Arriving on time for once meant we had a few hours spare before getting into the coaching, and it wasn’t long before Chloe was aboard a bike for her second ride by herself, the first having been at the same location a year before. We have spent so long getting her used to the throttle that she had absolutely no problems with the bike going on a crazed fence-finding mission, and soon she was even using her peace sign fingers on the front brake.
What really surprised me was to hear her say “Dad, watch this” as she stood in exactly the style I teach my students. Of course I gave her a thumbs up which she then proceeded to return back to me, all while standing down slight hill with two fingers on the front brake. Her one hand antics caused enough of a wobble that she returned both hands to the handlebars, which I was thankful for. I can see why other fathers get a bit nervous watching their kids now!
The Good Stuff
My early arrival also meant that not only did I have time to set up a decent track for my coaching sessions, a second loop was also found that meant I could really challenge my advanced riders. The highlight was seeing them turn over a sharp rise that we were using to learn whips, as much a reward for their attentiveness as learning a new skill.
Back on the first track, one hill was particularly challenging- small but whooped out. We practiced changing down gears with some, simply looking ahead with others. As the bikes got smaller, their chances of conquering this hill became less, so a massive speedway-type area was used to get the younger ones changing gears, braking in a straight line and keeping their turns from becoming too tight.
While we didn’t do any riding demonstrations this time, a swim in the perfect little cover that this camp has access to was much appreciated. With a jetty and a rope swing out of a tree to do silly things with, we had a ball. My daughters included. Unfortunately that also marked the time for my girls to head home so they could get a good nights sleep while I camped on. Chloe was still buzzing and the memory will last a long time. I hope the families keep supporting these camps as there is nothing quite like them that I know of in NZ.