Once again we were inundated with riders queuing to ride the dark sand hills of West Auckland at Awhitu, only just managing to cut the list off at 30 riders. That is a load of kids to control all at once but I had the tracks and helpers needed to pull off something special.
The Key Players
Along with the bunkhouse and excellent food we love thanks to Charlotte, Kevin and some fortunate rain gave us a main track that was groomed and watered to perfection, but it was the grass loops that really made this camp stand out.
Along with the help of our friend Phil and a very switched on new coach I was able to split the riders into an “A” and a “B” group, knowing that they would be happy to wait out their hour off the main track with plenty of places to play once they had refueled their bikes and bodies, with plenty of eyes to keep watch.
This also gave me the ability to spend more time doing focused coaching with the two groups and some one on one along the way. This was also the first time that Daniel had done a session with me but he learned the pace of training kids quickly, proving invaluable with initiative to burn. Stopping riders regularly to tweak their skills, he even proved his first aid skills by doing an excellent job when one rider had a scare on the trail loop later in the camp. I knew the riders were in good hands when he had the reins.
The work must have taken it’s toll though. He needed a nap halfway through day two, although it was an early start with some keen kids trying to raise the roof at 5.30am. I managed to keep them down for a little longer but they were definitely ready to ride at 8am and would have slept well that night.
Phil was also kept busy dealing with all sorts of issues, even taking the top end of one bike apart. And while not quite up to Daniel’s level he is quickly getting there with the unmatched intensity that he is known for now combining well with the skills we have showed him over the last few years.
Without singling anyone out, the little ladies proved the best at standing like they should. Whips were worked on by all and corner speed hammered in our sessions. The one on one sessions were basically just a personalized extension of those skills, getting knees high and bikes leaned. Cade was also a stand out with his standing style morphing into something you would expect a pro to have.
Weather permitting, the next camp should be just as good, if not better thanks to the lessons I learned from this one, especially to do with control of riders to and from the tracks. That is of course if the Kelly family can put up with us all once again!