It didn’t matter that one rider has 3,500 acres of playground at home, or that another already has the NZ motocross number one plate. Five riders had shown up for the short week of Broxy school, all set to make some new habits for life.
While some of the parents in their baches were suffering from cabin fever, we were hitting the track between every downpour. Two mornings of rain actually helped us mercilessly hammer in the hardest skills before the ultimate reward came on day three and four.
Those skills paid off in spades when the track conditions turned perfect. Hovering closer to the bike, Angus went on to launch right up and over the step up, on his KLX140 no less. Jos eventually got more comfortable sitting forward and leaning back entering the turns, a skill that especially paid off in the tight turns.
There were big rewards for Kurtis as he learned to trust himself with getting wider before his turns. I was especially pleased to see Rachael learned all of the skills above to really commit to the first half of one turn, thereby squaring it up to avoid the large drop just afterwards. It was a good moment for everyone and translated to more speed on the whole track.
We took on the trail loop as a group, at one point each of us finishing dead centre in a hidden pond that had sprung up overnight. It was pretty funny, and all bikes survived to finish the lap with riders suitably refreshed. Those trails also got to be pretty sweet later on… so long as we remembered where the puddles were!
My highlight was with Coleman, who went on to win the 8-11yrs 85cc class at the following weekends King of the Mountain. I had seen him jump large enough on the main tabletop to land hard into the face of a rolling bump far down the landing. Asking him if he had any more speed up his sleeve I backed up his confidence by suggesting he tried launching even bigger to land on the down side of that bump like I was doing. The requirement was that he stayed close to the bike no matter what, and the rest was up to him.
It was a big jump and he went high, but he landed it sweetly and continued to do so for the remainder of the camp. We later measured it to be 30 meters, pretty decent for a small wheel 85.
A swim at Pukehina beach helped us keep charging through day three, but our big finale came on the final day with lap timers on board getting ready for their dream lap. We broke the track into three sections and got the best possible time for each, then added it up and finished with a session to see how close to that time they could get. It worked with Jus and Coleman getting within one second of it, but it was Kurtis who blew us all away by beating his dream time by two whole seconds.
It turns out he had been holding out on us all along, finally feeling confident enough in his new skills to open the throttle right up on the longer straights and out of the turns with his new found clutch control. I don’t know who was more pleased, him, his dad, or me. It was certainly a good way to finish the camp and just goes to show how important that fourth day was.