Category Archives: Travel

Articles related to travel

Gettysburg; The High Water Mark; The Bloody Angle

I wrote an article before this one about my visit to the Gettysburg Battlefield on August 7, 2012. Here is a raw unedited portion of video I shot at the Bloody Angle. I will post more video as I am able to process it.

YouTube Preview Image

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Share

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

Battle of Gettysburg; The High Water Mark

Battle of Gettysburg; The High Water Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share

Day 7, The Big Easy (2000 miles)

My Electra Glide

My Electra Glide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share

My epic grand tour of the USA has begun!

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

I am typing the this short blog post from the dining room table of my RV in a RV park in Tuscon, Arizona. Yes, my trip around the USA has begun.

My trip was supposed to start on July 15, 2012, but due to unforseen circumstances and a last minute repair that needed to be made to my RV, I did not depart my home in Acton, CA until around 9:30pm on Wenesday night, July 18, 2012, 3 days and about 13 hours later than my original plan.

I contemplated just starting out on the morning of  July 19, 2012, but I knew that if I did not leave, I would never leave, so I left. When I got to Blythe, CA, I was wiped out, so I decided to pull my rig into a truck stop with all of the other trucks, fire up the generator, and crash out in my rig parked in line with all of the truckers.

I woke up in the morning and got back on the road around 10:30am. Another glitch arose while on the road, this time I discovered that my generator which ran all night in Blythe, would not start up. It was cranking, but not starting. I decided to stop at the Camping World in Pheonix, AZ to see if there was somthing that they could do. What a mistake that was.

First off when I got to the Camping World parking lot, I discovered that my generator started. I figured that I have either some heat problem, a clogged air filter, or maybe a clog in the fuel system. I figured I would have them check it out and I would be back on the road; wrong…………..

At Camping World it was probably over 100 degrees yesterday in Phoenix, and the humidity was off the charts. It felt like I was in a Sauna. Second, when the tech came out to check the generator from Camping World, it started like 4 times in a row with no problem. I should have told him to just forget it and that everything was ok. Finally after having this guy mess with my generator a bunch of times, he got it to fail. Great………. I sat in the friggen heat for hours waiting for this guy to fix the generator. The generator runs the central air so I could not run the air the whole time he was working on it. Since I have all of my possessions in the RV I was not about to let him stay in it by himself.

The tech from Camping World finally shows up with his manager to tell me that they thought the problem with the generator was a coil or a circuit board, and that I should call the local Koeler generator factory authorized dealer and service rep. After the guys from Camping World played with my generator, I could not start it all all. I was freaking out in the Arizona heat and contemplating returning home before I got too far away.

I called the Koeler dealer and at first got a voicemail, and then after trying multiple times, I  finally spoke to someone who told me that their service guy had left for the day, it was only 4pm, and that the service guy said he was booked for the next day. I told them my situation but they did not seem to care. Talk about shitty customer service, I decided to move on.

Suffice is to say, I decided to head to Tucson and take my chances there. After stopping at Walmart in Phoenix to stock up on water which I drank in great quantities due to the heat, I decided to try the generator again; thank god it started.

I know I have some kind of heat problem with the generator, but it is not going to ruin my trip. As long as I can get it to start after it cools off, I am ok with that, especially since I will stay at RV parks like the one I am at right now, and they provide me with the 50 amp service my RV requires.

Let me tell you about the RV park I am at right now, it is awesome. The front office closed at around 8pm. I called them from the Walmart parking lot at around 7pm to tell them that I was a member of a certain RV club and that I was on my way. My RV club membership gives me 50% off on all member RV parks. I was told my fee for the nights stay was $18…….. awesome!

They kept the office open for me. They knew I was in a 35 foot class A with a 10 foot motorcycle trailer. They set me up in a drive through space with easy hookups in a class operation.

The manager gave me a bag of apples and told me he would keep the pool open for me. Once I hooked up to electrical, water, and sewer, I threw on my bathing suit and went to the pool and jumped in. All I can say is ahhhhh what a relief. There is nothing like floating in a pool looking at the Tuscon, Arizona sky, knowing that an epic journey is ahead.

There is no way in hell you will ever meet nicer people while traveling, then the ones you meet doing the RV thing. I used to think bikers were the best, well RV’ers are right up there on top.

So even though my trip got off to a rocky start, I will jump into bed in a few, wake up early, have some breakfast, and get back on the road in the morning. I anticipate spending the night either in New Mexico or possibly Texas depending on how far I go.

For me this trip is not about rushing, it is about quality, just like my motorcycle trips.

Good night for now folks. look for another update soon.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., July 20, 2012

 

Share

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

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

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

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

My Law Offices will remain open and staffed.

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

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

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

You may also dial my Paralegal Kathy at extension 420.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norman Gregory Fernandez, July 12, 2012

Share

Planning the Trip of a Lifetime

Map of the United States of AmericaI for the most part have worked my tail off since the age of 14 when I got my first job as a Bus Boy at a pizza joint in Canoga Park, CA called “Mancini’s Pizza Boy.”

I have taken time off here and there for short vacations, but I have never really had what I call a long vacation.

Well that is about to change.

I just celebrated my 49th birthday two days ago.

It has always been my dream to travel this great nation, The United States of America, on the ground where I can really enjoy it.

Yes, I have flown all over the nation, and to various other countries, but that is not the same as traveling on the ground. Yes, I have ridden my motorcycle near and far, but I have not traveled the entire nation for an extended period of time let alone one month.

That is about to change.

I am about to embark in my trusted class A, 35′  Georgie Boy” on a one month exploration of this great nation.

My dingy will be my Electra Glide Ultra Classic which will be towed behind on a Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer from theusatrailerstore.com.

This will be the first time I take a vacation where I am actually trailering my motorcycle. Secondly, I am not ashamed to say that I will be trailering my motorcycle on this trip. This is an RV trip where I will be living in the RV while I travel cross country, not a motorcycle trip where I sleep in a tent or motel.

I could always travel on the motorcycle and then stay in hotels or motels, but that would not be the same as traveling the nation in my RV. My plan is to park each late afternoon at an RV park, hookup the RV to everything, unhook the motorcycle, and off we go.

If all goes well we will be off the road by 3 or 4 each afternoon so we can take the Harley out and explore.

I call the Georgie Boy my mobile law office because it will be impossible for me to get away from the office for a month without working, hell I have a trial starting up in Fresno County on September 9, 2012. I will do consultations, and work cases while in the RV via wireless internet, and one hell of an office phone system.

For my many clients do not worry, our office will still operate at full capacity, and I will still be available at 800-816-1529 ext. 3. If I don’t pick up right away, do not fear, I will be returning calls from the road. My paralegal Kathy Serpas will be available at x. 420, as well as the rest of my staff.

As for the trip, the plan at the present time is to travel from Southern California, through Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and then up through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and then Washington DC. If there is time we will try to make NY City. If not we will go to Pennsylvania, and then back west through South Dakota and Sturgis, and from there we will probably do the direct route back through Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and then back to Southern California.

This will be a one month trip but the plan is not to rush to each destination from day to day, which would be no fun. I plan on taking it easy because I want to see the sites and enjoy the trip. I may stay a couple of days at a particular location like the sunny beaches of Florida, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, (I cannot wait to walk the fields of Gettysburg; I am a civil war buff) and South Dakota.

I plan on writing Blog articles each night from whatever destination I am at so each of my Biker Law Blog readers can take the trip with me. There will be pictures and video as well.

I will be writing more articles before I leave on the trip. I already have open invites for lunch and dinner from at least 100 of my Facebook friends in the various States I will be traveling in. Maybe I will meet some of you along the way as well.

The title of this story is “Planning the trip of a lifetime.” However, I have decided that this will be the first of my “trips of a lifetime.” I will try to do a similar trip every year to two years from here on out, or at the worst case, to truncate my trips to two weeks. For me this is a beginning of something new.

See you all on the road.

If you had a motorcycle anywhere in California or you were a passenger in a motorcycle accident, you may call us for a free consultation 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1526 x. 1.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 22, 2012

Share

What is up with all these So-Called “Biker Lawyers” all of a Sudden showing up with Booths at All of the Motorcycle Events?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association Journal, and photographer David Newhardt

Well with Palm Springs American Heat I have finally had enough with what I think is a disgusting advertising practice by what in my opinion are bottom feeder personal injury lawyers.

In Palm Springs a certain so-called Biker Lawyer group had some scantily clad young girls aggressively coming up to people who were walking by saying that they worked for a lawyer who actually rides, as they tried to force feed passerby’s their business cards, and cheap novelties and trinkets.

I told the girls who came up to me, “Sorry, I am a Biker Lawyer who actually rides.” They kind of had a shocked look on their faces.

You see, I actually ride to many motorcycle events all over the nation. This year was no different.

All of a sudden there are a certain group of the same personal injury lawyers showing up at events calling themselves “Biker Lawyer” and  “Lawyers that ride” at motorcycle events.

To me a Biker Lawyer and a Lawyer that rides, is someone like me who is a lawyer and who also is a biker that rides motorcyles. It is a real simple concept, not some bullshit marketing slogan!

I think that I may have been the first Biker Lawyer to coin that term back in 1997 or so, because I am a lawyer who really rides. Once I started putting it out there on my website and on my blog, all of a sudden I saw other lawyers claiming the same thing.

Well now all of a sudden there are groups of lawyers showing up at motorcycle events all claiming to be “lawyers that really ride.”

It is not that I do not mind competition, hell I think it would be great to find a group of lawyers that actually ride motorcycles, hell I would like to go ride with them and make some new friends.

But what I really think is going on is a marketing gimmick aimed at bikers, and the way I see it, showing up at a motorcycle rally with a booth telling people if they crash their motorcycles, to call them, is disgusting and despicable to me.

In two words it is “Bad Karma.”

At the Las Vegas biker rally a few weeks ago, as we were walking by one of these booths, some guy sitting on his ass in the booth looked at my wife’s hat and said in a smart ass way, “who is the biker lawyer?” (The hat said Biker Lawyer, www.bikerlawyer.net on it) I told him I was. I also told him that I don’t sit at booths at motorcycle rallies; I actually ride to the rallies.

He had a stunned look on his face because I was actually in my biker garb because; yes I was riding, unlike him.

Curious about what it actually takes to be a Biker Lawyer with one of these organizations that has started up in the last couple of years I believe; I contacted one who I think was based in Arizona if I am not mistaken. They sent me a bunch of literature. At the time I contacted them, they had some firm based in San Diego as their only California firm.

In researching them, I saw no indication whatsoever that anyone from the firm listed for California at the time rode motorcycles. Matter of fact, I never even heard of them! Now it could be that someone from that firm actually rode motorcycles, it all seemed fishy to me.

Basically, I was told that if you pay at the time I contacted them, approximately 10k or so yearly fee to the organization I am referring to, you can be a Biker Lawyer with their group.

They would advertise for cases for you, and send you the cases in your territory. Very interesting!

Now the casual person looking at this group would think that it is all the same organization. Well it is not. It is a marketing vehicle that attorneys pay to be a part of.

Nowhere on the application did it ask if you actually ride motorcycles. Further, they hold themselves out to be Lawyers that really ride.

I think this practice is very misleading. I think consumers and bikers should be notified that lawyers pay a fee to be a part of this organization, and I think each of their lawyers should actually ride if they are going to advertise that they are lawyers who ride!

My next question is that most States require you to be licensed in that particular State to practice law in that State. You can apply to represent an individual in Court on a one or two time basis if you are an out of state lawyer, however, you cannot do it all the time.

So I wondered, how do the now 3-5 groups of lawyers that show up at all of the biker rallies, and that advertise in all of the biker rags, actually practice law in all 50 states legally.

The answer is that they cannot. It appears to me that these groups of lawyers that are advertising nationwide either have some kind of fee splitting deal going on with lawyers in the different States so the main lawyer will advertise and get cases for them, and then they will share the attorneys fee with the guy in the State actually doing the case, or they have some kind of marketing scam going on, where the attorney pays a fee like the organization I contacted, and the main attorney will advertise, and then send cases to the lawyers who are paying their franchise fee.

I think this entire practice is misleading, and despicable.

I saw American Chopper last night where even another group that I have never heard of before has popped up. It appears to me to be another marketing setup where they have created a website to target nationwide the “niche” market of motorcycle riders.

After digging deep into their website, it looks like the main law firm sponsoring their “Biker law” marketing campaign is based in Pennsylvania, and they too are claiming that they are lawyers that ride. I have no clue how this site or law firm work, but again, unless they have attorneys licensed in each state, they too must have some kind of fee splitting or franchise type of deal going on.

They do not limit themselves to just one State on their website.

On the TV show, they had a guy who they represented to be an attorney come in and order a custom bike to honor the firefighters or something to that affect. Somewhere it stated that he was the “lead counsel” or “managing counsel” of the biker law end of the firm. What the hell does that mean?

Anyway, at the end of the show there were a bunch of people in t-shirts with the biker law website address on it.

I almost threw up. You got to admit these people are marketing geniuses. They get an hour of TV advertising for what looks to be new operation, and all they had to do is pay (probably overpay) for a custom chopper from Orange County Choppers.

In the end there sits us real bikers. What are we supposed to believe is true?

First, I think that no lawyer should be going to motorcycle events and advertising for motorcycle accident cases. People are at the events to have fun, not to have the fact that they could crash shoved down their throats by a bunch of marketing hacks.

Second, I think that all of these firms should be forced to disclose the truth about their organizations, i.e., whether they are a fee splitting shop, whether lawyers pay them to have cases sent to them, and who in fact is the real biker lawyer in their organization.

I personally know at least two major attorneys in the so-called biker lawyer nationwide marketing scam, and neither of them rides motorcycles. One of them even stated in the Los Angeles Times in an article that he does not ride; because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. The article featured one of their new associates who had just got a Sportser, who had ridden for less than 6 months. (This guy has since left and opened his own bike lawyer shop)

So here I sit a humble real California Biker Lawyer who actually rides motorcycles. I am the friggen real deal. I am not playing some marketing scam on my clients. They know what they are getting when they retain me.

If you are in California and want the real deal call me; 800-816-1529 x.1.

For the rest of you there is a saying; Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for let the buyer beware.

Finally, you can have a say so if you also don’t like these bottom feeders showing up at our motorcycle rallies, simply don’t call them if you have an accident.

With a little research you can find someone like me who actually ride’s and is not part of some marketing operation geared towards bikers!

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

Share

Palm Springs American Heat 2011 Motorcycle Rally, a Review.

This year Liz and I have ridden to motorcycle rallies all over the western United States. You can read my many reviews about these rallies here on the Biker Law Blog.

The key word that you will notice in the previous paragraph is “ridden.” I have never caged and/or trailered a motorcycle to a motorcycle rally. I always ride, and I will continue to do so long as god lets me.

The reason I mention this is that when you watch the video below taken by me at the rally, you will hear me confronting bottom feeder so-called biker attorney’s representatives at these rallies. Don’t worry, I will write a complete article on this subject coming up.

So let’s talk about the Palm Springs American Heat 2011 Motorcycle Rally.

Palm Springs is approximately 125 miles from my house plus or minus a few miles one way.

I really wanted to attend this rally because I am going to have what I am told is an extremely painful surgery that I have been putting off on October 28, 2011. The surgery and the recovery therefrom will take me off work, and put me out of the saddle from what I am told, for at least a month.

Further, this motorcycle rally marks the last major motorcycle rally on the west coast for the season.

The last time I went to this rally, I actually laid my motorcycle down to avoid a careless motorcycle rider who turned directly in front of my while I was leading a pack of motorcycles. The result was minor injuries to me and my motorcycle. It would have been much worse had I t-boned the idiot that pulled in front of me. Further, right after the accident, I lost my ATM card at a gas station, and when I called my bank to report it, I was informed that my account had been cleaned out. This is a whole other story. I was basically stuck in Palm Springs with just the money in my pocket. The experience kind of ruined the rally for me the last time I was there.

This year was much better.

I was actually going to ride to the rally by myself this year, however, due to Liz being able to find someone to care for our dogs and puppies; I was able to take her with me. We will give away the pups in the next few days so we will not have to worry about this issue anymore.

The ride to the rally took about 2 hours, and it was a real good ride. The weather was basically in the mid 90’s the entire time. Eat your heart out, mid 90’s in the middle of October, which is warm this time of year, even for Southern California.

The new Harley Davidson I have has a built in intercom, with the speakers and microphone setup mounted in our modular helmets. It is really cool being able to listen to tunes clearly while on the road, plus have a conversation with Liz while riding.

However, we still like to be quite most of the time while we ride, it is just habit.

We pulled into Palm Springs in the afternoon at around 2pm. It was about 100 degrees out and hot. We decided to cruise the strip before we got something to eat.

The strip was full of the roar of motorcycles, and of course many motorcycles. I have been to hundreds of motorcycle rallies, but I always get excited when I see this many motorcycles and hear the roar. For me it is addicting.

They had the main drag blocked off for pedestrians and vendors. We cruised around once, and then decided to hit Denny’s to get some chow before we came back to the rally location.

After lunch we rode to the rally location on the main drag. You can see from my video below courtesy of my GoPro helmet cam, the ride from the Denny’s to almost the rally location. Due to my not having fully charged batteries on the GoPro cam, I was only able to get a little bit of video from the Denny’s to the main rally location. However, the rest of the video with my hand held HD camera shows the main drag.

Once we got to the rally location, some guy with a custom and what must have been a 400 tire on the rear of his motorcycle, asked me about my GoPro cam, we had a short conversation, and then Liz and I did our thing.

Most motorcycle rallies at least to me, have basically become shopping malls with mostly girly type of jewelry and other stuff. Palm Springs is probably worst of all because it appeared that the local merchants were out with totally non related biker stuff, also selling their wares. I can understand it.

We had a good time walking the main strip looking at merchandise, and buying some merchandise, listening to the band, the stunt entertainment, and looking at all of the people.

We did not leave until dark. It seemed to me that it kind of got real weird after dark. There were a lot of cops at the rally, and they seemed to me to be more aggressive and more visible when it got dark. They were doing some pull overs and they were all over the place.

Hell I am an attorney and a law abiding citizen and to be frank, I felt real uncomfortable with what I saw going on at night.

Liz and I decided to head over to the Morongo Casino to try our luck. She lost around 300 bucks, I won around 200 bucks, and then we called it a night.

The next day, we did our traditional Joshua Tree – Pioneer Town run, and then rode home.

All in all I enjoyed the Palm Springs motorcycle rally. To be frank it was better than Reno and Las Vegas combined this year. I just enjoyed it more for some reason.

Now for me the 2011 motorcycle rally season is pretty much over since I am having the surgery on 10/28/11, and will be out for a month.

I am going to try to get a ride in this weekend, because the surgery is next Friday. Fun fun fun.

Check out the video of the Palm Springs American Heat Rally 2011 I shot below. Tell me if there is a problem with the audio. The master tape has no problem with the audio but it seems like YouTube may be screwing up the audio.

YouTube Preview Image

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

Share

The Ultimate Motorcycle Ride

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Yosemite National Park in California (picture edited to cover back-patch)

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Yosemite National Park in California (picture edited to cover back-patch)

I was recently thinking about all of the motorcycle rides I have done on my motorcycle over the years, and what rides I would like to do in the future.

Sure it is fun riding to events like the Laughlin River Run each year, but in the end, it is always the same each year.

I was thinking, what would be the ultimate motorcycle run.

 I have read a couple of books by guys that have ridden around the world, however, why ride around the world just for the sake of riding around the world. Besides with the current political climate, and the fact that we are now in 3 wars, (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya) it would probably not be possible to do a round the world motorcycle run, especially with the whack jobs around the world not liking American’s right now.

So what would be a great motorcycle run? Then a thought came to my mind; one of the best rides I have ever done in my life was through Yosemite, then down the Tioga Pass south to north, then up to Carson City, NV, and up to Lake Tahoe in one marathon 19 hour day.

I have also ridden through some other National Parks as well, not really as a goal, but to get to another destination. Every one of those motorcycle runs was a great ride.

I wonder what it would be like to ride to and through if possible, each National Park in the United States? That would be some great riding right?

Why not ride to each National Park in the United States of America?

Due to my being a personal injury attorney and biker lawyer, there is no way I could do it in one run, let alone during one riding season, because I have to work.

However, if I made it a goal to ride to and through every National Park in the United States of America if possible, I could probably do it over a matter of years.

So there it is; one of the items on my bucket list of life is to ride to and through every National Park in the United States of America.

You have to understand, I came up with this idea this weekend, (March, 19-20, 2011) while looking out of my window at the rain coming down.

I have just decided that instead of always doing the same repetitive motorcycle runs every year, that riding to and through every National Park in the United States would be a great life experience; something that you could write a book about.

I have not even begun to plan or map out how to achieve my goal. I found a website that is simply called National Parks, located at http://www.us-national-parks.net/ that lists all of the national parks, and has website links to each. This is a private site, but it looks pretty good.

Here is the listing of National Parks on that site with their respective website link:

Acadia
American Samoa
Arches
Badlands
Bandelier
Black Canyon
Big Bend
Biscayne
Bryce Canyon
Cabrillo
Canyonlands
Capitol Reef
Carlsbad Caverns
Channel Islands
Crater Lake
Cuyahoga Valley
Death Valley
Denali
Dry Tortugas
Everglades
Gates of the Arctic
Gettysburg
Glacier
Glacier Bay
Grand Canyon
Grand Teton
Great Basin
Great Sand Dunes
Great Smoky Mountains
Guadalupe Mountains
Haleakala
Harpers Ferry
Hawaii Volcanoes
Hot Springs
Isle Royale
Joshua Tree
Katmai
Kenai Fjords
Kobuk Valley
Lake Clark
Lassen Volcanic
Mammoth Cave
Mesa Verde
Mount Rainier
Mount St. Helens
North Cascades
Olympic
Organ Pipe Cactus
Petrified Forest
Point Reyes
Redwood
Rocky Mountain
Saguaro
Sequoia / Kings Canyon
Shenandoah
Theodore Roosevelt
Valley Forge
Virgin Islands
Voyageurs
Wind Cave
Wrangell Saint Elias
Yellowstone
Yosemite
Zion

I figure that this summer I can knock out all of the California National Parks, and maybe even get in the Nevada and Arizona National Parks. I may even be able to do more!

I will be in Hawaii in September so I can knock out the Haleakala, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks. Obviously, I will need to rent a Harley while on the Islands.

The national parks in Alaska will probably be the biggest challenge; we will see.

So there it is; I think that I may have found a way around the dull drum of riding to the same events every year.

I will let you all know more about my plan to ride to and through each United States National Park as it comes up. I will report in detail on each ride. I will also take pictures and shoot video as much as possible.

See you on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © March, 20, 2011

Share

A Simple Friday after work Motorcycle Ride to the San Andreas Fault, California

San Andreas Fault California

San Andreas Fault California

I am sure all of you bikers and motorcycle riders know what it is like to get a bug up your ass to take a ride after work at the end of the week.

Well on Friday, June 18, 2010, 2 days before my 47th birthday, I decided to take my Harley Davidson Electra Glide out for a little ride after work, to the world famous and infamous San Andreas Fault.

If you do not know what the San Andreas Fault is, it is basically an earthquake fault that runs the length of California. They say that in a few million years, Los Angeles will pass San Francisco on this fault. The experts also predict “the big one;” a catastrophic earthquake that is overdue on this fault, that could destroy Los Angeles. Anyway…

Being a native Southern California boy, I know places to ride where I can literally be alone in or near a geographic area where millions of people live.

That is what I decided to do after work on June 18, 2010.

I am sure that many of you in all over the United States can also find great places to secret yourself for a little solo motorcycling without any other traffic interfering with your ride, however, if you are in Los Angeles County, you better know where you are going, otherwise you are not going to find solitude, that is for sure.

San Andreas Fault 2 California

San Andreas Fault California

Now I do not mean to brag, but I will anyway. I literally have some of the best motorcycle riding roads in the world right in my back yard. I can go from desert, to sea, to alpine mountains with a flick of my throttle wrist.

My motorcycle ride on Friday took me from the foothills, to the desert floor, to the base of the north side of the Angeles Forest. It was one hell of a nice Friday after work little ride.

No women, no friends, just me, myself, and I, and my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

As you can see by the videos here, I wore my Gopro helmet cam for the ride.

Since I did not even get to Pearblossum Highway until 7:30pm or so, it was already just after sunset when I started filming. However, I still got some good video.

Since Youtube.com only allows up to ten minute videos, I had to drastically edit the videos down to 3 clips, but you can still get the effect of the ride I am sure.

Video 1 and 2 are shot with my helmet camera, except for a surprise just past the middle of video 2, and video 3 was shot by me with a standard HD camcorder at the actual San Andreas Fault.

You will notice on this ride going from the Mohave desert floor to the foothills of the Angeles Forest, Joshua Trees and cactus, turning into chaparral and scrub brush.

It was dark by the time I finished the ride.

You will notice when I am leaving the San Andreas Fault in video 2 of 3, that I got on my motorcycle quite quickly. Well up in the area where I was riding there are animals such as Rattlesnakes, Brown Bears, Mountain Lions, Coyotes, etc. As it was getting dark, and I was parked next to the San Andreas Fault sign, I heard a big animal stirring up the brush behind me. Hell I have camped in these parts and had nothing with me on this ride except for a 3.5 inch folding pocket knife.

I could sense that I needed to get the hell out of there. I am not stupid enough to wait around until a mountain lion pounces on my ass. It is amazing how sometimes you can sense danger. Only a stupid man waits around to see what is going to happen when he senses danger, has no weapons so to say, and you just know a big animal is in the brush behind you as it is getting dark. Get the picture?

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

I got my ass out of there, and pulled over about a couple of hundred yards down the road so I could put my gloves on and zip up my hoodie.

All in all it was a great after work Friday ride. I only wish I got there earlier so the video would have had more sunlight.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Share

Just another Sunday Ride; NOT!

Norm's GoPro Hero Helmet Camera

My GoPRo Video Camera on my Modular Helmet

 Last Sunday, May 23, 2010, I decided to take a bit of a ride here in Southern California.

The ride was not only for pleasure, but I wanted to check out my new Rush Slip on mufflers, my new Sony HD Stereo, and my new GoPro helmet camera. (I will write reviews about all of them later on)

My plan was to meet some of my friends in Chatsworth, CA, ride to Simi Valley Harley Davidson in Simi Valley, CA, and then ride with them to Bartels Harley Davidson in Marina Del Rey, CA. I ended up doing a local 300 mile all day ride minus the time I spent at Simi Valley Harley Davidson.

My ride started out early Sunday morning on May 23, 2010. I got on my motorcycle at around 8:30am to take a bit of a ride before I met my friends. I captured the vast majority of my ride on my new GoPro helmet cam, a picture of which you can see to the left.

I have the helmet cam mounted on the side of my helmet rather than the top of my helmet, because I have a modular flip up helmet and the top mount would not work with the flip up aspect of my modular helmet. I will discuss this more when I review the camera.

Suffice is to say, it was a great day. My total riding hours in the saddle riding last Sunday was around 9 hours plus, and I have plenty of video footage of my ride. I am showing 30 minutes of the ride here. It was very hard for me to select which video footage to show here.

I met my friends in Chatsworth at around 9:45am after taking about an hour ride. We then rode together to a little event at Simi Valley Harley Davidson. There was a band, food, and vendors at Simi Valley Harley Davidson.

I took advantage of being at Simi Valley Harley Davidson. It turns out on the ride over there, I discovered that my left spot light was out, plus I needed some bushings and bolts for my removable Tour Pak. I was able to get all of the parts I needed at the dealership which made me very happy notwithstanding the fact that I paid $57.00 for a spot light replacement, two bolts, and two bushings.

I decided to replace the spotlight in the street while I was there. It was probably a good idea, because once I got the spot light off, I could not figure how to get it back on. There is a rubber strip, a backing that the spotlight goes into, as well as a metal ring. I walked the separated parts up to the service desk, and even though they were closed, there was a guy in there who obviously worked there, who packed the rubber back into the housing, and showed me how to put the pieces back together which I did. Repair completed right there in the street.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

My friends and I walked around a bit and hung out at the Harley Davidson dealership until at least noon by my estimation. I purchased a $5.00 lemonade – 5 friggen dollars for a large lemonade. After complaining a bit about the price, the guy agreed to give me a free refill. I don’t know but if I was putting on one of these events, I would talk to my food and drink vendors to ensure that they were not gouging my customers and guests. This is a whole other story.

At some point, the guys decided to take off. When I got on my motorcycle to leave with the guys, I found an electrical problem from my earlier spotlight fix, and my motorcycle would not start. I waived my friends off and told them I would meet them later.

I opened the spotlight back up and everything seemed OK. The light powered up when I put the ignition switch to the run position, but the bike would not start. Then I had a stupid me moment, I engaged the kill switch before I did the repair which I forgot about. Once I disengaged the kill switch, the motorcycle started. I then buttoned the motorcycle back up and was ready to roll. It was by now a half hour later or so. I knew my friends were probably already very close to Bartel’s in Marina Del Rey.

By this time I was hungry. I had not had breakfast that morning, I did not eat the food at the Simi Valley event because I did not want to have acid reflux all day, so I decided to take a detour off of the 118 to go to Jerry’s Deli on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, CA to get some Matzo Ball soup and some Kosher Dills. I knew if I rode to Bartel’s in Marina Del Rey, they would probably have the same greasy spoon type of food that they had at Simi Valley Harley Davidson, and that I did not want to wait to eat.

I rode to Jerry’s Deli which is a San Fernando Valley hotspot eatery where many celebrities can be seen from time to time, and thoroughly enjoyed my meal, although it took quite a time to get my meal. There is nothing like Matzo Ball soup when you are on a run where the weather is kind of cool. It will open up your sinus every time. Matzo Ball soup is a Jewish remedy!

By the time I finished my meal at Jerry’s Deli, it was already around between 1:30 and 2:00pm, and I did not have my friend’s phone numbers with me, so I decided to skip Bartel’s Harley Davidson. I figured that by the time I rode there with traffic, I would not make it until around 3pm or later, and to be frank, I wanted to ride rather than sit around hanging out at another Harley Davidson dealership, so that is exactly what I did, I rode; I rode my ass off : )

I decided to ride to the Rock Store by way of Topanga Canyon to Mulholland Highway, the long twisty route. You can see some of the video from my GoPro here. It was a fanfuckentastic run. You see we absolutely have the best and most beautiful riding in the world right here in Southern California. It does not get much better than this anywhere in the world. Most Angelinos (Los Angeles Residents) have no clue about the beauty just outside of the concrete jungle here. We have great mountains, great coastline, and twisties that are just as radical as any in the world here.

As I approached the last stop sign before arriving at the Rock Store, I ran straight into a friggen road block. You see the Tour De California Bicycle race was also being put on this weekend, and the Rock Store was on their route. I was a bit pissed. I wanted to visit the Rock Store and then do my hidden route behind Mulholland to some of the best 1st gear twisties, ending up at the coast. I ended up turning off my motorcycle and watching the bicycle racers, the fans yelling like screaming Durban’s, and the helicopters overhead, not to mention the bicycle rider chase trucks, and chase motorcycles on the route. When a CHP officer told me the route was to be closed all day, I flicked a U’ie and rode back to Malibu Canyon Road. I rode to Pacific Coast Highway, and ended up doing a straight coast ride all the way up to Neptune’s Net. I stopped at my old surfing grounds before Zuma Beach and cruised the coast a bit. I have some great memories on this strip of beach.

It was a great day to ride on Sunday. The coast part of my journey was fanfuckentastic to say the least. Look I love riding with my friends and my brothers, but I also like riding solo as well. There is no pressure to stay in the pack when you are riding solo, and you can ride wherever the fuck you want with no one bitching. It is freedom.

I rode real easy up to Neptune’s Net. I had many cagers waiving at me, and honking at me. I presume this was because of my helmet camera. I assume these people probably thought that I was filming for some kind of Hollywood movie or something. I literally had people in Mercedes Benz’s, Ferrari’s and beater cars all giving me the thumbs up. It was unique and I got many of it on the helmet cam.

When I finally got to Neptune’s Net there were a bunch of bikes and bikers there just like every Sunday. For me it is the same old thing, kind of like a routine if you know what I mean. I had a bunch of guys come up and ask me about the camera on my helmet. One of the guys was this Euro type who claimed to have shot all of the pictures for Harley Davidson’s new motorcycle line that was coming out. He was very interested in the specs for my camera and the mount. I ended talking to these guys for a half hour, exchanging business cards and what not. This is the good thing about being a biker, it is easy to meet and greet with new people. Something that cagers will never really get to experience. It is a biker comradery.

At this point is was around 4pm plus or minus an hour : ) I had a choice, I could take Kanan Dune, or Malibu Canyon to the 101 Ventura Freeway, and ride home, or I could cruise Pacific Coast Highway up to Santa Monica, then take the 10 to the 405 and cruise up to the snow via the Antelope Valley back route. Hell this time of year it stays daylight until at least 8pm; what would you do? : ) Well what do you think I decided to do? If you guess take PCH to Santa Monica and then cruise up the snow by way of the Antelope Valley back route you would be correct.

Look, my wife is in law school, she was at home studying for some freaking test, it was a great not too warm sunny day by this time, and I had nothing better to do. I was one of those great days where I could have rode 24 hours straight, all around my favorite spots.

So there I did it, I rode PCH all the way to the 10. It was a great costal ride. I noticed that there are many more homes along the coast which is a real bummer. When I was growing up, it was straight coast all the way up, now there are homes blocking the view for a substantial part of the trip. No biggie, it was a great ride. I got on the 10 to the 405 north. There it was bumper to bumper traffic; a good excuse to get off before Getty Center Drive, get some gas, and then take Sepulveda up the canyon until the traffic opened up. Once I got on the 405 I took it to the 14 east and then got off at Sand Canyon Road for a bit of dinner at Coco’s Restaurant.

In Coco’s a young 20 year old kid named Shane who was sitting with his absolutely fine girlfriend 19 year old girlfriend Tammy, and his 25 year old friend Steve, introduced themselves to me and shook my hand, they sat directly in front of my in another booth.

I had a good meal and good conversation with these folks. Hell we talked about everything from relationships, to career, to riding motorcycles, you name it. It has been a long time since I had such a good conversation with young folks. I thought to myself that these kids ought to be more careful about opening up to strangers like me the way they did because there are many assholes out there that might do them harm just because they were so nice. I did not have enough time to tell them what I thought, but I thought it as I saw them leaving. These were some good kids. They showed me respect which is unique these days. I think their parents raised them right.

After a really good steak dinner, I got back on the road. I took the 14 to Pearblossum Highway, to my secret turn off on the 138 and headed up to the still snow covered mountains.

At the turnoff I decided to change the batteries in my Gopro cam, and to check the memory card. Turns out I needed to replace both. The batteries were dead, plus I had already used up an 8GB SD card which records 6 hours of video. Whoops. I put in new batteries, and a 2 GB SD card to record this aspect of my ride.

To give a short summary I owned the road, I was basically all alone form the desert to the mountains. I rode to my spot where the San Andreas Fault line is, and then up to the Juniper Hills and beyond up to the snow. By this time I was freezing my ass off, and the sun was going down, so I decided to ride home.

When I finally got home, my wife bitched about me being gone form the early morning to the evening and wondered what I did for so long. I let her see the video’s of the day. I know the real reason that she was upset; because she did not ride with me, and spent a beautiful Sunday by herself studying all day. Been there; done that.

Unfortunately I lost the 2 GB SD card of the final part of my journey in my home office somewhere. Once I find it I will post some video from it.

So there it is, one hell of a great Sunday Ride in Southern California, from the desert to the sea, to the mountains.

Maybe I may take one of my lucky readers on this same ride someday.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Share

A Little Ride Video to Las Vegas

In December 2009, I took a little ride to Las Vegas. I was supposed to meet up with some friends along the way, but I ended up not meeting up with them until we got to Nevada.

Now I know some of you cannot ride in December due to snow and weather. Well here on the South West Coast we basically have year round riding. The below video proves it.

YouTube Preview Image

For me as a true Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney, just give me an excuse to ride and I will be there. Unlike some other poser attorney’s out there claiming that they are “Motorcycle Attorney’s.” I am the real deal.

I have literally met up with hundreds if not thousands of Bikers and Motorcyclist from all over the United States and Europe. I love riding my motorcycle just like you do.

I love riding my motorcycle to Las Vegas, Nevada. Not necessarily because I like going to Las Vegas, but I flat out like to ride my motorcycle, and Las Vegas is another excuse to ride.

I shot this video during a ride to Las Vegas in December 2009. Some of the video was shot while riding my Electra Glide, with me holding my HD camcorder in my left hand, while holding the handlebar and throttle with my right hand.

Toward the end of the video, I took some video of me riding with my friends in a pack. This video is unique in that you can get in the saddle with me and see what it is like ride an Electra Glide solo and in a pack.

I am planning on taking many more videos of my rides in the future.

Enjoy!

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Share

Lucky to be alive after the Laughlin River Run 2010; however, we still had a good time!

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2010

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2010

See Videos Below

Well the title says it all, my wife and I owe our lives to god after this years Laughlin River Run. I will explain below.

If you did not know it, it is said that the Laughlin River Run is the largest motorcycle rally in the western United States, and some people say that it is the second largest motorcycle rally in the nation next to Sturgis. It is a great time.

You can read an article I wrote about a previous Laughlin River Run that I did by clicking here.

This year’s run began when we packed up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to go to the Laughlin River Run 2010 on Friday, April 23, 2010.

Since I had to be in Court early Friday morning in Victorville, CA, we could not leave for the Laughlin River Run until Friday afternoon. Many of my friends left on the Thursday, the day before, but I could not go with them because I had to be in Court.

Therefore my wife and I planned on riding alone to Laughlin. By the time I did my pre-ride routine, and we got the motorcycle all packed up, it was very late. We did not get out of dodge until around 7pm; it was already dusk. I had to make a couple of stops along the way before we got on the road. Read the rest of the article below the videos.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

By the time we hit the Pearblossom Highway, it was almost dark. We made good time to Victorville and onto the I-15 east. We stopped at Denny’s in Barstow and had dinner because we knew we would not get into Laughlin until around 1am or so according to the GPS.

Once back on the road we made good time from the I-15 to the I-40 split. If any of you have ridden on the I-40 between Barstow and Needles, you know that this is amongst the most isolated and desolate places in the United States. This is the Mohave Desert and there is nothing there except Rattlesnakes, Scorpions, and a couple of gas stations along the way.

Share

The Yuma Prison Run 2010; a Great Time

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with wife at the Yuma Prison Run

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Yuma Prison Run

*** 4/21/10 Update – See the Short Video Below!

Living in Southern California we are blessed with year round riding. However, when April comes along there are several west coast biker rallies that take place every year. The Yuma Prison Run is one of those rallies. This is my review of this years rally.

This year the Yuma Prison Run was scheduled for the weekend of April 16-18, 2010. You can check out the Yuma Prison Run website by clicking here now.

The Yuma Prison Run is put on by the Norwalk Motorcycle Club, and has been an ongoing charity event since 1961; two years before I was born! The run is in Yuma, Arizona, and is located at the Yuma County Fair.

I decided to ride to this rally months ago. The rally location is approximately 300 miles from my home one way, or around 600 miles round trip, not including the miles I put on at or near the event once I get there. I consider this to be a medium distance sleepover run.

If any of you have read my blog, you will see many articles where I mention my fiancé. Well since we got married on January 31, 2010, she will now be referred to as my wife. I am still getting used to saying it! We have been together for 9 years, but wife is a new term in my life.

As usual, I started getting anxious and excited the night before we took off for the rally. I have been riding for many years, but it does not matter. Any of you who ride like I do know exactly what I am talking about; biker rallies are analogous to going to an amusement park when you are a kid.

There are not too many things that adults can look forward to that are fun and exciting like a good old fashioned biker rally. Unlike vacation travel, riding to a biker rally is different. It involves physically getting on your motorcycle and riding to and from the event. It is a much more involved and physical experience than just jumping on a plane and going somewhere. I am not going to even mention the ubiquitous trailer queens who don’t actually ride to an event; they are not worth mentioning!

My wife and I packed up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the Thursday before the Yuma Prison Run. The Harley Davidson hard saddle bags and tour pak really makes it much easier to pack up and go then in the past where I have had to squeeze everything for two into special motorcycle travel luggage. (Which I still have)

Since this is a 3 day, 2 night rally we try to pack as light as possible. As usual, I had reservations at one of the two Motel 6’s in town. Motel 6 is set up with laundry rooms, so worst case scenario; you can wash your clothes if you have to. What this means is that you do not have to pack as many clothes, which saves room on the motorcycle.

YouTube Preview Image

Hell if you are like me and are toting along your wife, you will need the extra room, because she will use it up :)

Basically we had the motorcycle mostly packed up on Thursday night, the day before we left.

Share

On the Lighter Side of Things; Some Great Riding.

YouTube Preview Image
You may have noticed that the last couple of articles on here have dealt with horrendous motorcycle accidents and crashes. Unlike most of you; my dealing with motorcycle accidents on a daily basis as a biker lawyer and motorcycle accident attorney takes its toll on me mentally, meaning sometimes I think of my clients and their accidents while I ride my Harley Davidson Electra Glide. It is kind of like a mind fuck.

However, after a few miles the bad thoughts leave my mind and I enjoy the ride. Handling motorcycle accident cases throughout California makes me extra careful when I ride, but that is a story for another article.

Lately I have been caught up with both my parents having serious medical issues, my fiancé starting law school, and then herself having a potential serious medical issue pop up, and of course working my clients cases here at the firm. I have not had as much time to ride this summer as I usually do.

However, over the last couple of weeks, I have managed to squeeze in a couple of really decent rides. Last weekend, I jumped on my Harley and rode from Chatsworth, to Palmdale, and then to Lompoc, CA to participate in a Karate Tournament with Grandmaster Vic LeRoux in Lompoc, CA. It was one hell of a long one day turn-around ride, and a great ride if you know what I mean.

The Lompoc run is a great run. Lompoc is above Santa Barbara near Vandenberg A.F.B. off of Highway 1. The only problem with this run that is that lately the traffic has been real bad south of Santa Barbara. They are doing construction or something. I have had to split lanes every time I have done this run all summer on the 101. It really kind of sucks, especially when a big rig truck driver purposefully cuts over so that you cannot pass him in the split. I discussed what happened in an article I wrote below.

Last night; Saturday night, I rode with my fiancé to Hollywood to attend a benefit for a friend in need of surgery. Although it was not a long ride, it was a fun ride, except for being followed by a Los Angeles Sheriffs cruiser for about a mile and a half on Santa Monica Blvd. Hell here I am a law abiding attorney, nothing at all to worry about if I am stopped, I am clean and sober, no tickets at all on my record, and this Sheriffs cruiser is following me for no reason at all other than the fact that I am a biker on a Harley Davidson in Hollywood at 2:00am. I wanted to pull over and just ask him “what the fuck,” but obviously I am not that stupid.

On the way to Hollywood, I ate crow a few times to get out of the way of asshole tailgaters who got way to close to me from behind. Unlike some, my ego is not so big as to put my ass on the line and stay in front of a tailgater who is behind me, just because I have the right of way. In any car v. motorcycle scenario, the motorcycle loses. Yes, I was pissed, but I let the car drive by after I switched lanes, took a couple of deep breaths, and everything was good.

My fiancé and I cruised my old stomping grounds in Hollywood. I lived in Hollywood for about 10 years, including my entire time in law school. I must say that there seems to be many more clubs and much more foot traffic on Hollywood Blvd. then there used to be. I think they have cleaned it up quite nicely.

We ended the night or I should say morning at the world famous Jerry’s Delicatessen on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. There is nothing like Matzo Ball soup and coffee to end a great evening on. If you want to see celebrities, this is the place to go.

Unlike non bikers, we bikers and motorcyclist have a secret that the rest of the world only dreams about; we have our motorcycles to give us therapy. When shit hits the fan in our lives, all we have to do is jump on our trusty motorcycles and take a ride. I am not talking about posers who jump on their bike to ride a few blocks to a bar, or to ride a few miles to hang out at some event and pose, I am talking about really riding.

Riding a motorcycle at least for me, is one of the most pleasurable things I have in my life. I only wish that god will continue to give me great health and faculties so that I can continue to ride motorcycles for the rest of my life.

At the top of this article you can see a video I took with my fiance’s phone at the Roxy Theater on Saturday night on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California. Unfortunately the audio got jacked up by the phone. You can however see that it was a great time!

By California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Share
Share


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

Welcome, my name is Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. I am a real biker, and a real California Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer. Click on the About Me Tab on Top to find out more about me

I created this site to provide information to the motorcycle and biker community, as well as general California Personal Injury, and Family Law Information to all.

On BikerLawBlog.com you will find Biker and Motorcycle Legal Articles, News, Links, Safety Tips, Personal Injury, Family Law, and more.

If you wish to contact me or submit articles, you may do so by clicking on the Contact Us button above, or by clicking here now