We’re sad to inform you that the Colorado motorcycling community lost one
of its cornerstones today.
Barbara Manka was a trailblazer In the world of women motorcyclists locally
and nationally.
Barb took her first ride on a motorcycle in 1951 at 14 years old. She was
riding with her soon to be husband Jerry.
Barb got her first bike at 16, a now rare Sunbeam motorcycle which Jerry
purchased back for her just a few years ago.
The couple opened a motorcycle shop in Pueblo in 1960 And operated their
Yamaha dealership for many years.
Barb retired from the post office after 42 years of service.
Barb and Jerry rode their Yamaha virago‘s to Alaska when they were in their
Barb was inducted into the Rocky Mountain motorcycle Museum and Hall of
Fame in 2004.
Barb was a member of dozens of local motorcycling organizations including
the BMAC, Colorado Springs touring club, Bikers United for America and many
Barb volunteered for many women’s motorcycling organizations and rides over
the years.
In 2016, Barb served as the Grand Marshall of the 30th annual POW/MIA
recognition ride, leading over 1,000 motorcycles from Woodland Park to
After 65 years of riding, Barb boasted more than 1/2 million (500,000)
miles on two wheels.
Also in 2016, Barb was awarded the coveted “Uncle Bud Yates Memorial award”
for service to the local motorcycling community.
Rest in peace ma’am, you are a truly unique soul and will be greatly missed
by many of us.
Denise & Bob Wendl