Sonny Bridges Inducted in Freedom Fighters Hall Of Fame.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame just announced Gordon “Sonny” Bridges as the 2010 Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame Inductee. The Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame recognizes the commitment and sacrifices individuals across the nation, and world, have made to protect the rights of motorcyclists. In their honor the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame established the nation’s first and only Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame. Gordon “Sonny” Bridges spearheaded a group of bikers in the early 1970s to repeal the state’s mandatory helmet laws.  Eventually, this group became the United Bikers of Maine.  Sonny was elected its first President and worked tirelessly gathering support and members.  Thanks to the efforts of Sonny and others, the helmet law was repealed in 1976.  Still, even 35 years later, the issue continues to rise and Sonny continues to battle. 

The mandatory helmet law repeal was just the beginning for Sonny.  While he stepped down as President of United Bikers of Maine after the repeal, Sonny continued to work tirelessly for bikers rights in the Maine Statehouse.  By spending time at the capital and making friends with legislators, Sonny has been there to fight for bikers rights any time legislation dealing with motorcycles has been introduced.  Just this last year, Sonny fought a noise ordinance that would have required that all motorcycles in the state have stock pipes. 

Sonny is a lifetime member of United Bikers of Maine and continues to speak about motorcycle awareness.  He was a speaker at this year’s Governor’s Tea – which each year kicks off May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.  Many years, he has participated in UBM’s Toy Run – the state’s largest single day charity event.  He is currently developing a program to go to schools throughout the state of Maine and speak to driver’s education courses to encourage new drivers to pay attention and watch for motorcyclists.

Bridges will be honored at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Breakfast, Wednesday, August 11th, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. Breakfast tickets are available for a $35.00 donation, tables of eight for $300.00, at 605.347.2001 or on line at Sturgis Museum.

13 Responses to “Sonny Bridges Inducted in Freedom Fighters Hall Of Fame.”

  1. 1 Big Apr 28th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Wish these Abate-type guys would spend more time trying to get lane-splitting laws passed in more states rather than wasting their time fighting helmet laws. That would do a lot more to improve life for motorcyclists.

  2. 2 fuji Apr 28th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Common sense or principle what’s the balance ? Hall of fame !

    I form my opinion from two arenas. One being motorcycle racing and the other being an Emergency Medical Tech for over Six Years and first hand involvement with downed riders.
    It can get rather ugly especially to pretty faces. Let me say there were several times when it was difficult to go to sleep. When _ _ _ _

    My perspective.

  3. 3 fuji Apr 28th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I will say this, I do admire and thank Sonny for his motorcycle awareness efforts and continued success.

    But when talking to youth and possibly future riders the word ” safety ” and riding gear would be appropriate.

    Sonny I wish you well but protect those that follow

  4. 4 Rogue Apr 29th, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I am happy to see “Sonny’ being inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame and do think he has earned it.
    There are many things that the people who get inducted into the Freedom Fighter section of the Hall of Fame do and that does not always make everyone happy.
    A main factor is giving Those Who Ride The Right To Make Their Own Decisions and yes that does include the weariing of helmets.
    None of the Freedom Fighters that I know try to talk anyone out of wearing a helmet or any other protective gear they want.
    On the other hand they do not want riders to be forced to wear something they do not want either.
    It is very important to everyone who rides to continue to fight for their right to decide what is best for them.
    Those that are for wearing helmets can continue to try and talk others into doing it and those who are against them have the same rights.
    In the early 70s the Federal Goverment tried to pass five (5) laws and told the states if they did not pass one (1) law a year the goverment would hold back state highway funds. That is Blackmail and Extortion!
    The laws were the 55 MPH speedlimit, Mandatory Seatbelts. Blood Alcohol content of 1.2, Mandatory Helmet Laws and School Bus legislation.
    Well they started with the 55 MPH limit and every one knows where that went then the decide they would do the motorcyclist because they were dumb and unorganized.
    What happened some were not as dumb as the politicians thought and through the efforts of clubs and organizations Motorcycle Rights Organizations were formed.Most of these organizations are still around today trying to make sure bad laws against motorcyclist are not passed.
    There were many laws and restrictions being placed on motorcyclist at the time and the Mandatory Helmet Law was the straw that broke the camels back for lack of a better way of putting it.
    If the goverment was not stopped at this point other legislation was to follow.
    There was a Federal Hearing in Washington DC to remove the extortion, I was one of the people that testified at those hearings. We Won! and the Freedom of Choice was returned to the mototcycle riders.
    This made history as the Federal Goverment was not use to loosing especially to a group of motorcycle riders.
    You should understand motorcycle riders were looked at much differently during those day than they are now.
    The Federal Goverment has tried to make a Mandatory Helmet Law every year since then and have not been sucessful.
    If they ever are sucessful in doing so they will have finally won against the motorcycle riders and you will see so many laws that your head will spin.
    So No Matter If You Wear A Helmet Or Not it is Important That You Fight To Give The Freedom of Choice To All Who Ride.
    And Give Thanks to people like “SONNY” who fight for your rights!

  5. 5 Olive Oil Apr 29th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Some people just need others to talk them into wearing helmets not trying to change the law. I would not be here today were it not for my helmet meeting the highway last August. Even with the carbon fibre DOT HD helmet I was out for 30 minutes and awoke in an ambulance. Just wear a helmet to protect that eggshell on your shoulders.

  6. 6 fuji Apr 29th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Olive Oil .

    Point well put ./ taken
    Thanks for responding.
    Good to know that you are here with us today.

  7. 7 Mike Greenwald May 3rd, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Olive Oil,
    Just what were you doing that knocked you out?
    Would you have done things differently or more aggressively with a more protective helmet?
    In your estimation, do all riders confronted with the same set of circumstances end up with the same results as you did?

  8. 8 Rogue May 7th, 2010 at 8:11 am

    My first question would be what caused your helmet to meet the highway?
    And then other questions would follow.
    The fact that you decided to wear a helmet worked for you BUT that does not give you the right to want to force other people to wear one.

  9. 9 Cari P Jun 14th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Sonny Bridges is my grandpa, and I am very proud of all that he has accomplished. He has never been one to not do something because other people object to it. On the contrary. He has done a lot of good for a lot of people. I think that people who wear helmets take more risks than people who don’t. Just an observation. Wear your helmet, don’t wear a helmet, you have the right to choose because of people like my Grandpa.

  10. 10 Harold c newhall jr harry Jul 6th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I have known Sonny about two years now,he hung around Boston Ma area as did I .He knows alot of friends of mine and I of his friends,He has helped hundreds of folks in their rights to wear or not to wear’ve got rescue people saying wear helmets,then on the opposite side you got folks taking away the louder pipes on vehicles,guess what,alot ,more people are gonna end up with no legs and or arms and killed by quiet pipes than a stinking helmet law.Make up your minds folks our legislators are taking everything away,you cant text or use your cell phone,you can’t speed you can’t have a gun,you can’t smoke,you cant drink ,all on highways in your commercial trucks but the police,legislaters and emegency folks can all still smoke,use cell phones and speed,why can’t we,cause we never ever fight for our rights,start videoing these folks using cell phones and turn them in they wont be reprimanded but you will be cited for cell phones,seat belts,speeding,smoking ,drinking,carrying a handgun to protect your family,think is it all fair no.Sonny is all about right to choose,thats all,plus all the other things he has done for folks all over the country.I have soent hours talking to Sonny last year and he is a top shelf man in my book and one of my best friends ever.I’m proud for him and proud to know the man.

  11. 11 Steve Nute Sep 4th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Sonny Bridges thanks you for the kind words
    HIS brother
    Freight Train

  12. 12 Bob Bolduc Apr 2nd, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    keep up the good work sonny me and jackie are backing you here in mass, your just full of surprises aren’t ya, and what holds then and will hold now,,,Loud pipes saves lives.

  13. 13 Sonny Bridges Aug 14th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I’m glad to see you people showing an intrest in motorcyclists rights,no matter which side of the coin you choose to represent. my point is that ALL people should have the right to voice his/her opinion on the rights issues,but I’ll NEVER stand for ANYONE to force their will in reference to motorcyclists rights down either sides throats….. I love you Cari…Thanks Rogue,you’re a very knowledgeable man….and hey Jackie and Bobby. Good to hear from you..Sonny B.

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Cyril Huze