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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Safety-conscious racer cruises on Arlington streets

SE student Wyatt Sloan shows off his 2010 Camaro SS. Sloan has spent $15,000 on parts and labor to make sure his car performs well.
David Reid/The Collegian
SE student Wyatt Sloan shows off his 2010 Camaro SS. Sloan has spent $15,000 on parts and labor to make sure his car performs well. David Reid/The Collegian

By Marley Malenfant/reporter

Every Wednesday night, SE student Wyatt Sloan meets with a mix of 100 motorcyclists and drivers in Arlington to ride in the city.

SE student Wyatt Sloan shows off his 2010 Camaro SS. Sloan has spent $15,000 on parts and labor to make sure his car performs well.
David Reid/The Collegian

Most bikers come to show off. Others are looking to race. Sloan does both.

“I like to race a lot,” he said. “If I meet someone on the road, I’ll try to race them.”

Growing up, Sloan’s admiration for fast vehicles came from his father, who used to race in the city. However, Sloan’s father didn’t want him to be a speed demon, constantly reminding his son it’s a dangerous and expensive hobby.

“He’s been riding motorcycles for 45 years,” Sloan said. “He’s 60 now. It took a while [to convince him], but he supports my performance driving. I take a lot of tips from him.”

When it comes to cars, Sloan said the drivers he meets in Arlington every week are “pompous.” Many of the drivers brag about their vehicles and what brands they are. Sloan said most of them are overrated.

“People are car-biased,” he said. “They like what they drive and think their car or the brand of their car is superior to any other.”

When first introduced to motorcycles, Sloan started on cruiser bikes. Since his heart is in performance, he sacrificed comfort for speed. His current bike is a 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa.

While racing a bike is fun, Sloan said he’d rather race his car. When racing other cars in Arlington, Sloan drives a 2010 black SS Camaro.

For the car to perform well, Sloan spent $15,000 in parts and labor.

“I prefer racing in town,” he said. “I’ll do a loop and ride around [Highway] 360 and ride on [Interstate] 30 and comeback into town and ride back into [Interstate] 20.”

Some may think that for a guy who likes to speed, he’s sure to have a dashboard full of tickets. Sloan admits he’s lucky.

“I’ve never had a cop try to pursue me,” he said. “I’ve never provoked a cop, at least that I know of, on my bike or my car. I’m pretty sure I’ve flown by some cops. But I don’t actively try to antagonize police.”

SE student Haley Norwood, Sloan’s girlfriend, said she knew early on that Sloan liked to drive fast.

“His eyes get wide, and he’ll be like, ‘Did you see that car?’ I won’t even see what he’s talking about,” she said. “He likes to punch it. I don’t drive like that. He’ll look for a fast car on the road or on the highway and try to race them. The first time, he warned me he was going to do it.”

Interested in riding with other motorcyclists, Sloan needed a way to attract other student riders, so he partnered with SE student Andy Alam to start a bike group for students.

The idea of the group is to find students who like to ride but have a safe mindset while doing so, Alam said.

“We don’t really rave. We just kick it 100 mph from time to time,” he said.

Sloan recalled times when he’s ridden with other bike groups who are overly aggressive.

Sloan and a group of riders would race around the High Five interchange in Dallas. He considered the riders in Dallas too reckless.

“We’re looking to start a group that’s got some more responsible riders and are a little bit more laid-back,” he said. “I don’t want to go full throttle everywhere we go. The group is for people who want to cruise and enjoy the ride. It’s for people who are enthused about bikes like me.”

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