August 02, 2022

“My favorite thing is to watch a new rider, especially an older woman, gain confidence. She may have been told repeatedly that she could never succeed and it’s a joy watching her gain new skills and learn to ride the motorcycle on her own.”

“When they’re little girls, women generally aren’t taught that it’s okay to get dirty, and take risks. Sometimes, if women do get on a bike, they’re sitting behind their father, brother, or boyfriend. They’re passengers… not necessarily encouraged to take control.”

Century College Community, meet Shanna Hoffman, CECT Motorcycle Instructor. She’s been an instructor since 2013, and has been riding her own motorcycle since 2004. Although she grew up on the back of her dad’s Triumph, she never thought she belonged in the “front-seat” until taking a motorcycle class at Hennepin Tech.

“In my opinion, it’s best to learn from a qualified instructor, instead of a family member. Often, we want to please that person, saying we understand, when we really don’t. We don’t want to feel foolish…or let them down. If you make mistakes, an impartial instructor won’t get frustrated in the same way someone with a personal relationship with you might.”

“It’s very important to remember that riding a motorcycle cannot be approached in the same way as driving a car. It’s not the same skillset, and you can’t afford to, for example, go on autopilot on the commute. One lapse of judgement can have disastrous results.”

Shanna recommends Century College’s classes because they are small—admission is capped at 12 students per class—and the instructors can give personal attention.

For those who are curious about motorcycle classes, but are unsure, Shanna offers the following advice:

“First, figure out WHY you don’t know or are unsure about lessons. Are you afraid to fall, or are you afraid to fail? Those are 2 different things. And, once you know your ‘Why’, then you can deal with the fear or uncertainty.

“The best part of teaching is watching somebody who started out nervous and unsure become more confident and comfortable trusting the bike. It’s great to see a student start to “feel instead of think” and I can tell when that happens when I see them really lean into a curve. I’ll be standing out on the range (parking lot) jumping up and down and cheering them on because I still remember the first time that happened for me.” Shanna says. “You hit that curve and you feel like part of the bike. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Interested? Sign up here:…/4/subcategory_id/83