Everyone who rides learned to ride from someone. Everyone has that story. Everyone has a neighbor or a friend or an uncle or someone. Everyone hopped on a bike and rode around someone’s back yard or parking lot.
For me it was my friend Adam and his Honda CT70.
He used to ride it around his grandmother’s place. She had a farm way out in the sticks. For some reason, he had it at his place (or his parents to be accurate… we were only 16). He would ride it around and then one day he just let me ride it.
It didn’t stick though.
After that, I had expressed interest to a husband of a coworker. He let me ride on the back of his one night. He showed me how to start it and gave me a tour of the bike. I don’t recall exactly what kind of bike it was. I want to say it was a Kawasaki of some sort.
We rode out for a ways as he taught me how to lean with him, not against him and such. Finally, we stopped and he told me to get on and drive us back. It was my first time on a real motorcycle. Ha! Nighttime with a passenger on the back. That guy must have been crazy.
Recently I was watching the excellent movie “Why we ride“. At one point, one of the stories turned to Dave Barr. His story alone is amazing. It was one of the last things he said in his interview though. He was talking about giving his daughter her first ride. I believe the actual quote was “I’ll give her her first ride. Maybe she’ll give me my last.”
That got me thinking about learning to ride. While everyone has that story about learning to ride, I think learning to ride from a family member is the best. At some point, I won’t be able to ride anymore. Well, at least I won’t be able to drive myself. I have given both of my kids their first rides. Hopefully they’ll get the riding bug and can take me when I’m too old to ride by myself anymore.
All that being said, I highly and whole heartedly recommend anyone interested in riding to take the MSF Classes. They’ll teach you the right way to ride to be safe.