BOLT of California
Hall of Fame
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Article on unhelmeted ride May 1994
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Quig Defined Sacrifice
Richard Quigley left this world on September 15, 2007. He was 63.
He won’t be forgotten, and his accomplishments will be enjoyed by bikers for decades to come.
Maybe all the ways he will be appreciated have already been explained.
Many people who lived through the “Depression” felt uncomfortable about spending their
money. They learned you’ll never know when you need to have a stockpile for reserve. Richard
wasn’t that old, and didn’t live like that.
Many who lived through World War II learned that they had to sacrifice; do without for now, or
they will lose everything forever. But Richard wasn’t that old, and World War II didn’t teach
him about Sacrifice.
After WWII we really learned how to build our bank accounts and estates. The years of
sacrifice were over. Richard started down that path, but something happened. He realized that
since you can’t take it with you, and the most positive thing you can leave is a legacy, priorities
changed. He chose to dedicate his time to a battle. He showed us effective ways of preserving
and defending Freedom. He decided to neglect the pursuit of the 6 figure salary, which he had
reached in the 1960s. He knew what he was giving up.
I met Quigley in 1992. Since then, Richard spent a vast majority of his time devoted to finding
the means and ways to take out the California helmet law. When he stood on principle and
opposed the helmet law for 19, 20 and 21 year olds, he showed it is a sacrifice to do what is
right. Many of the people who have and will benefit from his work, turned against him then. But
if state mandated helmet laws are not right for a 22 year old, how is it right for a 20 year old?
You should have heard what was said about Quig because of that. Maybe you remember.
If you knew how he lived, you knew he didn’t have much. He didn’t need much. He saw his place
as a Freedom Fighter. That was important. Very little else measured up to the importance of
Freedom. Richard was an intelligent guy, but his grasp of law, and ability to conduct himself so
well in front of a Judge was the result of sacrifice. He spent time studying. Do you? He spent
time practicing in front of a Judge. He got tickets and fought them. You get good at something if
that is all you do. The time he spent studying and defending himself in court was time everyone
else spent climbing the career ladder and going to runs and parties on weekends.
He would always say, “ If you ain’t havin’ fun you just ain’t doin’ it right.” Quig had fun in
court. When you saw him in a courtroom, it seemed as if his whole existence was for the purpose
of being there, and at that time. The court belonged to him. Like a big league baseball player in
a hitting groove. But he wasn’t making the money of the big league player. At times his team
members, Don, Steve, Pat, many others, would pay the bills for him. He was too valuable
playing the position he played to spend time making bucks to pay the phone bill. FYI, Quig is
gone, but the team is still playing. We will win the game.
I know there are times when it seems we are sacrificing. You only go to 2 movies this month.
You don’t have the 4th drink at the bar, to save money. You only go to Street Vibrations for the
day instead of staying the night. You go to the party instead of the $25.00 run, because you can
get by with spending only $10.00 at the party. Is that sacrifice? What would Quigley say?
As I look back at the years I knew Richard Quigley, the only time we rode together was when he
had a task to accomplish. I’d ride to Santa Cruz, and a group of us would ride from his favorite
coffee shop in the strip mall to the Courthouse. It was great to watch him hold a helmet trial.
He rode to San Diego for an organized helmetless run to protest the improper enforcement
tactics by the police. Those are the “fun runs” for a man who sacrifices for what is Right. We
respect and honor that work and sacrifice, and learn from Quig that it produces a great sense of
accomplishment and self esteem. Attributes that children need to learn, and adults eventually
realize are the definition of fun for a grown-up.
Want a great run? Run to your Rights leader and ask how you can get your Fight into 2nd gear.
There are plenty of ways you can step up your game.
How do you have fun in court? Ask a BOLT member.
The months ahead will show what Richard and the others on his team have set up for years. It is
in the process of playing out now. The court methods and legal arguments have taken the team
16 years to perfect. The team has led well; some cannot follow, but can only support the team’s
plan with money. Some decide not to follow, just to watch. Richard said many times that you can
only do what you can do. I don’t believe you don’t know what you can accomplish until you try.
There is incredible progress toward shutting down the helmet law. That progress can be
accelerated with more help from more riders. The Fight for your Rights is not a spectator sport.
My wish for you is that the leaders in this battle for your Freedom can look back to see you
behind them. Do they see you now?
Quig didn’t sacrifice from fear of spending money.
He didn’t do without the extravagant perks because he couldn’t afford them. He chose to
become the Ultimate Freedom Fighter. Sacrifice is a tool for success that Quig took to the limit;
what an example his life was. You could use it to some degree for your own benefit. Ready to
There’s fun work to be done.
Bikers Of Lesser Tolerance (BOLT),
12-25-43 -- 9-15-07
11-11-1974 - 3-29-2011