Evan Arkush, Chief Monkey
Evan has been riding and loving motorcycles for about twenty five years. He enjoys all aspects of riding and works to improve his abilities through a variety of experiences plus year-round saddle time. These include commuting in San Francisco (every day is a new adventure!), riding both sport and dirt tracks, jaunting across the world to places like Southeast Asia, Spain, Australia and Mexico as well as the beautiful roads & trails of northern California.
More recently Evan has been getting excited about moto gymkhana, which is timed cone courses that you can set up in a parking lot with just about any motorcycle big or small. There is no quicker, cheaper or lower risk way to boost your riding skills by several notches. We highly recommend you try it!
Back around 2006/2007 Evan founded Monkey Moto School on a lark after a few friends had asked him for help improving their riding skills. It became clear that helping improving riders wasn’t a huge departure from teaching health and fitness (Evan’s other career) in terms of the psychology, methodology and much of the coordination required, even invoking yogic and sports mentalities which really help people to understand motorcycling on a deeper level.
While helping a friend on one particular afternoon a compliment turned into a suggestion that he consider offering classes to others so as an experiment he placed an ad on good old Craigslist. It turned out – and perhaps this should be no surprise – that lots of people were looking to improve their skills and gain confidence for safer riding. And so it began.
Now more than a decade later, Evan has guided hundreds of novice and intermediate motorcyclists to new levels of skill and he continues to work on his own riding in order to further develop Monkey Moto School’s curriculum and offer the very best training possible. The five-star reviews on Yelp attest to that.
Jason Vieira, Legacy Monkey
Jason Vieira comes from a family of motorcycle enthusiasts and was riding on the back of his dad’s bike at the wee age of 2. His father, a police motorcycle instructor in Massachusetts who also taught for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation got Jason into riding pretty early on and he had his first bike by age 7. He’s been riding and working on bikes ever since.
Now in his mid-forties Jason brings a lifetime of experience along with an easy smile and calming presence to Monkey Moto School. Asked what draws him to teaching he quickly responded that he feels pretty lucky to have received excellent training from the very beginning and wants to pass on the same solid foundation of skills to others straight out of the gate.
Additionally, he is looking forward to expanding his own exposure in working with the diverse population of excited new riders here in the SF Bay Area.
Tuula Paivio-Ala, Icon Monkey
“Every woman wants to be her; every man wants to be with her.”
If you actually know Tuula you get why this is a very silly (though possibly true) statement. No question, at first glance she appears like a quintessential rocker chick – and yes, she does sing in a rock band! – but your first moment of contact will reveal the brain of a passionate and concerned motorcycling mentor with a mountain of experience to share. Tuula has traveled the globe to ride and probably knows every fun Bay Area back road intimately. She has several years of coaching under her Slayer belt and you can have full confidence that she will turn you into a very capable motorcyclist in addition to offering her library of insight that may literally save you years of figuring it out on your own. We are incredibly blessed that Tuula decided to leave Canada and come to our corner. You will be too.
What’s with the name Monkey Moto School??
One of Evan’s besties has been calling him “Monkey” for many years because, according to her, he embodies a playful monkey spirit, energy -and occasionally mannerisms. It further turns out that Evan was born in the Chinese year of the monkey. And finally, in researching the Hindu monkey god Hanuman there seem to be some significant character likenesses. Monkey Moto School just kind of made sense.