Max Spieler: The Man Beneath the Motorcycle Helmet

When Senior Max Spieler left Frankfurt, Germany to concentrate in computer science and economics at Colgate, he had no idea his interest in motorcycling would garner him fame on campus. You may have seen Spieler riding around campus these past few years, but he had never ridden a motorcycle before the pandemic.

“My girlfriend got me into it,” Spieler explained. “During the Winter of 2020, the year that COVID hit, I didn’t leave the U.S. because I was worried they would not let me back into the country. I stayed with my girlfriend at her place in the Catskills and decided that I wanted to learn how to ride motorcycles after I tried one of her offroad bikes. I studied for the necessary test and took the road test, all during that winter.”

Almost two years later, Spieler rarely goes out on his motorcycle when the temperature drops to what it was that winter, but his passion for riding hasn’t stopped.

“It’s an amazing feeling to ride on the open road. When you are gliding over the asphalt at 55 [miles per hour] with the ground zipping by only inches from your feet and you can feel the wind and the temperature shifts around you, driving becomes a totally different experience. It’s nothing like being in a car, where you are essentially sitting in an enclosed box on a sofa. It’s probably the closest feeling to flying that you can get,” Spieler said. “I would say it feels like flying pretty close above the ground and the feeling of freedom is palpable. The world looks so much more vibrant. It’s hard to explain if you have never experienced it.”

Motorcycling, however, isn’t all fun and games for Spieler, who has experienced a few crashes while riding, despite efforts to minimize risk.

“I have had a few pretty bad crashes, with the worst one being on a racetrack. That one gave me a pretty bad concussion and took me several months to fully recover. I guess our brains don’t like flying through the air at 65 mph and then hitting the concrete. Thankfully, because I was wearing full protective gear I walked away from it with just a few bruises.”

Outside of motorcycling, Spieler is involved with the Colgate Investment Group. After joining as a sophomore, he’s now the president of the group. Spieler explains how rewarding it is to teach students about financial literacy.

“We try to teach our members how to invest and grow the money they will earn from their jobs and also prepare them for a job in the financial industry. Colgate doesn’t have a broad offering on financial and business education, so we fill an important niche and I really think financial literacy is one of the most important skills to have. I hope in my time here at Colgate I will be able to impart some of that knowledge to others,” Spieler explained.

As Spieler finishes his career at Colgate, he looks forward to a job as a deployment strategist and data engineer for Palantir Technologies in New York. For students who haven’t had the chance to meet Colgate’s famed motorcyclist, don’t be shy, as he loves meeting new people.

“I have actually been approached by a few people who knew me from Instagram or just from hearsay […] It’s definitely weird to have people know you and be excited to meet you that you have never spoken to, but I also think it’s awesome because I love to meet new people.”

Be on the lookout for Spieler as he completes his last few months of his Colgate career before riding off on another adventure.