Evan Arkush, Chief Monkey
Evan has been riding motorcycles for about twenty years. He enjoys all aspects of riding and works to improve his abilities through a variety of experiences and year-round saddle time. These include commuting here in San Francisco (every day is a new adventure), riding both sport and dirt tracks and jaunting across the world to places like Southeast Asia, Spain, Australia and Mexico as well as the beautiful roads & trails of northern California. Some truly exhilarating places to be on a bike!
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 up your 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 asked for help improving their riding skills. It became apparent that helping newer riders wasn’t a huge departure from teaching health and fitness (Evan’s other career) in terms of the psychology, methodology and the coordination required, even invoking yogic and sports mentalities which really help people to understand motorcycling on a deeper level.
On one particular afternoon a compliment on Evan’s thoughtful training turned into a suggestion that he consider offering classes to others. So as an experiment he placed an ad on good old Craigslist to see if anyone would be interested. 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 a decade on, Evan has guided hundreds of novice and intermediate motorcyclists to new skill levels and he continues to develop Monkey Moto School’s curriculum in order to offer the very best training possible. The five-star reviews on Yelp attest to that.
Stephanie Cepellos, Spaztastic Monkey
Alas, it took a few decades before she finally pulled the trigger and became the pilot – not just the passenger – and ever since taking the great two-wheeled plunge she has obsessed over all things motorcycle. She said, “give me any bike, anywhere, any time…it all just makes my mouth water.” She’s even gotten into fixing bikes (which is good because she has a garage full of them) and in 2017 she, along with a friend, built a bike for the annual Dirtbag Challenge in San Francisco. The thing even worked!
A number of technical skills training courses have provided Steph insight into the physics of riding which helps her to create a safe environment for herself on the streets and, of course, more tools to teach with. And she’ll talk riding theory for days if you let her. She describes herself as “the eternal student,” always curious, always striving to get better and really, really excited about every bit of it. That’s apparent as soon as you meet her.
Previously, Steph has taught ballet, swimming and cooking and is pretty excited to use those experiences in teaching her eternal love, motorcycling. Her enthusiasm is clearly infectious.
Jennifer Tacy, Sage Monkey
Jen used to drive a 1966 Mustang – but, fed up with moving it for street cleaning, she sold it and began to look for a better way to get around. After many years of urban bicycle commuting the move to motorcycles felt like a natural progression. In 2007 Jen purchased a 1965 Suzuki K15 trail bike (aka “Hillbilly”) and attended several training courses to develop her riding skills. She has continued to expand her knowledge and skills over the years with on- and off-road advanced training as well as regular spirited rides on the twisty roads of northern California.
Jen has a growing collection of motorcycles and does much of the maintenance on them. She has also collected a lot of motorcycle friends and has previously taught several people in her life to ride, adding to our wonderful community.
Jen’s warm smile yet stoic, thoughtful demeanor invite you to listen when she starts speaking. You just know she’s got something good to say. Around motorbikes this lady has more pearls of wisdom than you can shake a wrench at. You’re in good hands with Jen.
Why the name Monkey Moto School??
One of Evan’s besties has been calling him “Monkey” for many years because, apparently, he seems to embody a playful monkey spirit, energy and sometimes mannerisms. It also 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 made sense.