In case you haven't noticed there's a new video at the top of this prose. It's my daughter Cheryl taking a further step into the world of two wheeled motoring. Since she got her Motorcycle Learners Permit six months ago we've been waiting for the time and opportunity to put her on a real motorcycle. Yesterday was that first day.

The first step in the path is mastering the takeoff with a manual clutch. This has curtailed the career of many newcomers who either give up or get a motor scooter. Most scooters have automatic transmissions and only require that you twist the throttle and go. It's very simple and effective but at this time only a handful of motorcycles possess automatic transmissions. To make it as a biker you have to shift.

I gave the best instructions I could on how to use the clutch and then stepped back to watch. Cheryl fed in the clutch, used the throttle with caution and then just rode off. After a few laps around the yard she returned and asked how to shift the transmission to get more gears? Once again I explained it as best I could and off she went. There isn't enough room in the yard for high speeds but the basic first to second gear change can be accomplished. To my amazement, after a few minor missteps, Cheryl was shifting without trouble. There are still a few bugs to be worked out but for a first time effort it went quite well.

I suppose as her Father I should be worried about her traveling on the roads in the future but that would be hypocritical on my part. Imagine someone who's been riding for over fifty years telling his daughter, “No daughter of mine will ride one of those killing machines.” It would sound pretty stupid.

I'll just teach her all I can about the dangers and how to avoid them and hope for the best. The same as any parent does when they teach their children how to drive.

Don't tell her but I feel pretty proud that she's taken to it so well. This makes her a third generation rider. I'll have to get a picture of the family tree one day soon.