By Blaine Hill
Cars, bikes and buses: Move over and make way for the mopeds. These days, many Texas Tech University students are zipping over to campus on small motor bikes that go no faster than 45 mph.
Anyone can drive mopeds without a special license, says Wes McCutcheon, a Texas Tech student from Shallowater. That’s because mopeds are under 50cc, or 50 cubic centimeters of displacement, a measure of engine power.
McCutcheon owned his moped, which he had named Rascal the Ruckus, for a year. He said the 2-gallon tank in a moped gets around 100 miles per gallon. Even though the engine tops off at around 45 miles per hour, he said, it was well worth the investment.
Braxton Iden, a pre-energy commerce major, said that even though he’s only had his moped since August, it was worth every penny.
“It’s economically beneficial, and it’s also fun,” Iden said.
Iden rides his moped to school every day and uses it as least three times a day.
Colton Rockafellow, an agriculture business major, said he also uses his moped every day to ride to class when it’s not rainy or cold.
He said he enjoys parking close to his classes, but the best part is not having to ride the bus.
“There’s always a spot for a moped to park, whether it’s in a front yard or in the driveway between cars,” McCutcheon said.
McCutcheon and Rockafellow agreed that to navigate with a moped, they often have to go out of their way, driving through neighborhoods or other slower traffic to find a safe route.
Rockafellow said he sometimes drives his moped out to 69th Street and Quaker Avenue to see his grandmother, but he does have to take a few back roads to avoid higher speeds and traffic.
McCutcheon’s Ruckus was recently stolen, but before that, he used to drive it everywhere. Now, he said it takes him a lot longer to get to class.
All three have been in non-fatal moped accidents and said they try to stay safe, although they enjoy finding new activities to do on their mopeds.
“Yeah, we don’t make the smartest decisions, but we have fun,” Rockafellow said.