FHN Students Ride Motorcycles to School

Nathan Williams and Lily Sontheimer

By Heeral Patel

It’s a weekday morning. Buses pull in, sedans and trucks fill up the student parking lot as kids make their way through the school doors. The air is filled with the sounds of student chatter and screeching bus breaks.  Among them are the roaring engines of motorcycles.

“It turns a lot of heads,” senior Ryan Hale said. “It gets everyone’s attention.”

Using a motorcycle makes going to school an incomparable experience for Ryan and junior Luke Floyd. They experience the rush of riding every morning along with some other benefits, including being able to get out of the parking lot faster. As another added bonus, motorcycles are more fuel-efficient than cars. More than anything, it’s the joy that comes with riding that leads them to bring their motorcycles to school.

“The first time I rode, I just realized how great it was,” Floyd said.

Getting permission to start riding was relatively easy for Luke. His dad is also a motorcyclist and is part of the reason why he wanted to ride.  He was the one who taught Floyd to ride by telling him what to do along with the occasional demonstration.

“It makes it easier to ride knowing that they’re not as worried,” Luke said. “They don’t discourage it.”

Ryan, on the other hand, had a different journey. His ex-boss was selling a motorcycle to get some extra money, and offered Ryan a deal on the motorcycle. He was offered an armor-plated jacket, a helmet and gloves in addition to the bike. Concerned for his safety, Ryan’s parents opposed letting their son ride.

“It was a straight up no’,” Ryan said. “There had never been a more stern no in the history of everything. Especially from my mom.”

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. This is mostly because people driving cars don’t always see motorcyclists, which leads to accidents. Sometimes these accidents are fatal. The Hales personally know people who’ve been killed in motorcycle accidents. A combination of a week and a half of begging and a good track record with his car was enough to persuade his father, Douglas Hale, to accept the deal.

“Knowing people who’ve died on motorcycles, it’s hard,” Douglas said. “If he hadn’t been responsible, it would’ve just sat in the garage until he was.”

Motorcyclists take precautions to make riding safer so they can enjoy this unique experience. It’s said to be an indescribable experience known only to the few people that do ride. The only way they explain this feeling to the rest of the world is that it’s fun.

“Not everyone gets to do it, so the fact that you’re a part of a tight group is a really cool thing,” Ryan said.