Van Rossum and his motorcycle hobby


Jessica Lu, Cub Writer

The students enrolled in World History and AP European History often speak of Pete Van Rossum in positive tones, commenting on his relaxed attitude in class and ability to communicate important ideas. One could assume that Van Rossum’s life outside of school is interesting, as it is focused on travel, family and motorcycles.

Most are already familiar with Van Rossum’s summer trips to Europe with students; the group would visit places of interest across the map.  Some have even spotted him walking with his daughter to and from Hawthorne elementary school.

However, when considering the above, motorcycles do not seem to fit into the picture.  But at the same time, it is a passion that Van Rossum has been chasing for almost his entire life.

“Motorcycles,” Van Rossum laughed, his face lighting up.  “Bikes, street bikes… mine’s a BMW.  I used to ride it to school.”

As if it were yesterday, Van Rossum recalled receiving his first bike in an enthusiastic manner.

“When I was 20 I got my first motorcycle.  I was totally into it since then,” he remembered.

A UCLA graduate, Van Rossum would ride it around in college, but his passion did not end when he left school.  In fact, just in the past ten years alone, he has owned three bikes, which he has ridden for a total of 50,000 miles.

“Mr. V strikes me as someone who would ride around the UCLA campus,” junior Matthew Dubin laughed.  “I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at Westwood or at Beverly on his motorcycle.”

Van Rossum is not simply content with riding his bike to the school.  He has also been on road trips with a few of his friends, stopping at motels and hotels along the journey.

“We’ve been through canyons, hills, mountains… all the way to the Oregon border and back,” he recounted.

As for future plans, Van Rossum intends to conduct yet another trip, this time leaving California completely.

“All over the Southwest—Utah, Colorado, the Rockies,” he described.