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 Thanks to the efforts of Sonny and others, the helmet law was repealed in 1976.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.