The ride board on campus is an opportunity for students to carpool wherever they need to go, but these experiences are more than just simple road trips.
To help split the price of gas, students looking to either hitch a ride somewhere or find more riders for their car go to the bottom floor of the Wilkinson Student Center to the ride board, or check the “Ride board” under “Tools” at universe.byu.edu. Blue slips of paper are for drivers looking for riders, and yellow are for people looking for rides.
Parker Cox, a neuroscience major from Colorado, has used the ride board several times and remembers an interesting experience he had.
“I was going to Idaho and got a ride with an old grandma that had me drive the entire way there,” said Cox. “She picked me up in an old van, and brought along her dog that just laid there and ate its dog food the whole time. And then she had wheat grass growing in a box on the dashboard. At one point in the trip, she pulled a knife and I got a little freaked out. But then she just started cutting the wheat grass and offered me some saying I had to try it. I politely declined.”
Nicole Loumeau, a recent BYU graduate, recounted awkward and funny stories about her experiences with the ride board, which includes everything from four hours of silence, to a couple making out in her backseat, to awkwardly getting asked out by one of the guys she was getting a ride from.
“Once there was a kid I got off the ride board when I was driving to Idaho, and we got up to Rexburg and I was dropping everyone off at their destination and he goes, ‘Oh I don’t know anyone here, I just wanted to see BYU-I. Can I stay with you?”
Loumeau answered with a firm “no”.
Awkward experiences are not the only things students have gone through when using the ride board. Some students talked about accidents that they experiences on these road trips. Chris Udall, a music major from Arizona, talked about one such experience.
“We hit a deer coming back from Arizona during Thanksgiving break last year,” Udall said. “It was 9 at night when it happened, and there weren’t any street lights around, so the deer popped out of nowhere. We were lucky the deer didn’t come through the windshield because we were going pretty fast on the road. I decided that night that I will never take a road trip at night time ever again.”
But the ride board doesn’t always lead to awkward or scary moments. There are lots of students that have had positive experiences using the board. Marcel Kelenga, a student from Central Africa, talked on his opinion of the ride board after using it several times.
“I’ve used the ride board several times and the experience depends on the people,” Kelenga said. “Sometimes its awkward, especially if you ride with young couples. Also, if you end up being the only guy in the car with a bunch of girls, then you get to hear all of their stories and what they think of guys. Or there’s the boring people that don’t talk, but for the most part it’s pretty funny. I have made a lot of friends through the ride board. Some are very close friends now and some I have even taken on dates.”
Brooke LeBaron, an advertising major from Arizona, talked about the experience she had driving home this past Thanksgiving break. Her car ended picking up one of the driver’s grandmas partway through the road trip. LeBaron talked about how fun and entertaining “Grandma Doe” made the trip.
“She was sassy, demanding, and in every way, hilarious,” LeBaron said. “Oh, did I mention we also brought along her two wiener dogs? We pulled up to her house to pick Grandma up, and within 30 seconds I had been kicked out of shotgun and into the middle back seat. She gave us advice on everything from how to drive, to how to get married and kept on feeding us. It seemed like we were constantly laughing. I can’t tell you the number of times she exclaimed, “Oh my cow,” or called something or someone a ‘whatchya -ma-doodle.’ Like grandmas do, Grandma Doe was constantly looking after us.”
Whether or not a ride board experience leads to an awkward date, a funny story or just a normal road trip, it’s a convenient way to save money and meet new people, and is utilized by many students.