Motorcyclists ride to school every day

December 9, 2017 — by Ava Hooman and Esha Lakhotia

Castren bought his motorcycle from Craigslist and practiced for about a month after he passed his permit test and took a mandatory riding course.

Amongst a sea of sedans, convertibles and trucks, two motorcycles vroom into the front parking lot every school morning being driven by junior Oskar Castren and senior Alec Lindeman.

“I started riding because it allowed me to get out of the house without having my parents drive me,” Lindeman said. “You can get your motorcycle permit at 15-and-a-half and drive alone.”

Castren bought his motorcycle from Craigslist and practiced for about a month after he passed his permit test and took a mandatory riding course.

Lindeman got his motorcycle from his uncle and went to a three-day safety class.

“Motorcycles are a lot more powerful than cars so you have to be careful,” Lindeman said.

Lindeman said that initially his mom was hesitant about letting him ride a motorcycle, but his family helped convince her that it was safe.

“As long as the motorcyclist rides safely and other drivers look out for the motorcyclist when they are changing lanes there is really not much to worry about,” Lindeman said.  

Lindeman said that people either tell him that his motorcycle is cool or give him odd stares. He said he doesn’t care either way.

Castren started riding for a different reason — a motorcycle is cheaper than a regular car. The  In addition, motorcycles are smaller and take up less space in the garage.

Both Casten and Lindeman have members in their family who have ride motorcycles, making the learning process easier. They practiced during the six permit months.

Despite the training they both went through, riding a motorcycle poses great dangers and Castren said knowing the consequences of bad riding constantly serves as a reminder for him to be responsible on the road.

“The first week I got my license, I went up Highway 9 and when I was coming down my rear tire slipped on a steep corner and I almost flew off my bike,” Castren said. “It taught me how vulnerable I was on the motorcycle and how careful I need to be.”