Colorado enacted a helmet law on July 1, 1969 as did many states at about that same time due to federal pressures. Due to work by "Coloradoans Against Helmet Laws", this law was repealed effective May 20, 1977. Two organizations were formed out of this original group called CMSA (Colorado Motorcycle Safety Association) and CWCC (Colorado West Concerned Cyclists). Abate of Colorado was not formed until the early 1980's and as such had nothing to do with the Colorado helmet law repeal. Mike Holt, who was at the time a CMSA member, was approached by abate about starting a Northern Colorado abate district which he agreed to do (abate used to stand for "A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments"). In April of 1986, abate leadership decided to hold a raffle for a Harley Davidson motorcycle to raise money. Members were encouraged to buy tickets and the Northern Colorado district did their part. As the date for the raffle grew closer abate leadership let everyone in the districts know that they were not going to raffle the bike because they did not sell enough tickets. Much to everyone's surprise, the truth came out that no bike had ever been purchased. No problem. Just refund everyone's money but abate state leadership said no refunds would be done. Finally when the state of Colorado got involved, they were told to refund the money and they set up a few days where members could stop at a Denver motorcycle shop for their refund for a short time period. The Northern Colorado district had a bitter taste in their mouth about all of this and voted to pull out of abate after feeling betrayed by this attempt to steal money from the members. Of course the abate state leadership wanted the money from the Northern CO district treasury sent back if they were pulling out. Members refused and spent the money, which amounted to less than $100, on a party at the bar.
The former Northern CO district members held a meeting in Windsor CO to discuss future plans and decided to name their new organization "Riders For Justice". Mike Holt was elected President which was fortunate for all Colorado bikers, and so, Riders For Justice was born. RFJ was set up as a tax exempt 501(c)(4) organization. By setting up this way, we can hire a lobbyist and get involved in politics unlike non-profit groups like abate of CO. As time went on, RFJ joined with CWCC on the western slope in a mutual group with the same objectives. Together RFJ, CWCC, and CMSA have stopped helmet legislation over 30 times since that original helmet law. Colorado is one of only 3 states that are totally helmet free! We are truly unique in the lack of restrictive motorcycle laws in this state. About the only requirement we have is that you must have footpegs/seat for passengers and you must wear eye protection (both rider and passenger). We owe all of this to the real freedom fighters like Mike Holt (RFJ), Al Mewborn (CMSA), Ivan Billingsley (CMSA), Bill Boyles (CAHL), Gary Cape, Guy Elmendorf, Trout Brooks, & Bill Durning (all of CWCC). RFJ has been instrumental in stopping many other laws that would have been detrimental to bikers such as the lemon law bill that was only supported by a few members of the abate of CO group, as well as 2 under 18 helmet laws pushed by abate leaders, and abate's attempt to get selective enforcement laws against car drivers in accidents which would have guaranteed us a helmet law (special laws for bikers equals special restrictions!). Thanks to all the freedom fighters who have kept Colorado free!!
Riders For Justice is a grass-roots political group unlike many of the SMROs of today. Most of these groups are big business with yearly incomes in the millions of dollars. RFJ works with very limited funds and has accomplished more than many groups with 100 times our budget! We welcome any donations to help out the cause of freedom. (Donations are not tax deductible.)
As of August 7th, 2007, Riders For Justice in a Colorado Corporation. After much consideration, this action was taken to ensure the long life of the organization. Articles of Incorporation (Link in Articles doesn't work) Attachment to Articles, Constitution & Bylaws
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