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

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

God be with the People of the Great State of Alabama

As I type this I am getting ready to go to Las Vegas on a business trip, but I could not leave without sending out my prayers and condolences to the people of the great State of Alabama, and 4 other states who have suffered severe and extreme weather over the past couple of days.

Over 150 tornado’s have struck over the last couple of days.

As of the writing of this article, approximately 290 people are confirmed dead across 5 states, with more sure to follow, and about 350,000 people are without electricity.

These are fellow Americans, and they are suffering.

I am calling on everyone who reads this to donate funds to the Tornado Relief Effort that is being put on by the American Red Cross.

You can donate funds online by clicking here, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or send a text to REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

We in the West are with all Southerners today!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

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.

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

Is Las Vegas, Nevada a Dying City?

Is Las Vegas a Dying City
Las Vegas Strip

 *** 7/10/09 Update – I am going to insert a comment from a Biker Law Blog Reader named Sam below. I feel that his update is succient and to the point. Here it is:

Comment from : sam [Visitor]
i just wrapped up a trip that ended up in las vegas for a week recently. we have been going to vegas for the past 15 years. the last 3 years i have seen the slow decline in service,decreased payouts-or tight slots, lack of people filling up the machines. etc. the taxi drivers are dying a slow death trying to keep their escalades and limos on the street-practically begging for tips each time you enter their vehicle.
At the circus circus they lived up to their ‘circus’ name recently. all the elevators were down, off and on for three days we spent there. people were stranded in elevators that would not open etc. we waited over 30 minutes a couple times to get on an elevator only to get stuck ourselves. i’ll never stay there again. its the same old run down room in the west tower it was 15 years ago. carpets are filthy, brass is nearly worn to the nickel plating, painted areas are filthy…at the mandalay bay had backed up toilets and sinks for a couple days. service is also lousy.
if you look at the skyline you will see at least 10 cranes proudly standing in the air that have not moved since october last year! thousands of construction workers have been layed off-and if you look around long enough you will find a completed casino–but the doors have never been opened.might as well wrap the casino up in plastic wrap like they are doing to the empty condominiums right now.
will las vegas make it out of the recession? yes. but it will entail alot of bancruptcys and mergers.
beaware saudi arabia owns the new city center the great mgm started. every time we spend a dollar in vegas you may as well send it to the saudis.i think there are only 3-4 stand alone casinos in vegas now that is not somehow owned by the saudis…..something to think about.
if i were to visit vegas again today i would stay at new york, new york or the mgm. they are much cleaner, service is nice, and for the location you will be closer to everything else you want to do there…..good luck all

My fiancé and I visited Las Vegas last week for a little mini vacation. I was absolutely shocked at what I saw. Basically, Las Vegas was empty. There was still the ubiquitous building on the strip, and tourist walking on the strip, however, it was not the same.

The casinos were empty and basically dead, the slot machines were as dead as doornail’s, the excitement that used to permeate the Las Vegas strip is gone. Hell, there is more excitement at the local casino in Temecula.

Before we went to Las Vegas, I heard that Las Vegas was the emptiest city in the country with respect to vacant houses. This report was confirmed when my fiancé and I went looking for a few houses for investment purposes. We actually saw a really nice three bedroom house that could be had for $69,000. The same house previously sold for around $300,000. Imagine, being able to buy a house for only $69,000.

Watching local news in our room, we heard reports about the Hooters Casino being able to make their payment and stay open, but other local businesses losing thousands of jobs. The doom and gloom of our economic crisis is certainly in the air Las Vegas.

On a good note, I observed many bikers and motorcyclist riding all types of motorcycles. Unfortunately, I was stuck in my cage for this trip. It always bums me out to see bikers, motorcyclists, and everything on two wheels passing me by while riding in my car. I guess you can’t ride your motorcycle all the time.

At least I can say that I contributed to the Las Vegas economy; I dropped about $500 to the blackjack tables, and slot machines. My fiancé lost about the same amount of money.

This is one of the few  Las Vegas trips, where I was really happy to leave. The Las Vegas of old is gone. I am not that old, however, I can remember the good old days, going to Las Vegas, dressing up for a night on the town, and being treated like royalty at the Desert Inn. We did see a few people formally dressed at the Venetian; however it is all tank tops and shorts.

If you want to buy a really cheap house, go to Las Vegas, Nevada. However, I am not quite sure that Las Vegas Nevada is going to survive. Let’s hope I am wrong!

By California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2009

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