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Welcome to my website! IBR 2011 Start


My name is George Barker and I am honored that you decided to stop by.  With so many choices, you landed here. 


Thank 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.  Look around.  If you like what you see, please leave me a comment.  Stop by once in awhile as I usually get two significant 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 (www.rallysoft.net) 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 to 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

Well, 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).

Overall 1st Place Award

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 extreme rides.

Well, 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 the 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.



Iron Butt Rally 2011


In 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 in some practice time for the IBR was a challenge that spring.  There were a couple snow storms very late in the spring, plus Haul Bike wanted four weeks to get my bike out to Seattle.  Taking a couple weeks 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 Saturday, 1000 miles the next, and 2000 on the third weekend.  This plan was 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 shipped out on time and a few days before the rally Susan and I rode Amtrak out to Seattle.  I put together an IBR2011 Page.  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 coming in.

It's official!  First PR1000 is in the record books!


I got the paperwork in hand and it's official.  Yours truly has had his Puerto Rico SaddleSore 1000 ride certified as the first ever in Puerto Rico!

Not 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 took a lot of planning along with a very challenging ride.  I'm working on a ride report, but for now you will have to settle for the certificate.

Bentdahl Award Received!


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 hours, all while visiting bonus locations and scoring points.  You can see all the MN1000 results on the TeamStrange website.  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 the 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.

Coat number 19,315 goes on the World's Largest Ball of Paint!


Not 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 and friends have been adding paint to this ball for nearly 30 years.  It all started with a baseball and a dream.  Now its, well, large.  By the way, Mike keeps a journal and a photo of everyone who has put a coat of paint on the ball.  So, the next time you're 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 Indianapolis.  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.















Favorite Links


Appleton, Wisconsin is located about 30 miles south of Green Bay and about 100 miles north of Milwaukee.

Click for Appleton, Wisconsin Forecast

Here is a sample of one trip to one of the world's largest things.  It's the world's largest penny in Woodruff, Wisconsin.

Photo Album




Look at my new online photo albums filled with pictures from my vacations, sporting events, and my family.

All pictures on this website were taken by 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.

If you like a photo, but would prefer one without me in it, just ask.  On 90% of the photo stops, I have taken a photo of the person/place/thing without me, or friends, in the picture.


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