Not your average driver

Sophomore Shawn Carlson drives his motorcycle to school.


Lenia Lange

Everyday, a motorcycle can be seen parked by Hospice.

While most high school kids drive cars or sports-utility vehicles, there’s one student who parks along by Hospice on Raider Drive in a different type of transportation.

Shawn Carlson is like any other student who comes to school. He parks along the curb and takes his keys out of the ignition.

Though, he doesn’t come in any old regular car. Carlson arrives to school on a 250cc Cafe Racer motorcycle.

During eighth grade, Shawn began taking a course at Harley Davidson to earn his license. Sometime later, he went out to G&S Suzuki downtown to get his first motorcycle with his grandpa and got his permit to ride the motorcycle at 15.

Carlson’s grandfather had his very own motorcycle, so he had wanted to get his grandson a motorcycle himself. Which leads to where Shawn is today, driving his motorcycle to school every single day.

The motorcycle experience for Shawn is relaxing and calming with the wind adding to his experience.

“When you’re stressed, you can hop onto the motorcycle and ride,” he said. “For the moment the stress is gone while out. It’s just really relaxing and fun to go out on rides with it.”

Since motorcycles take up less gas, this allows for him to go on rides significantly longer than what he could get with a regular car.

Though with all these benefits, there’s also the scary downside of crashes.

“Nearly crashing with other cars is a scary experience,” he said. “It’s cheaper on gas but it’s also more dangerous.”

Even with that potential problem, driving a motorcycle is still something that Carlson enjoys doing without worry. His parents are OK with his driving capability on a motorcycle because they trust him to be safe while driving.