While temperatures outdoors have remained in the ‘80s lately, the cool fall weather will soon creep onto campus whether students like it or not.
It’s no surprise students and faculty alike are doing anything possible to cling onto the last little bits of summer. From studying on Olin Quad to starting up a game of Ultimate Frisbee, it seems the end of outdoor summer activities is in sight.
Motorcyclists on campus know their days are numbered too.
It seems the number of motorcycles parked on campus is dropping along with the temperatures. However, a few still hold onto the wind-in-their-faces adrenaline rush that can only be achieved during warm weather.
Senior theatre performance major Scot Bouillon may live on campus, but uses his motorcycle as often as he can.
“I don’t get to ride very often, but when I do it’s nice,” Bouillon said. “I’ve noticed a lot more scooters and such on campus and with all the parking, it’s nice to have a place that is specially reserved for us.”
Generally, motorcyclists park their “hogs” in front of Founder’s Circle. Although known by many as the unofficial place to park the bikes, this semester has found these spots have been marked out specifically for the bikers, thanks to the grounds department.
Ground Supervisor Stan Glazier said with all the new construction, parking spaces got confusing, so things needed to be clarified.
“Now with the new parking deck, we are able to give a few more parking spaces than we would,” Glazier said. “With the energy crunch and gas prices, there are more motorcycles on campus, so there is more of a demand. We are trying to meet those needs for our faculty and students.”
Glazier said while he is not sure of the going rates or if it is discounted, motorcyclists should obtain a parking permit.
“In order to stay out of trouble and avoid the hassle of getting ticketed, a parking permit would be a good thing to look into,” Glazier said. “Although I don’t know how heavily that is enforced.”
A few spots were also added at other areas on campus, including next to the crosswalk between Heitz Hall and the Michel Student Center.
Assistant to the Director of Parking Leslie Hillis said motorcycles need to display a parking permit and can only park in designated areas.
Whether students own bikes to park on campus or not, with cool weather setting in, hearing them tear through the streets and whiz by in the breeze will soon be a summer memory. Students and faculty who use motorcycles as transportation are going to have to start thinking about alternative ways to get to and from campus.
With gas prices through the roof, motorcycles are saving their drivers from killing their wallets. Bouillon said although he lives on campus, his bike and gas prices is something that makes riding that much more enjoyable.
“Economically, it helps to ride my motorcycle,” Bouillon said. “Along with saving on gas, it is more fuel efficient with all the stopping and starting around campus. Having a bike readily available, not in the parking deck, just makes getting around easier.”
Whether it’s the wind in your hair, the adrenaline rush or the almost always available parking on campus, motorcycles seem to be the flashy and fun way to roll onto campus.
So if you are lucky enough to own one, strap on that helmet, throw on some shades and enjoy the ride before Mother Nature throws down her fury.