A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Tag Archives: motorcycle rally

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

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

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

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

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

In the Black Hills of South Dakota for a few days

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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

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.

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

Las Vegas Bikerfest 2011; a Review

Liz and I decided to ride to the Las Vegas Bikerfest biker rally last weekend. We rode to the rally on September 30, 2011 through October 2, 2011.

Below you can see 1 ½ hours of video I shot at the Las Vegas Bikerfest. Lots of interesting sites in the video.

We took off for the rally on Friday evening, September 30, 2011. We had a great ride to Las Vegas except for a few minor rain showers on the way.

The weather was warm and balmy all the way to Las Vegas.

We have gone to this biker rally before, and it was packed, so this is kind of what we were expecting when we got there.

We arrived at our hotel, The Palace Station at approximately 2am or so. The hotel was kind of dead when we arrived and notwithstanding the fact that we stayed off strip; I was really surprised to only see a few motorcycles parked at the hotel.

We gambled for a couple of hours and then hit the sack so we could get an early start for Saturday’s festivities.

We woke up on Saturday, grabbed some excellent buffet food from the Palace Station, and proceeded to head to Vendor Village at the Cashman Center.

We had to pay $15.00 bucks a piece just to get in to see the vendors, because we did not pre-register for the event on the internet. I must say that I did try pre-registering for the event on the internet like I have done in past years, but for some inexplicable reason, they cut off pre-registration a few days before the event which makes no sense. Anyway……

I do not understand why we had to pay $15.00 a piece to see vendors who then charge you for what they are selling. At events like Laughlin and Reno, and other events all over the nation, the vendors are set up in a public place and there is no charge to basically shop the vendors.

One thing we noticed was the vendor village was basically dead compared to the other biker events we have gone to this year. I am not sure why the event did not seem to be as crowded this year. Don’t get me wrong there were people there, just not as many as I have seen in past years.

I found a leather vendor who offered me a distressed heavy brown leather motorcycle jacket that I have seen in the biker stores before for around $400, for $60.00. The motorcycle jacket has all of the bells and whistles, armor in the elbows, vents, zip liner, etc. Although I already have a bunch of jackets, I could not resist. I pulled the trigger for $60.00.

I also scored some bandanas which I do not need, and a few other things.

We walked around inside and out, looked at the cool motorcycles in the Artistry in Iron exhibit, listened to the band outside, and then decided to split.

We went to downtown where all of the Saturday night events at the rally usually happen. There were lots of bikes, but again, not as many as in past years.

Downtown was very busy as you can see in the video, however, I remember in past years where you could barely walk through the crowd.

Downtown was a trip. They had a Led Zeppelin and AC/DC tribute bank going, along with another tribute band playing 80’s glam rock.

Check out the video, it gives you a good idea what downtown was like.

There was a very heavy police presence at the event.

We walked around, listened to the bands, had a good time, and then split at around 2am to go back to the hotel.

The next day we went to a Las Vegas Biker shop that has the largest selection of leather items supposedly on the west coast. I picked up a few things there, and then we got on the road. Most biker rallies empty quickly on the last day.

We had a good time at the rally as usual, and a good ride home.

Next we have Palm Springs American Heat biker rally in two weeks………..

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By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 7, 2011

An Example of Extreme Weather Riding, Reno 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My old lady and I just completed a run up to the Reno Street Vibrations Biker Rally this past weekend.

It was around a 450 mile run each way from our home, and sure was an exercise in extreme weather riding for us Southern Californians, who are used to mild temperatures.

The route we took was from the 14 freeway to Highway 395  to the 80, and to our hotel in Reno.

The day we rode up to Reno, Friday, September 23, 2011, started out to be a mild day. The weather was calm at 5:30am when we left our home, around 75 degrees.

As we started riding north, the weather got hotter and hotter, cooled off, and then got hot again as the day went on.

You see highway 395 took us through the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, past Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in North America, up around 8,000 feet and higher, then through Carson City (Lake Tahoe is just above Carson City), and then to Reno which is basically in the Nevada Desert.

I usually wear a light long sleeve type of t-shirt on hot days to protect my skin from the sun, and blue jeans. I know I should wear an armored fabric type of jacket, and I am in the process of trying to find a good one.

My old lady also wears long sleeves, and usually always wears chaps as well.

On Friday, due to traffic conditions, an accident in a bad spot where a biker went down due to a defective road under construction, the heat, and the extreme traffic in Reno again due to construction and the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, Liz and I were totally spent by the time we got to Reno.

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My new Electra Glide Ultra got so hot that it almost cooked that day.

We tried as best as we could to hydrate along the way, but I think that we over did it on Friday. We both almost suffered severe heat stroke by the time we got to Reno. We were both dizzy and sick upon arrival.

I was in such a rush to get to Reno; I ignored my basic riding principals!

In the future, I will make sure we take more breaks, hydrate more, and give ourselves more time to get to a long destination.

450 miles in one day riding two up, is a very long ride under any circumstances. In heat it can be tough.

On the way back from Reno, it was warm when we left, but soon, when we got up into the mountains, we suffered severe weather. There was lighting storms, rain, hail, and cold. Imagine going from warm to very cold in just a few miles.

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I let Liz use my chaps since she left hers with a friend by mistake, I put a sweatshirt on, my leather jacket, my gauntlet gloves, and we proceeded through the severe weather.

Upon reaching Lone Pine, we stopped to get some food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. (A great local restaurant with damn good food.)

Lone Pine is a tourist town along the 395 which caters to people on their way to see Mt. Whitney and Yosemite.

When we walked into the restaurant to eat, we were all bundled up in leathers and more, all of the locals were in t-shirts and shorts. I took my jacket off and sure enough it was at least 80 degrees outside.

We went from warm in Reno when we left, to cold lighting storms, back to warm again, all within a 300 mile stretch.

I proceeded to take my leather jacket and gauntlet’s off again, and switch to light gloves, and then we got on the road again.

There was a 30 mile stretch after Lone Pine, just before Mohave and the 14, where I never was so afraid in my life while riding a motorcycle.

Out of no-where we hit cold, and 60-70 mile per hour wind gusts or more that literally almost knocked my bike over while we were riding.

The wind was hitting us from the side going north to south. When a gust would hit us it caused my head to jerk hard to the left. It also caused the bike to jerk violently, and I have a very heavy bike.

Liz and I had our intercom hooked up, and she was freaking out. I had to tell her to be quiet and not panic. The wind was so bad that I knew if I slowed down and tried to pull over there would be no way I could hold the bike up. I knew the wind would knock us over.

I knew the forward energy and centrifugal force of the tires turning made it safer for us to keep riding than trying to stop.

I was genuinely afraid like I have never been before in my life while riding. It was a horrible experience, especially in the pitch dark of the Mohave Desert.

When we got to a 76 truck stop in Mohave where the 14 hits the 395 we pulled over to get our bearings back. It was then that another couple pulled in on a motorcycle in a panicked state.

They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide, they each had beanie helmets on with clear glasses on for eye protection, and they were even more panicked than we were.

The women got off of the back of her old man’s bike and literally hugged him and would not let go.

We discussed the fact that it was by the grace of god that we all made it through unscathed.

I put my leather jacket and gauntlet’s back on and we rode off watching the woman from the other bike hugging her old man like there was no tomorrow.

Moral to the story; when riding a motorcycle, be prepared for any weather.

I can’t wait for next year :)

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

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

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.

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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.

While on this road we hit some pretty good speeds to say the least, I love riding through the desert at night, there is something spiritual and empty about it. We eventually passed a sign that said “next services 55 miles.” My odometer was already at around 60 miles since my last gas stop. I knew my Harley would easily make the next gas stop in 55 miles so that is where I decided to make my last gas stop before Needles.

Saying that I was riding at a pretty good speed is an understatement. I will just say this, I opened her up on the open road, we were hauling ass. As usual, I rode one handed a lot to relieve stress and give each hand a break from holding on. I was riding like normal, everything seemed normal.

We then approached the last desolate gas station in a shit hole called Essex; this is the place that I planned on stopping to get fuel before we got to our motel in Needles. It was around midnight by this time.

As I got off of the I-40 into the darkness, at a very, shall we say, decent rate of speed, I was still holding on one handed and banking normally. I then downshifted and slowed her up until we got to the stop sign at the end of the ramp.

When I accelerated out of 1st gear the motorcycle started to wobble uncontrollably. You must understand, I have been riding for many years. I immediately knew that something was seriously wrong. I stopped the motorcycle, and tried again; same thing. My wife was on the back.

The gas station on the exit where we stopped was at least a mile down a curved road from where you exit. You could not see it from where I stopped. We were basically just under the bridge in the middle of the friggen desert at night, it was pitch dark, and there was nothing out there with us except snakes, scorpion, coyotes, and god knows what else.

I got my mini led flash light out of the tour pak to see if I could see anything wrong with the motorcycle, everything looked fine. I pushed down on the motorcycle to see if there was something wrong with the shocks, they seemed fine. Everything looked fine. I thought it might be the road which was very rough and irregular. I got on the bike and tried again; same thing, an uncontrollable wobble.

I knew we could not sit out in the desert. Literally at this time in the morning on the I-40 there is very little if no traffic at all. On this particular off ramp there was no one and no light. It was pitch dark. So I proceeded to 1st gear ride the wobblier all the way to the gas station which seemed like a very long distance from the ramp, with my wife on the back.

I very much wanted to accelerate faster to see if the wobble would go away, but frankly the wobble was so bad, even at a couple of miles per hour I could barely control her to get to the gas station. I did not want to take any further chances on dropping the motorcycle, or getting my wife and I injured.

I am telling you, it took all of my concentration, and nerve to get the damm thing down the road. It was wobbling violently all the way.

Upon arrival at the gas station, I recognized it from previous trips I have taken on the 40. It is a unique place in the middle of no where. They have no pay phone, no air for tires, and the guy that works there at night looks like one of the guys from the movie Deliverance. They also have a bunch of fish tanks in the place. This place is literally isolated in the middle of no where.

Once we got there, I inspected the motorcycle and could not see anything visibly wrong with the motorcycle. I have AAA roadside service with premier RV and Motorcycle coverage, so I decided that I had better call AAA and get the motorcycle towed back to my home.

To make a long story short, there was no cell phone coverage at the gas station, they had no pay phone, and they guy behind the counter said I could not use his phone. After purchasing a couple of drinks for my wife and me, I finally convinced the guy to let me call AAA which is an 800 number. While I was on the phone with them, the guy at the counter kept on telling me that I had to get off because it was a business line; you get the picture we were screwed and at the mercy of this guy at the gas station for now. AAA told me that they would have someone there in two hours. Two hours! I told them I wanted to get the motorcycle towed back to my house.

It was cold as hell outside by this time in the desert after midnight. Luckily, there were some seats inside. Unfortunately, the guy that worked in the gas station seemed to have a few nuts loose. He must have had a hearing problem, because he screamed when he talked to you, and the guy would not stop talking. My wife and I wanted to just sit there and wait for AAA; instead this guy came to where we were sitting and non stop talked the entire time. I should say he non stop yelled the entire time.

While we were waiting, a couple of motorcycles stopped in at the place. A couple of guys from a famous motorcycle club also stopped in. 4 total motorcycles. We all came to a consensus that I had a flat rear tire.

Although my rear Metzler 880 tire was basically new with all of the tread on it, and it appeared to be fine, upon a closer inspection of the tire, as the guys watched me ride it slowly in the gas station lighted area, they said it looked flat. One guy said that motorcycle tires are heavy duty, and appear to be ok even when they are flat. None of us had a tire gauge, and the gas station did not have one.

This was a new one on me. I always change out my tires when the tread appears to be worn. I have never experienced a flat motorcycle tire before.

I purchased some fix a flat from the gas station to see if I could get the tire up and working. AAA called at this time, I told the guy who was actually coming out from AAA that I wanted to be towed home. He then dropped the news that the premier towing plan that I paid for only covered 100 miles for RV and Motorcycle, it is 200 miles for a car. I told him that I was going to try fix a flat and for him to call me back. The fix a flat did not work, and luckily it did not work. I knew it would be a bad move to try to ride in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night on fix a flat, plus the bottle said it was not for motorcycle use. When the AAA guy called back, I told him that we were just going to have it towed to our motel in Needles, CA.

So there we sat in the middle of no where, in the middle of the night, with a guy from the movie deliverance that would not stop talking to us, waiting for AAA, with no cell phone service, basically stranded. It was very cold outside. This was the beginning of our Laughlin River Run 2010 experience.

At around 2am we got a break from the action when some drunks pulled in and started fighting with each other about one of them putting out some gas money. Other than that we were stuck, and there was no customers coming in.

Finally the AAA guy showed up with an SUV and a trailer two and half hours later at 2:30am. We got the bike on the trailer and as he was strapping it in he broke off one of the reflectors on my front frame. I was not going to say shit because I just wanted to get the motorcycle towed to anywhere but where we were at.

After a 40 mile trip at 55 miles per hour (speed limit of vehicles with a trailer in this part of the country) we finally got to the motel at around 3:30am. We got the motorcycle off of the trailer and I was bummed. The guy gave me the card of some bike shop in Fort Mohave across the river. I would call them in the morning after a few hours sleep.

At this point while we were in the Motel, I realized that my wife and I were lucky to be alive. I cannot stress this point enough. Over and over in my head I tried to remember a point in the trip where I felt that something was wrong with the motorcycle. Had the motorcycle gone into a wobble of the type that we had when we got off of the I-40, at lets say 90 miles per hour, we would have been history, we would most likely be dead.

Think about it; I was riding one handed at speeds of 70mph plus and my rear tire had gone flat somewhere along the line. We could have crashed and no one would have seen us until they were running over us, or we could have gone off of the side of the road, and not be seen until daylight or even days later. This is how dark and desolate this stretch of the desert is. The only explanation I have for us not crashing that night was that GOD was watching over us. We are now still alive because of the grace of god.

This experience has changed both my wife and I. I am going to write a separate article on this subject, but suffice is to say; I am now much more cognizant of each and every bump and cranny while riding the motorcycle. After years of meticulous detail in checking my tires and tread, I finally had a catastrophic failure that could have been fatal. Thank GOD we made it out of this one alive and ok.

We did not get to sleep until around 5:30am Saturday morning. I set the clock to wake up at 9am so that I could call the shop on the card that the tow truck driver gave me. The tow truck driver told me that there was no Harley Davidson dealership within a hundred miles.

When we woke up in the morning, we discovered that our cell phones did not work in Needles either. Needles, California is a small desert town on the Arizona, Nevada border. I used the motel phone to call the shop on the card that the tow truck driver gave us. A girl answered the phone; XXX (I will not write their real name) and tattoo shop. I immediately knew I was screwed. Tattoo shop? I told her that I needed a tire for my Electra Glide. When she asked me for the size of the tire, I knew I was in trouble at that point; any reputable Harley shop knows the size of a stock Harley Davidson tire. I gave her the tire size. When she told me, “oh yes, we have some good used tires in that size available,” I knew that I needed to find a better solution.

There was no way in hell that I was going to ride with my wife on a used tire in the middle of the Mohave Desert.

I found the yellow pages in the room; it was the thinnest yellow pages I have ever seen. I looked under motorcycles. There was a small square ad for Harley Davidson’s, Honda, etc. They were located in Kingman, Arizona about 70 miles from where we were at. I called them up. Turns out that they were a Harley Davidson dealership. The gal on the phone said that they had 19 tires in stock. I did not tell her I had a Metzler on the bike, I knew she was referring to the stock Dunlop that comes with the motorcycle. I did not care, I was desperate. I told her that I was towing the motorcycle in.

I then called AAA, and used up another one of my 4 tows for the year, and told them I wanted to get my motorcycle towed to the dealership in Kingman. They told me that they would be at the motel within an hour.

My wife and I at this point were hungry, in need of coffee, and not having a very good time at all to say the least. My wife contemplated staying in the room and sleeping while I got the motorcycle repaired. Lucky for her she decided to come with me as you will read below. There was no food or restaurant anywhere close or within walking distance to the motel where we were staying.

Finally the tow truck driver arrived with a big flat bed tow truck. The guy had fresh oil spilled all over the flat bed from a car he towed previously; he had not cleaned it. I just wanted to get my motorcycle to the Harley Davidson dealership in Kingman.

The guy seemed like he knew what he was doing. I expressed my concern as I rode the bike onto the flatbed that if the tires hit the oil or my foot hit the oil I could drop the bike. He said “don’t worry; I know what I am doing.”

He strapped the bike on the flatbed, and we proceeded to drive the one hour to Kingman in the tow truck.

While on the I-40, in Kingman, we could see what appeared to be a big motorcycle event to the left. There were thousands of motorcycles, tents, a band, trailers, you name it; it was the friggen Harley dealership we were going to. They were literally having a rally and poker run to go along with the Laughlin River run. No one on the phone told me that this event was going on! It would not have mattered either way, we were stuck and this was the only game in town.

As we got off of the freeway and made a turn, the tow trunk driver pulled off the road and said he “had to check my bike, it looks like the straps have come loose.” As I got out of the truck, I saw my beautiful and treasured Electra Glide sitting squarely on its side on the flat bed truck. The bike had fallen over. I could not fucking believe it. There was my motorcycle that I polish and take care of like nothing else in my life sitting on its side on the flatbed truck. I was too tired, and too desperate to get out of this BS situation to scream at or punch the guy. I told him the straps are not holding my bike, the bike had fallen all the way over. He knew it. I could see that he was embarrassed. He told me that he would take care of any damage.

We then lifted my motorcycle back up. I did not see any visible damage. He strapped the bike back up and we went the ½ mile to the Harley Dealership. Picture this, there were police, there was security, there was thousands of motorcycles and people, they had the entrances to the dealership all blocked off to traffic, it was a damm festival/rally. The guy in the tow truck asked me if I could get the motorcycle in from the street, through all of the people and motorcycles. I said hell no, I had a flat tire and could barely hold the thing up with the wobble with no people around.

I jumped out of the truck and told one of the security guys that we were going to service. Almost instantly, the guy removed the blockade from the entrance, and ran in front of the tow truck, parting the way for us, all of the way to the gated service entrance. I was amazed and so was the two truck driver.

The guys from service all jumped on the back of the flatbed. They all bitched about the fresh spilled oil on the flatbed, but we got the bike off. I told them that the bike had fallen on the flatbed, and they all gave me empathy. At this point I felt like everything was going be ok, I was home, at a real Harley Davidson dealership.

The tow truck driver gave me his card and told me not to worry, that he would take care of any damage. I did not give him a tip because he dropped my bike.

So there we were, at the Kingman, Arizona Harley Davison Dealership, during Laughlin River Run weekend, with thousands of other people. Yippee. As it turns out, there were a lot of other people that broke down, and who were in service just like us.

The service gal told me that they had the Metzler 880 in stock, which made happy that I would not have to ride with a mismatched Dunlop stocker on the back. I told her “hell since I am here, why don’t you also do an inspection of the motorcycle, check the timing, and change out the fluids.”

I run with fossil oil in all of my motorcycles. This dealership told me they only used synthetic, so I went with what they had. I was happy. Hell at this point I really did not care about cost, I just wanted to get back out on the road; well I should have been concerned; they ripped me off! I will talk about that below.

I was told it would take two hours to replace the tire, and to do what I had asked. Great!

By the way, we still had no cell phone service in Kingman, Arizona, which made it impossible for us to check messages or get a hold of our friends in Laughlin.

So there we were. We got to the dealership at around noon. We were hungry. Everything we needed was at the dealer event; we got some good food, some lemonade. They had beer and such, but neither I nor my wife drink alcohol. We checked out the vendors, we basically had a good time.

However, when 3pm rolled I became concerned. I went up to the desk. I was told that there were motorcycles still ahead of me. At 4:00pm I noticed that my motorcycle was still sitting out back and had not been touched. I was told that I was next.

The dealership was scheduled to close at 6pm, and the crowd was starting to significantly thin out. At 5pm, my bike was inside being worked on, but no word. The gal at the desk told me that she would find me when the bike was done.

At 5:45, I told my wife to go ask about the bike; I knew the gal at the counter was sick of telling me to wait. At this time I saw the mechanic test riding my motorcycle back into the service gate; thank god, my baby was ready to rock and roll. Before my wife came to tell me, I knew my motorcycle was ready; with 15 minutes to spare before they closed.

It was 9 hours since we woke up, and 6 hours since we got to the dealership.

When I got the counter I had a sinking feeling that they were going to overcharge me, boy was I right. When I asked how much do I owe, she said $500.00. Five fucken hundred dollars, to replace a rear tire, change the fluids, inspect the bike, clean the air filter, and add brake fluid. I was shocked but I did not say anything because I was grateful that my wife and I were alive, and that my bike was fixed.

It could have been much worse. Hell the tow alone from the motel to the dealership would have cost $400.00 had I not had AAA premier membership.

I bit my lip and gave her my Visa checkcard. Earlier at the dealership parts desk, I purchased a reflector to replace the one that the original tow truck guy broke off, and a paint repair kit to fix a couple of dings I have in the paint. The dealership nailed me for $500.00. Hell in the San Fernando Valley, I got both tires replaced for less money.

The gal told me that they inspected the motorcycle from the fall on the tow truck and that there was no damage. Hell I did not even see a scratch; another miracle. She told me that I would soon need to get new brake pads, but other than that, I was good to go.

I asked her what was wrong with the original rear tire. She brought it out and told me to look inside. She said you could see an imperfection inside. To me it still looked like a brand new tire. There was no holes, nothing to explain why it went flat, other than a supposid defect inside.

Another troublesome thing is that she told me that the reason my bike took so long to get done was because the mechanic could not balance the first Metzler they put on, they had to use a second tire. This concerned me, and still does. Is there a problem with the rim?

Suffice is to say I was more relieved than pissed off at this point. I cannot explain how happy I was to get my motorcycle back working. If you are going to take a long road trip, make sure you have money or a credit card just in case something goes wrong!

When we finally got into Laughlin on Saturday night, the rally nightlife was in full swing; it seemed like we missed everything. Because it was night, most of the vendors were closed, but there was still a lot happening.

We went to the Edgewater Casino, where I proceeded to loose about $200 bucks within a half hour on the slot machines. I could not win anything, not even a teaser! It became apparent to me that my luck on this trick was just not there, and we would just be lucky to make it home alive and safe.

We decided to go into the nightclub at the Edgewater and dance a bit. We had fun. We rode back to our motel in Needles and crashed out at around 4 or 5 am.

When we got back to Laughlin at around 2 on Sunday afternoon, the rally was closing down and everyone was heading out. The vendors were all closing up, but there were many still open. We missed most of the goings on because of the bike issues.

What did I do? I bought a rally shirt, and then proceeded to loose another $150 bucks and the slots and blackjack. My wife did not do any better. We waked along the river a bit, socialized with some of the people, and then decided to hit the road.

We had a good run back home, arriving at around 2am.

Will I be back at the Laughlin River Run next year? Hell Yes, I cannot wait.

Maybe next year I will tell you more about the actual rally itself.

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

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.

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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.

Other preparations I made for this motorcycle rally and trip were to purchase a new battery for my motorcycle. It has been a few years since I replaced the battery, and my previous battery was so dead that it would not even take a trickle charge.

I called Harley Davidson to get a price on a new battery; they wanted $170 bucks for a battery, plus the 10% California sales tax. If you factor in the price plus tax, $187.00, plus gas, and time to drive to the dealership to get the battery, it would have been over $200 bucks for a motorcycle battery. There was no way in hell I was going to pay over $200 bucks for a motorcycle battery. Hell a battery for my Mercedes S class cost less than $200 bucks.

I found a place online at batterystuff.com that had a replacement for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide for $99.00 with shipping and tax included. Total price $99.00 delivered to my door. I ordered a battery from them and had it two days later. You cannot beat that.

I installed the new battery, and hooked up my trickle charger to make sure it was fully charged. Within an hour, it was fully charged. I fired up my motorcycle and everything was fine.

On Friday, April 16, 2010, I had to work a few hours, and so did my wife. We were scheduled to leave for the Yuma Prison Run at 2:00pm, but we ended up not leaving until around 3:30pm.

Before I leave on a run, I always warm up my motorcycle, and take her for a local ride for a few miles to warm up and check the oil. I checked the oil, and it was fine.

I gave my motorcycle a once over with some detail wax and a micro fiber cloth. This ritual serves three purposes; (1) I get the motorcycle nice and shiny before I leave, (2) it protects the motorcycle from elements on the run, and (3) it allows me to visually inspect the motorcycle for loose parts or problems.

I usually do a few more things before I leave on a run. I contact the newspaper to have them stop delivery of papers while we are gone, I call my bank to let them know I am traveling so their fraud prevention department does not stop my ATM card at an inconvenient place on the road, I call my security company to let them know I am going to be out of town in case the alarm goes off. My wife gets someone to take care of our 3 dogs. It is not like the old days where we would just go; now there are a few things I have to do first.

Finally, we were ready to leave!

There is almost nothing on earth like the feeling you have when you jump on your motorcycle to ride to a faraway destination. You can quote me on that.

Before this trip I purchased new modular helmets with built in sun screens that can go down, and retract with the flick of a lever on the helmet. With these new helmets, there is no need to wear sunglasses. I am not going to do a write up on the helmets at this time. The only reason I am mentioning the helmets is because they made the trip that much more enjoyable.

Once on the motorcycle, we were off. My wife is a true back seat shotgun rider. She is just as excited about riding as I am. I am truly a lucky man. Most of my friends and brothers cannot for the life of them, get their wives and old ladies to ride with them to events. Therefore, I am always the one with my old lady, and they are usually always either alone, or they have their old ladies follow them in a car. Oh well.

I took a scenic route on the way to Yuma. For me as usual, it is the ride that counts, not the destination.

Really, for me, the destination is always the same. Biker rallies are biker rallies. Same vendors, same cast of characters, same good times. It is kind of like a rolling party of the same people and vendors, set up in different places around the country. A biker rally is just an excuse to get on your motorcycle and ride to far away places. Biker rallies are one of the simple pleasures in life that make life worth living!

So for me, I get off more on the ride to and from a biker rally, than the rally itself. I do not rush to get there, and I do not rush home. I enjoy the ride, because that is what makes the biker rally worth going to! Once I am at a rally, I will spend time at the actual event, but I usually spend more time riding around the area of the event finding new places to ride my motorcycle. I call this trolling.

Anyway, getting back to this years Yuma Prison Run; I took a scenic route. We rode Highway 138, through the Mohave Desert, up into the snow covered mountains before the 15. We got on the 15 and took it from the 138, to the 215 to the 10. Once on the 10, we rode past Palm Springs, CA, and took our first break past Palm Desert for gas and food.

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the 2010 Yuma Prison RunOn the road, I am not a thrill seeker when it comes to food. I like to go to Denny’s or a similar type of restaurant because the food is predictable, and usually good. In the past I have had some real bad experiences going to restaurants on the road.

One time after doing the Reno Rally I stopped at a greasy spoon on the way home, and got food poisoning so bad, I had to be hospitalized. Suffice is to say, I play it safe now. We stopped at Denny’s and had a good meal with no food poisoning!

Gas at this stop was $3.40 per gallon for premium unleaded gas. What a fucking rip off. Why is gas so high when demand is way down due to the bad economy? I will leave this subject for another article. The gas speculators are killing us and the economy!

Anyway, we got back on the road. By this time it was dark. I knew I had to play it safe on the road from here on out. Our planned route was to take the 10 to the 86 to the 111, then to the 8. This route basically is all desert. There are all sorts or critters that can pop out at night on this desolate route; road runners, jack rabbits, snakes, illegal aliens, etc. These are no joke at 80mph in the middle of nowhere at night.

I know many guys that won’t ride these types of roads at night because there is danger, there are no street lights, and it is desolate. As for me, I prefer to ride these types of roads at night.

The riding was good from our first stop. We eventually got to a little farming town called Brawley, CA, where I decided to make our second and last gas stop before arriving in Yuma. It was around 10:00pm or so on Friday night.

My wife and I are at this gas station, in the middle of nowhere, in Brawley, and we are all alone, I am pumping gas, and in comes a car load of what appeared to me to be Latino gang bangers. The reason I believed they were gang bangers was because they fit the profile, and the entire car load of guys basically stared me down the entire time they were there. You just knew that these guys were looking for trouble.

As I was pumping gas; they pulled up and parked in front the entrance to the gas station. I knew that if I stared back or acted cavalier, that I would have had a car load of guys to deal with on my hands. Why the hell would a car load of guys keep staring at a 46 year old guy on a Harley pumping gas? Maybe they were staring at my wife. I am sure you get the picture. Normal guys do not stare at you like this. Believe me; I have been around the block a few times, only an idiot would not recognize the danger in this situation.

I kept my cool, I did not panic, and I kept on eye on them out of the corner of my eye, but acted like I was not looking at them. I did not want to get back on the empty road in the middle of no where and have these guys follow my wife and I. Hell we were on a motorcycle, they were in a car. There was no where to go. We were in Brawley, in the middle of the friggen desert. This was like a scene out of a movie.

My plan was to basically take my time, and to take a break, ignore them, and wait until they left. I told my wife out of the corner of my mouth what to do if something jumped off. Better to make a plan and talk about it, then to ignore it, right?

Eventually, as I predicted, the car load of guys started to leave the gas station. At this time, I started walking to the entrance of the gas station to buy something inside. I wanted to alert the person inside as to what was going on just in case.

As I was walking in, the car load of guys stopped their turn out of the gas station and starred back at me some more. I acted like I did not see them. They then took off. It was interesting and bizarre to say the least.

There are a-social idiots and criminals out there, who would take you out and have no remorse whatsoever in doing so. If you think you are immune from these a-social criminals, you are living in a dream. They are out there!

It is at time like this that everyone wishes they could have a concealed carry weapons permit. However, even if you did have a concealed weapon in this type of situation, chances are that one of the guys in the car would get a shot off before you could get all of them.

Yuma Territorial Prison EntranceThe smart move was to do what I did and not provoke anything. I have learned through my many years of experience and training, that it is better to avoid confrontations when you can, and to be ready for confrontations if there is no way to avoid them. If you take your ego out of the picture 99% of all confrontations like this will end with no problems. It is better to use your brain, then to escalate a situation. That is what separates us from animals.

That is all I am going to say about this subject. On a side note, I went into the head to take a leak, at this gas station after the car load of guys left; the walls were full of fresh gang graffiti. Enough said!

We got back on the road. The rest of the ride was pretty much uneventful except for the pungent smell of manure as we passed some farms after the right turn from the 86 to the 111; Yuk.

This ride basically takes you to the southern most part of California and Arizona right next to the Mexican border. This is the true old west like you see in the cowboy movies.

We eventually crossed the border into Arizona, and got to our off ramp in Yuma. I got our room, and we then went in the Denny’s which was right next to the Motel 6, for breakfast. It was now after midnight.

By the time we got to bed it was around 3 or 4am whoops :)

We woke up on Saturday. Our plan was to hang out by the pool with our friends for a bit until the afternoon, visit the famous old west Yuma Territorial Prison, and then go to the actual event at the Fairgrounds. (Our friends arrived during the day on Friday)

This rally has a reputation for sweltering heat and I knew if we got to the fairgrounds too early, we would be too burnt out to enjoy the evening entertainment.

Now I know I preach motorcycle safety on here, and I always mean what I say. But I could not resist ditching the helmet and riding with no lid in Arizona. I don’t ride without a helmet often because I live in California, but once in Arizona, I could not resist. I ditched the helmet for the day and night. It felt good to feel the wind in my hair again. It is like a long lost normal feeling from the past. Yes I rode without a fucking helmet in Arizona, so sue me.

Yuma Territorial Prison Museum GunsMy wife and I went to the Historic Yuma Territorial prison; you can see a couple of pictures on here. To be frank, I don’t like prisons. I don’t care if this one is closed and it is a historical site with a museum and such. People were imprisoned there, and hung there. It is right on the bank of the Colorado River. Bottom line, I did not dig the prison. It is not a place I will visit again. There was actually a couple taking their wedding pictures there. Geez, why not have your wedding pictures taken at a slaughterhouse, come on!

From the prison, we rode to the Yuma Harley Davidson dealership to check it out, and then we went to the fairgrounds. By the time we got there it was 10 bucks a person to get in because dinner was over. Fine by me, I was not planning on eating there anyway, and 30 bucks a person is kind of steep to go to something like this, even if it is for charity. We were not planning on eating there so why would I want to pay 60 bucks to walk around and look at vendor booths?

When we got in, it was your typical rally type of situation. There were many motorcycles, many bikers, the same old vendors, except that this time I saw one of my new motorcycle competitors there. What a friggen joke. These so called motorcycle lawyers are nothing more than a marketing scam targeted at bikers. The guy behind the booth was not only not a biker, but I doubt he even rides a bicycle let alone a motorcycle.

Yuma Prison Run 2010 at nightThese attorneys who do not ride, and who are advertising themselves as motorcycle attorneys, make me sick to my stomach. I am telling you now, if you ever need a motorcycle attorney, make sure your attorney rides before you hire them. These people think of you as nothing more than a marketing niche. I introduced myself to the joke in the booth. I told him, I don’t put up booths at rallies, I ride to rallies!

DO NOT HIRE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY WHO DOES NOT RIDE MOTORCYCLES. WE BIKERS ARE MORE THAN A MARKETING NICHE. NO REAL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY WILL SET UP BOOTHS AT RALLIES, BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTUALLY RIDING TO THE RALLIES. This is all I will say on this subject.

My wife and I looked at all of the vendor booths and so on. I then noticed a whole bunch of Police walking into the event with tactical gear on. Some were carrying M16’s with what appeared to be 20 round clips. Mind you, there was no trouble that I could see. Yes there were a bunch of motorcycle club guys at the event, but the event was peaceful. Why were the cops there with tactical gear carrying machine guns?

I saw one old timer walk up to one of the cops and ask them what they were doing there. The cop said that they were just “walking around.” The old timer said to the cop that he had been going to the event for “21 years and had never seen such a police presence before.” I walked away before I heard the rest of the conversation.

I will give the police this, I did not see them walking around the entire event, they stayed towards the backend where I originally saw them. They made their presence felt, but I did not see them harass anyone. Is this what it takes to keep motorcycle rallies peaceful these days? I am not sure. What do you think?

My wife and I then went into the stands and got a good seat for the concert that was to take place. I spoke to many people in the stands including a member of the Norwalk MC, the club who put on the event. Everyone was nice, and we had a good time.

We watched the concert, and then took off around 9. We then rode to an Indian Casino where my wife proceeding to loose some money, and I broke even.

We went to a late breakfast at Denny’s and hit the sack.

We woke up early on Sunday, had a light breakfast with some of our friends, and then rode home with our friends. We got home around 3:00pm on Sunday.

The Yuma Prison Run was a good time. I give it a thumbs up. Not really because of the rally per se, but because is an excuse to take a good ride to somewhere interesting.

Will I ride to the rally again, hell yes. Why would I ride to this rally again, because I can.

This weekend is the Laughlin River Run. Yee Haa.

***more pictures to come!

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

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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