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[September 3rd, 2022]
In the coming days I’ll be uploading our trip journal pictures and all. Stay tuned!
One of my best pals and all-around great guy, Jay Scher, has been on one hell of a ride these past few years. Typically, the ride would be some amazing feat such as the countless triathlons that he’s completed or a memorable Mexican dirt bike adventure. However, this time around the ride was bumpier than anyone of us could have imagined. In February 2019 Jay caught a rogue sepsis infection and became a quad amputee as a result. Understandably, in the last three years Jay has had to overcome quite a bit. First, was his long-fought battle to survive his illness which was several months alone. Once Jay was in the clear he shifted his focus to literally rebuilding his body and life.
When you live a life full of adventure and love, like Jay has, you don’t settle for surviving alone. In order to really thrive, he’s had to overcome a significant number of challenges to keep things moving forward. The path forward hasn’t been linear, but the setbacks have empowered him to push forward and find new perceived limitations to challenge.
We are stoked for what’s next. Right now, Jay and I are fielding a team in the legendary Alcan 5,000 Rally. Eight riders on seven BMW Adventure motorcycles will take on the ten-day time-distance rally event taking them from the pacific Northwest across British Columbia, into Alaska, then across both the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Jay will navigate from a custom adventure sidecar rig built onto a BMW R1200GS Adventure.
Jay’s had to overcome a great many challenges and make huge adjustments to keep moving forward, and we’re stoked for what’s next. Right now we’re working with Jay to field a race team in the legendary Alcan 5,000 Rally. Eight riders on seven BMW adventure motorcycles will take on the ten day time-distance rally event taking them from the Pacific Northwest across British Columbia, into Alaska, then across both the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Jay will navigate from a custom adventure sidecar rig built onto a BMW R1200GS Adventure.
In 2019 Jay checked into the hospital with what he thought was the flu. If only it’d been that simple. Instead of getting better, Jay’s immune system began attacking healthy tissue. Doctors scrambled to contain the infection and its complications, but this condition took a huge toll. Within 90 days, sepsis took both of Jay’s arms below the elbow, both legs below the knee, and his vision in both eyes. His list of loss and injury goes on, but so does Jay.
Before the infection Jay was a serial entrepreneur and Ironman triathlete. These are not activities for the faint of heart. Over the decades both endeavors taught him how to persevere through uncertainty, how to work through pain, and how persistent effort pays off. Yet Jay’s personal resolve alone was not going to see him through this new life without hands, feet, or clear vision. Thankfully, it didn’t have to. Jay wasn’t in this alone and was able to get by with a little help from his friends.
That help came from every corner of Jay’s life, but in particular from a core group of motorcycle adventure buddies. This unlikely support crew includes fellow entrepreneurs, real estate investors, construction contractors, and even a Wisconsin cranberry farmer. Despite such different backgrounds, their bonds of friendship were formed with Jay in the gravel backroads of the midwest and the hot sands of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula as they’ve ridden their motorcycles together over the past 15 years.
“These guys saved my life. I could not have gotten through this without them.” Jay has said as he described everything from his motorcycle adventure buddies doing everything from arranging hospital visits from his favorite musicians, to giving him a place to stay and work through his injuries. With their support, Jay began to heal and embark on the painful process of learning to use four prosthetic limbs at once.
Three years of support and painful work later, Jay is beginning to reclaim more and more of his pre-amputee life. He’s up and walking on his prosthetic legs. He’s interacting with the world again with his bionic hands. A procedure was able to restore perfect 20/20 vision to one of his eyes, and a fix for the other eye is in the works. Every day Jay expands his abilities and claws back another inch of his independence.
Johnny will pilot this 2013 BMW R1200GS Adventure-based sidecar rig while Jay navigates from the “monkey” position as it’s known. The whole team are on BMW adventure bikes of one flavor of another. This rig was purpose-built for three wheel’d adventure, and you can see the whole build-out over on ADVRider.
We haven’t partnered with any organizations for this run yet, and we’re not looking for sponsorship at this time. Mostly we just want people to know about Jay’s amazing story and this adventure we’re about to go on together. If you want to raise awareness for the ride, you can use the #Jay5k and direct people to Jay5K.com, which will lead them back here.
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