In which Ella Bella gets bit by the bug.

This is our middle kid: Ella. (aka Ella Bella, Smella, and Miss Ella Vator). She is a chef and she has been wanting to learn to ride a motorcycle. Who am I to stand in the way of such a wonderful thing. This past Sunday we went to a local elementary school with a pretty good sized parking lot and lots of green space. We took Newt, my '82 Yamaha XT550, which is a great learner bike on account of the relatively light weight, dual sport ability, and the fact that I only paid $650 for it so even if she totaled it - how bad could it be?

We outfitted her in one of my deluxe extra helmets and a pair of her mom's boots and the lesson began. Ella drives a manul shifting car so it was a matter of re-assigning which hand/foot did what on the bike.

She admitted that she was a tad nervous, but it really didn't show. She started off nice and slow in the parking lot - learning first and foremost how to stop the bike. Then she started weaving around a bit and took it into 2nd gear.

Here she is talking to the shifter to make sure it went into 2nd and not neutral. After about 45 minutes of the pavement and making passes back and forth, she took Newt out on the grass. After buzzing back and forth on the grass she went Super Motard and was circling the school switching from pavement to grass and back again. She was even going up and down over the curbs.

Before too long she was zooming all over the place. The pony tail was not staying down her back! All in all I think she only stalled Newt twice - we gotta learn her how to do the kick start thing. She did ask, "Don't most motorcycles start with a button?"

Here we see young Miss Vator cruising along in 2nd or maybe even 3rd. At the end of an hour and a half she was ready to hang up her helmet for the day. She showed me the blister on her throttle hand and said, "Now I know why you wear gloves."

Ella seems to be enthused about riding a bike. She is looking forward to lesson #2 and maybe a little bit of road work. If her enthusiasm remains high, then maybe there is a MSF course in her future next spring.


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