Matt had come all the way from Wellington, and while the Fathers Day coaching session was secondary to the Dirt Guide cross country that he would be racing the following day, I still wanted to give him something special to help make his effort worthwhile. Judging by his happy race report the following day, I think we found it.
The general feeling I got from these riders was that they wanted help on the trails, both for hills and the long sweeping corners on soft sand that they were finding difficult. Coaching on the trails can be nigh on impossible, until now. Francis and Blair Pirini have been busy in the bulldozer, not just improving the tracks that are there but blazing a few new ones as well, even in the small loop on the north side of the motocross track that I like to think of as my sandpit. A new loop was now possible with just a big downhill, and soft sweeper at the bottom and straight back up another hill that also gave them a slight rest before plunging back down the hill again. And I had the perfect skill to help them with it.
After getting them to stand low to the bike with knees gripping the seat down the hill, I told them to stay standing through the sweeper at the bottom by moving into a more central position when the time felt right. The key points were to keep their knees gripping the seat, (not the fuel tank), really bending at the waist and getting their chins past the bars. They didn’t have to be too low while this far forward, so long as their arms still had something close to a 90 degree bend on them. Then they just had to be brave enough to trust that position all the way through the turn without sitting down.
Matt and his mate are both very good riders, yet this was a little new. Standing all the way through the soft sweeper took a little faith, but man, it worked a treat for Matt and many others. Soon he was absolutely nailing the corner, leaning into it like a professional sand rider without the showy berm busting action that normally ruins their flow. He happened to fall when I was taking a video but he was soon back up and doing it better than ever. It was exciting to watch, and he was obviously buzzing as well.