Sophomore carries on family tradition

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With the wind blowing through her hair, a young girl grips her bike with both hands. She feels scared, yet exhilarated. People glance at her, knowing she looks small to risk her life on a motorcycle.

Sophomore Jamee Bye recently received her motorcycle license.

“I have three brothers that all have motorcycles,” Bye said. “We were all raised riding dirt bikes. Since there was 4 of us it made it easier for our parents when the oldest got his license. [My oldest brother,] Dalton got a license at 15, and the rest of us followed. [It just has to be] under 250-cc.”

Cc is an abbreviation for cubic centimeters. According to the DMV website, 250-cc refers to an engine that displaces 250 cubic centimeters of fuel in one engine rotation. While 250-cc is at the lower end of the power spectrum, it is still powerful enough to be considered dangerous.

“[Riding a motorcycle can be] dangerous,” Bye said. “It just depends on the person that’s driving. People in cars will pull out in front of you. They think because you’re on a bike, you can stop easier. They don’t have any respect for you. It just depends on your reaction time and if you know what to do.”

To get her license, Bye said she had to attend a two-day course at Amarillo College.

“I spent six hours in a classroom reading motorcycle laws and about what do [in different situations],” Bye said. “Then I actually went out to the parking lot where they have courses set. I had to get on a motorcycle and go through the course. Afterwards, I had to take a written test.”

Bye said she takes precautions when riding her bike. She said people are “scared that someone will cut [her] off or [she’ll] get in a wreck.”

“Every time I ride, I wear all my gear,” Bye said. “I look twice for everybody else and expect that people are going to pull out in front of me. I wear a helmet, a motorcycle jacket that prevents road rash, long pants, and boots and gloves.”

Motorcyclists lack the protection that passengers in a car have. A car includes the body, airbags, seatbelts, and all four wheels that protect passengers from getting hurt. However, all motorcyclists have are two wheels and a helmet.

“Most motorcycle wrecks aren’t caused by the motorcyclist,” Bye said.  “Most wrecks are caused by the drivers of the car. If car drivers were more careful, motorcycles wouldn’t be considered as dangerous.”

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