Seattle to Argentina on a KLR650

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OZYMANDIAS, May 7, 2006.

  1. danbrew


    Nov 1, 2003
    South Carolina
    Looks like the thread was locked for a while and is now open. I received this via email tonight, but it's not in the thread, so I'll try to add it.

    I can't believe it's been five years.


    KSUperDuty was contacted by Ozzy's mom and she wished for this post to be on this thread.
    He then contacted me as he read this thread based on my sig line.
    I guess she was unable to post, so I'm going to post what was forwarded to me.

    From Ozzy's mom:

    Originally Posted by Ozy'sMom

    Dear KS:

    It has been a very long time since I have visited this site. I see many have commented on the fact of my absence and thought it was because of his book being on line. I wanted to add this post at the end so that everyone who comes here could read this, but I see that the thread is closed.

    Perhaps you can assist me in getting this onto the thread as you were the last to post.

    There is no truth that my leaving the site had anything to do with Clay's book going public. While that was very difficult for me, I have since accepted that there is no such thing as keeping that kind of power covert. The truth is that each time I visited the site, it was so very touching and painful at the same time. This is a sacred place for me. Clay's bravery and tragedy co-mingle endlessly in the words of all the contributors. There is not a shard of doubt that his tragic end saved many other lives, and he lives on here in their posts. I only wish people could keep posting, and don't understand why the thread was shut down? Can you help me to figure this out, please?

    It has been 5 years since Clay's passing. Time heals nothing, but life does go forward. He is never more than a minute from my mind. We continue to raise money in his name for his charity: The Clayton Schwartz Memorial Book Drive for Book "Em. Each year in March, Vanderbilt Lawschool conducts the drive. This year hundreds of books were donated and nearly $1,000 for needy children in Nashville. All donations put books into the hands of kids who could otherwise not afford them.

    Those of you who read Clay's book know that he was a brillant writer and adored reading, learning and sharing. He started this drive, and as long as there is breadth in me, it will go forward. I think he would have been proud.

    God Bless you all for all the wonderous ways that you honor him and try to understand who he was and what he did. Clayton was a complex person. His motives were multi-layered. However in the end, I believe it came down to a simple fact. He would not live in that body. He lived a full, albeit short life, and was satisfied that his race was run...
    Exevious likes this.
  2. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

    Dec 18, 2012
    Up the Dandenongs
    Words of wisdom there GSF1200S, triggered by a very sad story.

    An example from my experience is when riding through Indonesia, I noticed a horse running down a laneway towards the highway. I didn't know if there was a gate, but I eased off the throttle just in case. Sure enough, the horse ran onto the road and stopped right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, and if you know a Suzuki Intruder VS1400, they are not the best. I stopped only metres apart, eyeballing one another.
    A tip for when the traffic is crazy out on the highway, and there is no more crazy traffic than in Java: get behind a car. Let them create a safe path for you. Also, don't ride at night, the risks just escalate. And never ever be in a hurry. I'm not saying don't speed, just don't be in a hurry, there is a difference.

  3. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Nor Cal
    Thanks for reopening this.
  4. Ozy'sMom

    Ozy'sMom Adventurer

    Jun 20, 2006
    Thank you for the gift of opening this thread!!! And KS, you are my hero for suppoting my effort. I have already received several e-mails from old ADV friends who come and visit Clay, his followers and my posts.
    I have never liked cemeteries. Visiting them seems pointless somehow. This is not a judgement aganist anyone who finds solace and peace visiting loved ones. It is just that I find that this site is like a living memorial. People come to read in general, happen upon Clayton's words and take this stunning 80+ page journey through time. Again and again, the sum total of all of this wisdom changes peoples' lives.... How reverential is that? It is not a final resting place, but rather an evolving testimonial to all who meet here.
    I will come back sooner now. I feel so blessed to read all of the opinions regardless of whether I agree or not. What matters most is that we are still talking and in doing so, we continue the reaching out, wherever it may lead...
    Thank you all!!! XXXOOO
    Motorius, wilsonjw42 and FTL900 like this.
  5. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Jul 12, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I discovered this thread very soon after I joined ADV. Clay's story has touched me like no others on this forum could. In the summer of 2010 my brother in law suffered a very serious spinal cord injury in a mountain bike crash. His life was on the line and we thought he'd be a quad. I kept thinking of Clay's story while Barry was recovering, then I read the book...
    It was scary to think someone so close to me may have to live with this injury. Fortunately Barry has almost fully recovered to the point where he is even driving! Every time I think about it, it astounds me how different the outcomes were. Each injury is as unique as is each individual.

    Because of what happened to Barry and in part inspired by Clayton's story, I decided to combine my upcoming trip to South America with a fund raising effort to aid a local charity to purchase a bionic exoskeleton. These devices get people with low injuries walking. Not a cure but absolutely incredible watching someone walk after being bound to a chair. I have been moved to tears seeing it in action.

    I just wanted to let you know that Clay continues to inspire.
    Thank you Clayton
    Thank you ADVrider
  6. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

    Mar 28, 2010
    NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
    Sooo Glad to have you back... and your words ring ever so true. Indeed a great example/story of a life lived... a life changed, and then us being able to see the effect it has had in changing other lives.
    A lesson that we, by simply being US are changing the world around us every second.

    Peace to ya Ozy's Mom,
    SelfPropelledDevo likes this.
  7. Ozy'sMom

    Ozy'sMom Adventurer

    Jun 20, 2006
    Thinking of your wonderful outcome, DRR! That is a miracle of life that so many others will never be blessed to know. I love what you are doing with your charity. When I saw those devices in action, I could not help but to see Clay in my mind's eye walking... I even talked with him about it, as they were in place before he passed. I believe that he would not have embraced that option. Knowing Clay, he would have had a million reasons not to. However, so many others will; and that is the blessing! Keep up the good work!
    Nice to see new posts. It just delights me beyond words.
  8. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

    Oct 12, 2011
    Philthadelphia, Pennsylvania
    It was I that wrote that message.
    KSUperDuty had contacted me because he read this ride report I had linked in my sig line.
    He was then contacted by Clayton's mom requesting assistance in posting in this thread.
    I'm not sure if the thread was locked or if she just didn't have access to post at the time.
    My message was deleted by an admin so that she could post it here personally.

    To Clayton's mom:
    It's nice to see you back on this thread, and even though 5 years have passed, you have my condolences.
    Clayton's ride report touched me deeply and has changed the way I ride.
    So he has helped me, and hopefully others.
    Because of that, I have included his RR in my sig line so that other people would read it.
    I know of at least one person that read this RR because of my sig line.
    I wish you and your family the best.
  9. rthuey

    rthuey twist your wrist!!!

    May 15, 2005
    insanity is not as easy as i make it look
    unless i was that one person. make it two.

    that was like may of last year. because soon after i did a post on the top 10 viewed ride reports. there were actually 11 listed because 2 of them were tied. all 11 of them were over the million mark.

    i just checked and this thread has had 104,166 views in the past year alone since i did that post.

    so yes. it does gets read.

    our condolences and prayers also go out to Ozy'sMom
  10. BadDogMax

    BadDogMax Been here awhile

    Oct 1, 2010
    So Cal
    :cry I will ride safer after reading this.
  11. Exevious

    Exevious Competitive Shooter - Team FCO

    Jul 26, 2008
    North Texas
    I check in on this thread every year or so... I only wish that all the deletes could be reverted. Clay's story is hands-down the most soul grasping experience I have ever encountered!

    I ride with passenger pegs down in hopes that Clay and other fallen riders ride with me and guide me from harms way.
  12. Ozy'sMom

    Ozy'sMom Adventurer

    Jun 20, 2006
    Hi All:
    I was sitting at my computer trying to get some work done, and this site came to mind. Clay was so happy when he was readying himself for his trip. It was so many years ago, yet the shock and pain can come back like a bolt of lightning. I know that many of you would take issue with this statement, but if I had the power, I would prevent anyone from taking a bike trip into rural Mexico. It still pains to think of how badly Clay was treated there when he needee help the most. I thank God that he had the Med Jet insurance.
    That's what I wanted to remind everyone about. Maybe Clay is standing nearby telling me to encourage each of you to get that insurance if you are traveling anywhere where medical help is not of the highest calibur. If you have an accident (God forbid,) and need to get to a really good hospital, that insurance will allow you to have a private jet take you where you will be best cared for. A doctor even comes on the flight with you and goes all the way to the final hospital destination. It was a miracle to have paid so little (maybe $200,) and to have such peace of mind in such a god forsaken location where his injuries occured.
    I know young men and women are "teflon" and in their minds' indestructable... Clay thought so. However, listen to this mom and maybe your own moms, and at least get the insurance. Leave the information with someone you love who will advocate for you if you ever need to activate it. That's what Clay did, and for a time, it saved his life.
    God Bless!
    Marylyn (Ozy's Mom)
  13. swamp

    swamp Shut up. Ride.

    Feb 14, 2007
    lower appalachia, Alabama
    Yes ma'am

    it would be nice if someone would fix the picture links in this thread.
  14. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Oct 6, 2003
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    Thank you for that reminder. I always had Medjet insurance and can't understand that, after spending all the time, money and effort to prep for a trip something that inexpensive is too often overlooked.
    I have quit riding for now, but when I pick it up again, Medjet will be part of my packing list.
  15. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

    Jan 23, 2006
    put something on and stay in that position.
    I will not forget to add that insurance.

    I just finished a 6000 mile ride across country and I thought of Clay many times. Cows on the road, deer, other wildlife. Ozymandias kept coming to mind.

    I come back here for the same reason others do.
    It's a memorial, an ongoing memorial.

    I'm happy to see it's still going.
  16. One Fat Roach

    One Fat Roach honey badger

    Mar 23, 2013
    I stumbled upon this ride report because of someone's signature on the forums: "A must read" ... And I thought to myself, "ok, sure".
    So I click and get very excited to see the title. Im from the PNW and only live 90 minutes north of Seattle. I knew I would enjoy reading his report.

    Talk about a slug to the chest with the accident. And like many others have said, a major roller coaster ride reading up to page 7, where I dropped my phone and just balled my eyes out. I couldn't believe it. Its taken me 4+ hours to every page in here. And I'm so glad I did. Clay was, and IS such a huge inspiration to so many of us. We're one big family on these forums whether we have met each other or not.

    This will definitely have an impact on the way I ride. I've already had a close call the first year of riding (this is now my 3rd season). I was riding home at sunset and coming over the top of a long gradual hill next to a school. Very very large street and in the oncoming traffic I notice a Jetta with the turn signal to turn across my lane. They didn't slow down. And I tried to avoid contact but they hit my rear tire and I ended up on the street. A little road rash, broken bike parts and my already injured back reaggrivated. I got very very lucky. I thought a lot about how much worse it could of been. Especially Especially since I wasn't wearing an amored jacket, boots or riding pants. Just a helmet and a hoodie. Reading his story made me think of my incident even more and to put in.perspective how lucky and fortunate EVERY ride is that I take.

    Clayton, you will be in my thoughts any time I climb onto my KLR. I will take my time and not be so hot headed. I've always learned things the hard way and your story has been such an eye owning experience. 6 years later and I'm reading this for the first time with tears in my eyes, refusing to put my phone down and continue reading later. You've touched many lives and you will continue to do so for many years to come. I will share your story with friends and family. Its a PRIVILEGE to be able to wake up every day and be able to ride and I will not take it for granted any longer.

    Rest in Paradise Clayton.

    Ps. Does anyone have info on the multiple books he gave away? Im looking to take a trip to central America next year and would be honored if i was to somehow get my hands on them to read.

    Pss. Also didn't see any info on stickers... I would love to buy some

    Best Regards Mom

    Love, Josh
  17. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

    Aug 15, 2013
    Left Coast
    This is one of the saddest stories I've read here ... Clayton's own words come back to haunt -

    " I have, in total, about 300 miles of motorcycle-riding experience ... I realize that what I'm doing is probably quite foolish with so little experience ... I don't have much time ... I don't know enough ... I have no gear ... I guess in general I need to know a whole hell of a lot."

    RIP Clayton

  18. Ozy'sMom

    Ozy'sMom Adventurer

    Jun 20, 2006
    First, thanks bass... for your wonderful post. It touched me deeply.
    I wanted to share this amazing happening. I recently got an e-mail from a parapalegic man in South Africa. He is the webmaster of a site that supports right-to-die with dignity. He asked if he could post Clay's story as it inspired him so very much. He said that Clay spoke his pain like no other had ever done. I have been told this often. I was hesitant to allow this to happen not because I do not support the rights of those suffering and terminal to end their lives but rather I worry that others may want to take such a dramatic step prematurly. Clay took his own life, and it was devastating to us all and continues to be a terrible memory. Do I wish he were here in my arms again? Every day! Do I wish him back in the depths of the pain that was his existance? Never. I just do not want his story to be a rallying cry for paralyzed persons, as I know that many lead productive lives and are content to do so.
    He was not one of those, and I only wish he had had the opportunity to die with dignity and donate his organs. Yes, some can be donated even after assisted suicide. So, I am allowing some of his story to be published on the site. His book has already traveled worldwide as demonstrated by the e-mails I have gotten over these past 6 years. This site is just one stunning example of how one man can change the world with his wisdom. I am so proud of him and all of you! Keep posting, dear friends!!!
  19. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Nov 21, 2009
    Stony Brook. NY
    You are an amazing mother and person. Thank you!
  20. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

    May 30, 2011
    Charleston, SC
    Ozy'sMom...Although I've been riding for over 40 years I constantly attempt to improve my skills. Shortly after reading your son's report, I embarked upon a long ride that included a considerable amount of open range and other terrain where both domestic and wild animals roam. Because of his unfortunate accident I have significantly changed my riding behaviour when encountering animals along the way. I have also related his story to a number of motorcycling friends. As you know from the many posts on this thread...he continues to live through the ADV community.