We were hit by masses of both last minute bookings and rain in the final week before our Auckland trip. Unfortunately we had already given up one of the three days we had scheduled, so while some riders were squeezed in, others went on the waiting list, and all were moved to a new venue- the Woodhill Forest park that I discovered has an array of new options for coaching.
Three kids with three classic names that proved to be a perfect match for their adventurous attitude- Jack, Harry and Max. Their dads had done a great job showing them the framework of riding skills, so when it came to my turn to help, I was able to get straight into attacking the more stubborn bad habits that every one of us would rather just ignore. And of course after the hard work came the fun, any puddle becoming fair game.
Also similar to the three lads above in his ability to shrug off the odd off-course excursion
and keep charging, was Baxter Davis. We kept him on the mini tracks to learn his race craft before his family welcomed me into their home for my second night on the road, the first having been spent with the always fun Evans family of Botany Honda
Getting Down and Dirty
With the Boss
Although far across the other end of town, I had borrowed a CRF100F from Danny Evans and took the chance to hang out before helping Thomas safely perform his very first ride on a proper motorbike. I must have had as much fun as Thomas did while helping him learn the multitude of skills required to avoid immovable objects. An objective we completed successfully.
It was the older age group that really made the most of the redesigned motocross track with its now numerous options of small loops we could use for coaching, starting with Sam Toman who came with a brief.
Enduro-Cross Champs Under Construction
Dad could see his need for bike control over whoops so that is what we hit- and we smashed it. He had come a long way since we had first worked together aboard his KX65 but it had been a while- a timely reminder of the ultimate standing style completely transformed his confidence and safety.
The same skills also made a big difference for our friend Tangi Ward who we had down for the next day. It is all about a style that lets the bike move without kicking the rider around, and that means bending your upper body instead of only being able to use your legs.
Blood and Sand
Our one on two session was a family affair, though not necessarily linked by blood. Nathan and Richard are step brothers with motorcycles in common but differing affinities to sand, the first being super strong in the turns while the other loved the straights, especially after I firmed up his forks to help them work properly.
Brett and Emily also had their strengths and weaknesses but enjoyed the session as much because it was one of their last father and daughter rides they would have for some time before Emily heads for her big years of studying overseas. We made sure she got the most out of it by putting her aboard the BRC CRF150R rocket ship which she soon mastered.
The Sandpit is a massive plus to dirt bikers far and wide and full credit is due to Tony and his team there. Look out for the massive Enduro-cross complex they are building in the old car park which includes the wall ride from Red Bulls “City Scramble” which they were piecing back together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It is looking like an awesome facility. We all have to make sure we keep supporting this unique asset!