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Many students choose cars as their preferred mode of transportation, but there are other options, including longboards, bicycles and motorcycles. It might be surprising to know that a good number choose the last of these. Four students agreed to share why they enjoy riding motorcycles.

Sophomore Matiss Klava rides a Kawasaki dual-sport, 250cc motorcycle. By choosing to ride a motorcycle instead of driving a car, Klava gets better gas mileage and cheaper insurance. Apart from the economic benefits, he enjoys riding and fixing bikes because it’s a fun hobby. It has “increased my awareness of the outside world,” Klava said. He also said it gives him “a great feeling of being in the moment.”

Senior Heike Verleih started riding in Germany when her boyfriend encouraged her to join him on his bike. Soon after she learned to ride, they took an exciting weekend trip on their bike to the Baltic Sea. When she came to the college, Heike did not do much riding on her own. But during finals last fall, she decided to buy a Suzuki SV650. “After seeing Matiss ride his Kawasaki,” said Heike, “I couldn’t resist any longer.”

Sophomore Aaron Switzer rides a 1998 Triumph Speed Triple. He admits that the functional benefits of having a motorcycle on campus are limited. “There’s hardly any storage, and you can’t drive it in the winter” he said, “but the fun factor is definitely worth it. There’s nothing like cruising down River Road at sunset on a bike.”

Like Switzer, senior Stephen Purcell also enjoys riding a motorcycle because “they allow for amazingly scenic outings.” Purcell has ridden his Kawasaki Ninja 500R on three 1,100-mile trips between Principia and his house in Maine. He made the decision to buy his own motorcycle after a friend took him on a motorcycle during Purcell’s sophomore year. Now, Purcell likes helping people figure out what motorcycles they want to buy. “If you’re curious or want a ride, let me know,” he said. “I love sharing the fun.”