Check your local community college for courses (that's where they're offered around here).
Mr.C started with a Virago, with the idea that it was low enough that I could put both feet down flat without a problem (at 5'3" there were a number of bikes I couldn't do that on), and he would trade up and give me that one when he wants to move up. I'm good with that.
And contrary to a few other posts, I would actually prefer to start with a dirt bike, because I could use it all over the property we live on. Also, my daughters both want one. I'd let them take the dirt bike around here before I'd let them anywhere near the highway on a motorcycle. I'm happy on the backroads tooling along at 55, but 70 mph down the interstate doesn't thrill me. Too many looney and distracted drivers, and too much wind. Call me chicken if you want. I'd rather take a horse over a picnic table than a bike down the interstate. it just means we have to take the scenic route to anywhere.
"Don't waste your time with explanations. People only hear what they want to hear." Paulo Coelho
"Oh bother," said Pooh, as he chambered another round.