Michael Strudwick was first up, showing how much difference one change can make- moving from the balls of his feet to his arches making both standing and sitting much easier, but I made two mistakes. One was wrecking our good momentum by suggesting he use his new found form through a difficult section that had a hidden hole, with the second mistake being a waste of 5 minutes when I tightened up his shock rather than loosening it.
During the darker hours of winter they hibernate, waiting for the longer days and warm sunshine to dry out the tracks in between tropical downpours. Come spring the cobwebs are brushed off and we are back in business, coaching our way in central northland once again with some very full days!
We chose the relatively central and definitely rideable location of Pakaraka with Murray Gravatts track around half an hour south of Kerikeri where I worked with the man himself and fellow veteran “Nitrous Nige” once again, ironing out the bad habits that had crept back after winter and cementing once again why every bike rider needs coaching.
All the way from Waiheke Island came Travis and his mum, using the trip as time with her family and some serious up skilling aboard his CRF250R.
As the sun was going down and the BBQ was firing up I squeezed in a decent 10 lap moto, giving the crowd only one moment of entertainment as I skidded over on the first lap, the only other attacker being a Plover bird defending her nest. The eggs survived, but unfortunately for Travis disaster struck just before he started his second session the following day, overshooting a berm and ripping both his gear lever and radiator half off. Once again the Broxy CRF150RB was back in action and the show carried on with a group session or three that day, producing results, even with the youngest riders who showed that a KTM or TTR50 could really fly.
After an adventurous night at the Sheep World Backpackers with its ‘rustic’ charm, I arrived for my first day ever at the Dome Valley track.
That started more bike set up over the next two sessions that was comprised of the extended Maddren family and friends. We had some seriously good times along with the odd struggle, finishing a northland trip to remember.
We will be back to both tracks again, especially thanks to the preparation of the willing few who helped make the days such a good thing.