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Gadget Boy Reviews
Welcome to my website!
name is George Barker and I am
honored that you
decided to stop by. With so many choices,
you landed here.
you. I created this website to offer a
little info about me and my interests, and what I have been up to
recently. My prime hobby is motorcycle touring.
around. If you like what you see, please leave me a
comment. Stop by once in awhile as I usually get two
trips, and one or two smaller trips, each year.
2014 IBA InterNational Meet
This was a significant first for me. That is, presenting a
workshop at IBA's biannual InterNational Meet in Denver,
Colorado. The full spectrum of riders, from the rookies to the top long distance veterans, were at the meet and I
had the opportunity to share my Practice Rally Generator
with the group. It was especially fun to help out the
newcomers as our sport is one where the veterans share their experience
with anyone interested enough to ask. It is definitely an honor
give back to the long distance riding community, no matter how great or
small of my contribution. Visit the IBA website (www.ironbutt.com)
to find out when the next event will be held. See
you in Denver!
2013 Minnesota 1000
it happened. Years of practice and patience paid off, along with
a little luck. In June 2013 I took overall first place in the
Minnesota 1000. This was a challenging rally as some of the top
riders in the country are "Strangers". Even the rider soon to be the 2013 IBR winner
was among the competitors. For the rally, I took the outside loop to distant cities like
International Falls and Warroad. In Duluth there was a bone
chilling 40F rain falling and in the middle of the night severe
thunderstorms strafed Minnesota causing everyone to use the rest bonus
to it's fullest. Through all of that, I carried a water balloon
for 1200+ miles without breaking it. See the results on the
TeamStrange Archives (www.teamstrange.com).
2013 Border to Border Insanity
Over Labor Day weekend, I participated in the MTF sponsored Border to
Border Run, running from Mexico to Canada. The ride can run from
any city in Mexico to any city in Canada, but it must be done in less
than 24 or 36 hours, and you must have all the proper documentation for
a certified ride. For this ride, we rode from Nuevo Laredo to Emerson,
though not as a group. Since I was stiving for the Insanity (24 hour
version), having the MTF witnesses was gold. It is sometimes very
tough to find willing witnesses, and the proper ones at that, for the
I did do the ride in under 24 hours. It took me 22 hours
and 56 minutes. Not only that, for added challenge I collected
starting toll receipt at 00:08 (8 minutes after midnight), making my
ride all within one calendar day. Starting at that time was as
close to perfect as one could get. No delays crossing the border
from Mexico to the States. No delays at that little
agricultural/immigration station 10 miles north of Laredo. No
traffic in Dallas. And I beat
the heat by getting a few hundred miles north before the sun got too
high. On the Canadian side, the duty-free store was open and I
got a quick receipt since almost noone was in the store. The one
hassle I'll warn you about, there is only one motel in Pembina, ND, and
it has 5 or 6 rooms. I'm so glad I booked a room well in advance
or I would have had to do the Iron Butt hotel.
SOME ENDURING HIGHLIGHTS
Butt Rally 2011
June of 2011, I had the privilege of
participating in the Iron Butt Rally (Iron
Butt Rally 2011).
The prior year I was a finisher in the inaugural IB5000. Getting
practice time for the IBR was a challenge that spring. There were
a couple snow storms very late in the spring, plus Haul Bike
four weeks to get my bike out to Seattle. Taking a couple
to prep the bike for the first ride, and another week to prep for
shipping, only left me with about four weekends to do some riding.
My strategy was to "ease" into it with 500 miles one
1000 miles the next, and 2000 on the third weekend. This plan
a great one for me as I was able to work out the bugs little by little
until I felt good about my setup on the bike. The bike
out on time and a few days before the rally Susan and I rode Amtrak out
to Seattle. I put together an IBR2011
It is not the conventional ride report. This time I took the
approach of answering the top questions I have received about my
participation in the rally.
I recommend you visit the Iron
Butt Associations web page on the rally. There are
very entertaining daily reports, scores, and some ride reports are
official! First PR1000 is in the
got the paperwork in hand
and it's official. Yours truly has had his Puerto Rico
1000 ride certified as the first ever in Puerto Rico!
very often does one get the chance to make a first in this group of
long distance riders. I am proud of the accomplishment as it
a lot of planning along with a very challenging ride. I'm
on a ride report, but for now you will have to settle for the
Minnesota 2010 was my fourth MN1000. This is an important
milestone as riders who have ridden more than 5,000 miles in their
first four Minnesota 1000's receive the Ray Bentdahl Award.
That's four rally's averaging more that 1,250 miles in 24
all while visiting bonus locations and scoring points. You
see all the MN1000 results on the TeamStrange
I had to ride at least 1,053 in the first half of the rally,
which I accomplished to achieve the award. The second leg of
rally did not go so well for me as I let myself get out of position and
missed some bonuses, and scored low in the standings. In 2014, I went on to receive the Collins Award for 10,000 miles in my first eight rallies.
number 19,315 goes on the World's
Largest Ball of Paint!
too long ago, I had the privilege of putting the 19,315 coat of paint
on the World's Largest Ball of Paint. Mike Carmichael, family
friends have been adding paint to this ball for nearly 30
It all started with a baseball and a dream. Now its, well,
large. By the way, Mike keeps a journal and a photo of
who has put a coat of paint on the ball. So, the next time
in a bar and someone claims to have put a coat of paint on the World's
Largest, we have ways to verify it. The WLBOP can be found in
Alexandria, Indiana, just a short distance north of
This exhibit is behind closed doors, so call/email ahead to make sure
Mike will be around to let you in (https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9792).
See my World's Largest Too page for more information.
Wisconsin is located about 30 miles south of Green Bay and about 100
miles north of Milwaukee.
Here is a sample of one trip to one of
the world's largest things. It's the world's largest penny in
Look at my new online photo albums filled with
from my vacations, sporting events, and my family.
|All pictures on this website were
George Barker and friends. My pictures may be used on another
website under three conditions: 1) E-mail me with your name and URL
(website address; ie. http://www.thebarkers1.com) BEFORE putting
the picture on your site; 2) You give credit where credit is due (in
other words, give credit to the photographer); and 3) You provide a
link to www.thebarkers1.com
on at least
one page on your website.
you like a photo,
but would prefer one without me in it, just ask. On 90% of
photo stops, I have taken a photo of the person/place/thing without me,
or friends, in the picture.