Motocross is a disease. It can take over whole families and suck your bank accounts dry, but for some reason most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. The Nelson family of Brightwater near Nelson is the ultimate example, if you go by their pad set up.
What could be better for a father and twin sons than endless trail riding, a flat track, supercross track and massive shed. Best of all Mum doesn’t seem to mind the fact that their house takes up less than a third of that shed. It was where my south island trip kicked off on a very good foot.
While the dads went exploring on their trail bikes, a mix of junior and mini riders joined me, along with their riding mentor who was there to listen in and pick up on things he needed to keep teaching them.
One major point was how a few of them had the habit of powering through every bump, even into and through a corner. That really slowed down their late braking and corner speed so we gave them alternate means of handling those bumps for an instant increase in speed.
Then it was only a few km’s to our venue for the next days coaching at the Bigg’s place, with groomed and watered corners to boot. Kirk and Milan were taught the lesson of consistency that I had learned the weekend before, taking their time through the turn to make up ground on the exit every time.
Then there was some technique to help their jumping confidence, mainly Milan being able to get his weight back safely if the front dropped and Kirk staying low for full control. Despite a big, hot training session they still got out there again after we had finished, seemingly loving their new found confidence while I was doing laps on the fun little supercross track in another paddock. They have it made in Brightwater!
Finishing an hour or so after lunch I was off again, this time to Christchurch with a quick stop to pick up our friend Ethan Bruce from Maruia. Keen to make up for a boot camp that had been cut short a few months before, I now had a driver and helper for the last half of my trip, as we arrived at the very welcoming Doherty household who treated us like kings.
Not only did we get spoilt with excellent food and accommodation despite their earthquake hit home, but their groomed and watered track made for a treat to coach and ride on.
Their son James has a style that is naturally near perfect. He even leans back while starting his turns to help avoid the front from washing, something which had been a problem on his 125 until we gave it some more rider sag to help balance things out.
Before starting our big trip south to Gore that night, we made some nasty bumps out of a couple of sharp little ditches, showing him the value of gripping the seat extra hard for some incredible results where the sudden hit would almost completely bottom the bike out, but not kick him at all.
Definitely a good way to finish off before a week of boot camps and supercross racing in the deep heart of Southland.