“I had one of my people pick up the necessary paperwork and deliver it just in time as I was called back to the Senate.”
Here’s one that will peel the chrome off your jockey shift. This story jabs at the heart of biker history. I’ve known Rogue since 1972. You may be surprised to find him sitting next to you at the Last Resort Bar in Daytona. In many ways, he’s just another 74-year-old biker who joined the Huns MC in the ’60s, spent time in the Air Force, and was a mechanic. Yet, if you scratch past the scraggly beard you’ll discover hard-fighting Rogue who became the international president of the Huns, the leader of the Connecticut Motorcycle Association, and a life-long fighter for biker freedom for 40 years. We wouldn’t be riding as free as we are now without his significant efforts.
Many guys on the streets believe that the AMA is our bastion against losing freedom to ride. Rogue and some of his brothers fought for bikers’ rights years before the AMA had a legislative branch. Then, for years, we fought the AMA and the government, since the AMA didn’t side with bikers.
This story takes you back to the early days of choppers on the East Coast and the men who fought the man daily, fought the government, and fought society to be free. They were tough during rugged times. Keep in mind that this is just one example of thousands in this man’s life. I’ll let it flow, primarily, in his words:
I was international president of the Huns MC with the Mother Chapter in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The club actively fought the Mandatory Helmet Law through an organization named the Connecticut Motorcycle Association (CMA).
We really turned up the heat and threw major helmet protests once a month. Clubs and free riders from all over became involved and the protests grew. At the time the Public Burden Theory wasn’t used. As protests grew, the notion that bikers had no use for helmet laws grew and state governments repealed the laws. Except, there was a national threat. A law was passed that threatened financial sanctions against states that wouldn’t pass helmet laws. It was blackmail.
I wrote about organizing protests and eventually traveled to other states like New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and even Georgia to help organizations build, coordinate protests, and deal with state governments. During one protest in Connecticut, the groups left the capitol in Hartford and headed north and south on Interstate 95. The third group took Interstate 84.
Of course, New England was well known for all the tolls they liked to collect. Our pack lined up at the tollbooth, with leaders in the front, holding $100 bills. The plan was for the first bikes to hit the toll station, pay, and let the rest through. The tollbooth attendants came unglued and wanted each bike to pay separately. It wasn’t long before the interstates were shut down and no traffic was moving on them in or out of Connecticut.
During this scene, bikers who drove trucks blocked the back of the packs so motorists wouldn’t hit bikers. They used more cages to block the other booths. One of the car-driving biker women with a couple of kids, threw a kill switch in her car at another booth. Of course, bikers being gentlemen, offered to assist her “get it fixed,” so the hood was popped open. The car would crank but wouldn’t start. The toll people wanted the bikers to push the car, but they refused. Tow trucks and state police were called. It took them a while to arrive meanwhile nothing moved anywhere. We had the whole interstate system jammed. Cops and press came out of the woodwork.
One of the state cops pulled up like gangbusters and started to yank a riot shotgun out of his trunk, when the sergeant slammed the trunk on his arms and yelled, “Are you crazy? The biker broads have more fire power than we do, and no telling what the guys have.”