along the sides of the road.

After the initial impact we kept going until we hit these barriers. We did not stop right away.

After the impact we just sat there. I was freaked out about the damage to the rig, Liz said “Norman don’t worry, we are alive.”

Let me tell you, had I steered wrong or stayed on the road that day, I have no doubt we would no longer be here on this earth. What if I would have lost the brakes on the road? I would have gone 35-40 mph or faster right over the edge. If anyone has ridden the US 14 in Wyoming, you know what I mean.

Two days ago I lost my brakes on a severe downgrade on US 14 in the Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming. I had to intentionally crash my RV in order to get the rig stopped.

The front bumper on my RV after the accident

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

Thanks to the fine people of Greybull, Wyoming, we were towed off of the mountain into a KOA RV Park last night, and the same guy came this morning to pick up the rig to repair the brakes. The parts won’t be in until tomorrow, so the repair guy is allowing us to bunk down in the RV on his property.

I have fallen in love with Greybull, Wyoming and so has Liz. The town has about 1100 people who all seem to know each other. Went to dinner tonight and ended up meeting some of the town folk. I was invited to attend a shooting event on a private ranch. The people here leave their keys in the car, and will bend over backwards to help you.

I rode up to the crash site twice today, from Greybull, Wyoming east on US 14 up into Big Horn Forest, once by myself, once with Liz. This ride is the most beautiful and awe inspiring ride I’ve ever taken in my life. No words can describe the wide vistas, the ancient canyons, the trees, and the waterfalls. It was as if I was in the most beautiful place on earth on my Harley.

Getting back to the accident; had I not turned the way I did Liz and I would not be here. There was a sheer cliff in front of us when I lost the brakes. It was a scary experience. The RV sustained damage to the lower front where it hit, and the back where the trailer fish tailed. We are not injured. I was told that many RV’ers lose their brakes up here every month; live and learn. I lost my lower lights in the front and some fiberglass. It can be repaired.

If the parts come in tomorrow and the RV is otherwise safe to drive we will be heading to Cody, Wyoming, where I will set up camp. Saturday we will ride the Harley through Yellowstone from the east entrance. Until then….

By California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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In the Black Hills of South Dakota for a few days

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota

We arrived a few hours ago in our home for the next few days and nights, an excellent RV resort in Deadwood, South Dakota, within the Black Hills. We are about 12 miles from Sturgis, South Dakota and about an hour away from Mount Rushmore.

Deadwood is a happening town when the Sturgis motorcycle rally is not happening. There are many casinos and bars and an actual nightlife. It is a historic place high in the Black Hills, whereas Sturgis is a small town except during the rally.

The Black Hills happen to be the oldest mountains on the North American Continent.

My last update had us staying at an RV park in Illinois. Last night we spent the night in what was basically a muddy mess in Minnesota.

Since my last update we have driven through or stayed in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

All of the States we have driven through have been beautiful.

South Dakota is probably the most desolate state by far with respect to places to stop, traffic, etc. It is truly a plains state. We went through hundreds of miles of corn fields before South Dakota. Once in South Dakota it switched to endless grasslands. To be frank South Dakota reminds me of the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a way, but it is still unique.

The Sturgis motorcycle rally was August 6 – 12, 2012 this year. The rally ended two weeks ago. It is amazing to me that there are still a bunch of die-hard bikers here. I saw many bikers on I-90 as I was driving in.

I guess I will still have much fun riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide amongst other bikers while I am here.

Tomorrow before I do anything, I will have to wash my motorcycle in place on the trailer before taking her off. She picked up a thick coat of white paste in Iowa, and rinsing it with water, nor rain in Iowa and Minnesota did not wash it off. So I will be delayed for at least an hour washing her. Once she is washed I will be off.

I plan on getting GoPro helmet footage of my ride as well as standard HD footage when stopped. I will post it on the blog when I get home.

That is it for now. Time to relax; it was a long 500 mile plus drive in the RV today.

By California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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The Great American Corn Belt

Indiana Countryside

Yesterday, August 23, 2012 and today, August 24, 2012 found me cruising my RV through and camping in Indiana and Illinois. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful these States are.

First off, all of the states I have driven through since New Jersey have toll turnpikes which are basically freeways that you have to pay to have the privilege to drive on.

I decided that I do not like paying these tolls for my RV and motorcycle trailer since I am sometimes having to pay 75% more than a car. It is not that I cannot afford the tolls; it is that I think they are bullshit. Therefore, I set my GPS to avoid the toll roads.

Avoiding the toll roads is the best thing I have done on this trip. The reason being is that instead of driving on freeways, I am not driving on state highways off the beaten track.

In Indiana we drove all day through the most beautiful farm and tree laced land you could imagine. The landscape was like in a movie. We stayed in an excellent RV park right smack dab next to a huge corn field.

When I went outside just at sunset, all I could see for miles around was corn. I would love to live in a place such as this. I enjoyed an O’Doul’s and a cigar.

Today on August 24, 2012, we again drove off the beaten track from Indiana to Rockford, IL. We made sure to drive through Chicago, IL, but since we could not find an RV park near Chicago, we decided to head for Rockford with our next main stop being Sturgis, SD.

I am from Southern California where I was born and raised. I have traveled the world but I have always come back to California.

My trip all over the nation these past 38 days or so have made me question why I stay in California. The east coast is beautiful.

Indiana is truly a beautiful State; so is Illinois. However, I really liked Indiana. Heck we saw our first genuine Amish buggy with family in Indiana.

The people are nice, the entire State reminds me of Mayberry.

The next time I take a trip such as the one I am on right now, I may take 6 months to a year to travel around, so that instead of taking freeways, I can take roads off of the beaten track and really see the countryside.

So there it is, tomorrow I will be on the road again headed for Sturgis, SD which should take two days if all goes well.

Once in Sturgis, I will take the Harley Davidson Electra Glide off of the trailer, and ride all over the Black Hills and more.

By California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

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Day 36, Somewhere near Cleveland, OH

The United States Capital Building

The United States Capital Building

I have been on a RV vacation and trip of a lifetime for the past 36 days. I am presently sitting at the table in my RV in a campground somewhere near Cleveland, OH typing this update for all of you. It is now day 36 of my trip.

My last real update was on August 4, 2012 from the Washington DC area. I am giving another update now.

So far we have driven through or stayed in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. We have many more places to stay and drive through before we get home.

We ended up staying in the Washington D.C, College Park, Maryland area for about 11 days. Washington D.C. was an important stop for us, and with so many things to see, and such a great RV resort, we were in no rush to leave. We toured the Smithsonian museums’ and major monuments, among other things. I have tons of video that I will process when I get home and upload onto here.

The only negative part of the Washington D.C. trip was the hot balmy weather on some days, coupled with thunder storms and rain on other days, and the horrendous drivers in the Washington D.C. area.

My Harley Electra Glide enabled me to park near monuments and areas where people in cars just cannot go. On a few days Liz and I used the bus and train due to the weather. We also took the double decker tour bus for 48 hours as well.

The RV resort in College Park, MA was off of the charts. I went swimming every night with all of the other tourist. Hell on one night I found myself alone in the pool with 20 or so bikini clad coed girls from Europe. I could not decipher what language they were speaking, but my god it was a very nice sight.

I did not want to leave Washington D.C.; it was almost as if I needed to stay there longer. Maybe I should run for Congress?

When we finally left Washington D.C., we drove through Maryland and New Jersey. Maryland and most of New Jersey are truly beautiful states.

I found myself getting pinched for tolls every few miles. It turns out I was on a toll turnpike. My GPS was not set up to avoid tolls. By the time the day was over I had paid almost $100 in tolls because my RV and motorcycle trailer have 3 total axels. They were charging me like I was a bus. It really sucked.

When we got to New York we were led to an expensive KOA campground north of Newburgh, New York that was billed as the New York City KOA campground; talk about fraud, we were about 70 miles northwest of New York City in the middle of a forest.

Upstate New York is a truly beautiful state let me tell you, I had no clue. When we got to the campground it was kind of late and almost dark because of the trees. When we hooked up I discovered that the trees prevented my Satellite TV from working, my cell phone did not work, nor did I have Wi-Fi. Then it started raining as well. I had to rough it with DVD’s from Redbox for the night. Further, we only had a 30amp hookup, so I could not run both air conditioners and my microwave at the same time :]

Anyway, we got the hell out of there first thing in the morning, opting to go to the Liberty Park RV resort in Jersey City, New Jersey instead where we would have to dry camp for $50 a day. The Liberty Park RV resort was billed as the closest RV Park to New York City just 15 minutes away from Manhattan, and with a local water taxi that takes you to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. All of this turned out to be true.

On the way in to the campground I noticed that we were in Orange County New York, so I figured I would check and see if Orange County Choppers was nearby. As it turns out, Orange County Choppers was on the way to Liberty Park in Jersey City, so I figured I would stop in and check it out.

All I can say about Orange County Choppers is that it was a huge disappointment. It is the only motorcycle operation I have ever seen that does not sell motorcycle stuff. They have all sorts of shirts and other crap with OCC all over it, but no motorcycle stuff. They don’t even have examples of their production motorcycles in the showroom; all they have is motorcycles that they built in the past. I did not even like those. It is what it is. I got some video and got the hell out of there. It is nothing more than a tourist trap. The bikes on display seem un-ride able and not practical to me.

It was a very interesting trip through narrow streets in New Jersey to the Liberty Park RV resort in Jersey City, New Jersey. My rig is 35’ long with an attached 10’ motorcycle trailer. Some of the streets and turns I had to make near the Holland Tunnel on the Jersey side were monumental, but I finally made it to the RV Park. The RV Park was a combo Liberty Park Marina and RV park. There were ocean going boats, sailboats and the like dry docked on the other side of the park, with an actual marina and a bar and restaurant there.

Since the RV Park was totally full, we had to dry camp which basically means that we had no external electrical, water, or sewer hookups. We had to rely on our RV, and our generator. There was a dump and water site in the park that we could use as needed.

Since we wanted to run our generator past 10pm they basically put us in an area that was by itself in the middle of a field next to a bunch of boats. On the other side of the fence was a construction site in Jersey City. The setup was kind of like in New Orleans where we were 3 blocks away from Bourbon Street but smack dab in the middle of a bad neighborhood.

The Liberty Park RV area of Jersey City was kind of like a small island of a good area in a real bad area if you know what I mean.

We were so close to NY City in the Liberty RV Park that we could see the World Trade Center and Wall Street just across the Hudson River, and I could see the Statue of Liberty from my RV.

Due to a breaker on my generator, I did not get full power until just at dark on our first day in NY City, so we decided to wait until the next day to hit the city.

The next day we immediately went to the World Trade Center site and the 911 memorial. It was a very rainy day.

We did so much in New York over the next week that it is too much to write about here. Like Washington D.C., I felt attracted to the city; as a matter of fact I fell in love with the city. We rode the subway and went all over the place.

Three days before I left New York I ended up partially tearing my calf muscle walking down the subway steps. The reason I know it is partially torn is because three nights ago I spent most of the evening at Jersey Medical Center ER where they confirmed the tear with an ultra sound.

My years of sports and injuries have made me kind of tough when it comes to injuries like this. I tooled around New York City for three days in severe pain because I did not want to miss anything.

We finally left New York City two days ago on August 20, 2012. It took a while getting out of the city, we did not really want to leave, but we had to so we could finish the 3rd and final leg of this great trip that we are on.

We ended up driving to Northumberland, PA where we found a killer RV resort right on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. We got there just before dark. I swear I could live in this place. Pennsylvania is one of the most beautiful and big states in the United States.

The locals there upon seeing my Harley Davison in tow assumed I was there for “PA Rally on the River” which was set to begin on August 23, 2012, or the day after we were set to leave the campground.

Unfortunately the campground was booked and full months in advance for the rally. I was told that if I paid $50 a night, I could dry camp there with my RV. Had they gave me a regular camp site, I would have stayed for the rally. I think if they knew who I was, that they would have accommodated me. Liz called even after we left asking if there were cancellations; there were none.

Based on what I was told 2k people would fill up the camp grounds for the event which is adults only. I knew that if I stayed for the event, I would be stuck in the campgrounds until it was over due to the number of people. Further, there would be no way to dump the brown water tank or refill the fresh water tanks for the next week.

I decided to not stay for the rally but to instead spend the time tooling around Sturgis, SD when I get there. We left today on August 22, 2012. We drove all the way to near Cleveland, Ohio where I now sit writing this update.

We still have a long way to go on our trip and further updates will come soon.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

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A little visit to Orange County Chopper

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

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

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

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By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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Times Square New York on Friday 8-17-12; Wow!

I have a ton of video and pictures that will be posted of my around the USA trip that started on July 18, 2012 and still continues. Unfortunatlly my laptop is unable to process the vast quantities of HD video I have taken so until I get back home, I will post small raw video clips of my trip.

Here is a video I took of Times Square this evening. The clouds opened up and it started pouring. I bought Liz and I an umbrealla right away since our other umbrella’s were in the RV.

Suffice is to say, Liz and I owned Times Square for about 5 minutes until the rain let up, then the crowds came back in force. Here is a little raw video clip.

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By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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A Little Video I took in the New York City Subway

I am presently on vacation and in New York City. I thought I would give you a little glimpse of how busy their subways are. I took this short video while traveling from Manhattan 33rd Street Station to the Grove Street Station in Jersey City where my RV park is on August 16, 2012. Enjoy……

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By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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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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