I started teaching Deb to ride this afternoon.

Deb wrote up her account here: http://www.denovich.org/deb/archives/000186.html

My account follows:

Deb was very excited and nervous all at once. I knew that it was going to be slow going as it's hard to absorb much in that condition. She doesn't drive either, so she's learning a lot all at once.

She had no problems getting underway, and after a few stalls, she learned to pull the clutch in when she came to a complete stop. I had her drive around the building a few times, me running along side her. Soon she was putting along by herself.

I then started to show her how to make tighter turns. The parking lot was about 30ft wide the entire way around the building. I had her do a lap on just one side of the lot. She made the first turn ok, but at the other corner of the building was a big mud puddle. She started the turn ok, but when the puddle came into view she froze. She was still 15 feet away from it at that point, and only needed to go another 45degrees or so to complete the turn. I too froze, and watched her run right into the puddle, and scrape to a stop against the building. She hopped off, as the scooter fell over and ran sadly on it's side until I ran over and turned it off. Deb just stood there unhurt but visibly shaken. I felt bad because I should have seen that coming. I think I over estimated how much she was learning, and how easy that scooter is to ride.

I'm happy to report that our Chetak suffered no worse than a few small scuffs. It was a bit hard to restart though. After repeated attempts with the starter and with the kickstarter, I did it manually. I put it in 2nd gear, pulled in the clutch, pushed it at a semi run, and let out the clutch. Without drama it came to life, I pulled in the clutch, and hopped on. After a bit Deb settled back down, and we concentrated on using the brakes. I also did some demonstations of turning radius, and stopping distance. I was a little surprised by just how hard/greasy the tires are. Hauling it down from 25 mph in a hurry, it was hard not to lock up the rear. I think it's probably wise to invest in something with a bit more bite.

By the time we got home Deb had more or less shook it off, and said she'd be ready for more tomorrow.