Dave Barr

Dave Barr, US Marine, Para­trooper in the Israeli Army, RLI Troopie and Para­bat Pathfinder is revis­it­ing South Africa, the land for which he gave his all.

Dave lost both legs in a land­mine explo­sion on the bor­der in 1982 and had to start a new chap­ter in life. With iron will and deter­mi­na­tion, Dave learned to walk again on pros­thetic legs. Not only did he walk again, but he got back onto his beloved Harley David­son and learned to ride again. Hav­ing spend­ing many months in 1 Mil­i­tary Hos­pi­tal in Pre­to­ria, Dave met many men who had suf­fered sim­i­lar injuries and he was deter­mined to spend the rest of his life help­ing dis­abled peo­ple come to terms with their cir­cum­stances and make the best of their lives. After his dis­charge from the Army, Dave began his quest to pub­li­cize and raise money for dis­abled peo­ple. He felt the best way to do this was to show both abled and dis­abled peo­ple that any­thing could be done if the indi­vid­ual puts their mind to it. Dave embarked on an epic jour­ney around the world on his motor­cy­cle to raise money and aware­ness for the dis­abled.

Dave cir­cum­nav­i­gated the world on his 1978 Harley Wide Glide 1200, prob­a­bly the motor­cy­cle most unsuited to the task. He did this com­pletely alone, with­out sup­port vehi­cles, pub­lic­ity teams or major spon­sors. Falling off his bike in the Sahara Desert sands up to twenty times a day, and pick­ing up the dead weight of the Wide Glide, alone, is unthink­able for an able-​bodied rider, let alone some­one with­out legs. This Her­culean jour­ney earned Dave a place in the Guin­ness Book of World Records and a place for him and his bike in the Harley David­son Hall of Fame. He cov­ered 132 000 kms over three and a half years. Dave’s nom­i­nated char­ity at the time, Cheshire Homes, still needed funds and Dave’s next trip took him on a Harley Sport­ster across Rus­sia and Siberia in win­ter, an unheard of under­tak­ing, even for Rus­sians. Dave fol­lowed that with a criss-​cross of the Aus­tralian con­ti­nent on another Sport­ster, rid­ing to the coun­tries North most, South­ern­most, East­ern­most and West­ern­most points in another ride never before attempted. Both the Russ­ian and Aus­tralian rides earned two more places in the Guin­ness Book of World Records. All three bikes have now found homes in muse­ums in the USA.

Dave returned to his native Cal­i­for­nia where he man­ages an annual cross-​continent ride for US War Vet­er­ans and where he gives moti­va­tional talks to soci­eties and cor­po­rate enti­ties.

This year, Dave is com­ing back to where it all started to ride and pub­li­cize the plight of South African Dis­abled peo­ple and raise money to buy them mod­ern pros­thetic limbs.

Ben­e­fi­cia­ries

Cheshire Home South Africa

After more than forty eight years of ser­vice to Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties in South Africa, Cheshire Homes has accu­mu­lated a sub­stan­tial range of resources and ser­vicede­liv­ery pro­grammes, which are care­fully man­aged, in line with a ded­i­cated visio­n­and mis­sion refined in con­sul­ta­tion with Per­sons with Disabilities

Quad Para Asso­ci­a­tion of South Africa

QASA is a co-​ordinating, policy-​making, gov­ern­ing and­sup­port­ing organ­i­sa­tion.
The Asso­ci­a­tion strives to pre­vent spinal cord injury, as well as pro­tect and pro­mote the inter­ests of peo­ple with mobil­ity impair­ments by for­mu­lat­ing a national pol­icy and strat­egy, to develop and ensure the full poten­tial and qual­ity of their lives.

Main Spon­sors

Hoog­land Health Hydro

Hoogland Health Hydro

Hoog­land Health Hydro is a fam­ily owned busi­ness, spe­cial­is­ing in improv­ing phys­i­cal well­be­ing since 1977. Hoog­land prides itself in treat­ing guests as unique indi­vid­u­als and sup­port­ing and improv­ing the body’s own heal­ing abil­i­ties in a com­fort­able, nat­ural envi­ron­ment. Their team of med­ical and well­be­ing pro­fes­sion­als are highly expe­ri­enced and all cel­e­brate the tenac­ity of the human spirit. Few peo­ple embody spirit and tenac­ity as much as Dave Barr.