There seems to be a pretty common consensus of opinion here that "dirt riding" is the best way to start riding and that the skills you acquire in the dirt translate to pavement riding. As one who took up MC riding at the age of 49 and rides pavement 99% of the time, I question that advice. Hey, I know from experience that what you learn when you are young stays with you in a way that what you learn as an adult does not. So I am not questioning the value of youths learning to ride on dirt at an early age. I AM questioning this idea for adult beginners who are not much interested in off-road riding starting in dirt. It seems from my reading, EVERYONE who rides dirt has repeated falls. If you are young and wear good gear, you bruise and learn. If you are older and wear good gear, more likely you break some bones and learn. But then you fall some more. I would think the dirt riders in their 60's (my age) should be people who not only have the skills they learned much younger, but also the sense to ride speeds/trails where they don't crash. Old bodies heal much slower. Most road skills I think are very different than dirt skills. Reading your other road users (situational awareness,) mirrors and head-checking, front brake use, positioning yourself in traffic, etc. I don't see coming from even great "dirt" skill. I've promised myself to practice the "quick stop" and swerving skills as soon as I get the bike on the road (which should be soon) and also to practice my scanning and "look where you want to go" skills. Probably won't take any riding classes this year. Hope my sharpened skills and a sense of self-preservation will let me log another crash-free year of enjoyable riding.