All of these events sometimes have a way of intertwining with each other, but the Camps each have their own personality.
Somewhere south west of Whangarei lies the northern-most camp on a farm near Waiotira, home of Totara trees and the remains of a big jump we carved into the hillside last year. The demo was not to be this time around, lets call it a build up to something special next year. I will be practicing in the foam pit I promise.
Probably the biggest highlight was one girl aboard a borrowed pit bike. She was scared witless but let me convince her that we could safely get her to our coaching loop, which we did. Still petrified, we got her sitting so the bike worked better which made a big difference, before she shocked us all with the next skill- standing with knees gripping hard.
Getting the Fever
From barely riding at all, to best standing style of the lot, she nailed it and you could tell from the smile in her helmet that she knew it too.
I didn’t see them again until the Honda Kids Camp near Hamilton, which is when her father came up to say thanks. It turns out that her confidence continued to the point where she was able to ride a clutched bike for the first time, then have the spunk to say that it was easy and she wanted a bigger bike. I think we can confidently say the motorcycling fraternity has a new addition.
That camp, just 15 minutes west of Hamilton, is a dedicated trails farm, constantly giving bikes and horses a chance to let loose. I stayed away from the equines, but hit the inclines as keenly as anyone.
Having had a decent scope around for the best coaching area I stumbled across the perfect location for my needs which held enough variation to keep everyone happy, from the mother who was not impressed about this whole motorcycling thing but was stubborn enough to have a session with me anyway, to the dad who just couldn’t get his head around the standing thing.
The worst part came after I had finished one group and a rider decided to try jump extra big off the hump of dirt we were using. She flew. And crashed. Ending with a sore arm and black eye which would no doubt have impressed the boys.
And just so you know, the not-so-keen mother and the dad we spoke about above, both of them got there by the end of our session which should lead to some much happier families next time they hit the trails.