Heavy rain was falling and the sound of thunder rolled through the petrol station as I filled my fuel cans, but it was not going to damper my hope. To the north, where I was headed for our two day camp at Awhitu, was golden sunshine. Sure enough we were spoilt with brilliant conditions at the Auckland version of our favourite motorcycle camp.
Feeding the Machine
Once again Kevin Kelly had been busy making sure his circuit was in pristine condition, and that the roast was ready for the hungry hordes. Our hostess extraordinaire was in fine form, even her mother was on board with an impressive array of cheesecakes ready for dessert which got demolished along with everything else that was set on the table.
We also chewed through the fuel, only taking time for drink breaks and coaching.
The Good Skills
I had trained most of these riders before so it was a simple matter of touching up on some skills individually, and doing some new skills with them all as a group.
The most effective skill we taught was how to avoid the front wheel dropping over the sharper jumps. Basically I told them to keep themselves more central on the bike while taking off, rather than leaving the ground with their weight back. They were trusting enough to try it, many of them finding sudden control that was surprising. Some riders even took it to the extreme of leaving the ground with their head further forward than the handlebars, with even better results. Then they asked why I had not told them this skill before!
After a decent nights sleep (at least for some), we were up early and back at it. The track was even better for day two, gaining traction all the time and beginning to form some excellent inside ruts thanks to the likes of multi time national junior MX Champion Ryan Webley.
It was the young aces like Ryan and Coleman that really inspired the younger ones, creating a lasting impression. At these camps it seems that everyone wins, including the petrol stations whose fuel we were burning!