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.