Apparently, to truly peak it helps to be riding five days a week. Well it wasn’t planned but I had done that last week and this one was to be the same.
It started with some spare time at James Andersons place where I was one of the lucky few able to ride his monster Supercross track. As usual the nerves were high but after winding my race suspension right up to hard it wasn’t long before I had the track pretty much down, helped no doubt by the practice from the Rat Track just two days before. Less than ideal was snapping the bolts that hold my subframe on so once that was fixed it was time to head to the family farm of the Stewarts on the western face of the Tararua Ranges.
The two brothers along with Scott and Regan put up a good fight but some of the skills sunk in. As a special treat I supplied BBQ food and soft drinks which Mrs Stewart welcomely prepared which was waiting for us after we returned from an epic hour long tour of the farm that took us to the plateu’s on top of the ranges and back down past a waterfall that tumbled most of the way down the mountain. The day only finished with the suns retreating, a very special afternoon.
Venue of the Manawatu Champs, the Flipps property was our next playground, joined by Georgia Carian and Phillip Palmer. Winding its over and around the different mounds this paddock held was impressive in its own right, the wide and well designed track making my job as a coach and then racer not difficult at all. Unfortunately there was a mix up that meant I couldn’t work with the track designers themselves but it was an excellent day none the less.
A big rain overnight spoiled my plans of riding the Supercross track again but the soaking ability of that Manawatu sand once again came to the fore with a moto still possible on the Andersons MX track before I headed across to the Lahmert family farm. Gus, Sam and William had just returned from school and were soon ripping up the best paddock for riding we could find. There were some good lessons happening but the highlight came at the end when we brought their wooden ramp across to hit while Gus enjoyed my 150R. From the feedback they gave us that was definitely something to talk about.
That night the Ludeman family were very gracious hosts to this traveler but before their session I spent some time with four budding young riders at the Valley Road mini and main motocross tracks. George and Ollie, Courteney and Sam had some hard work to do but we did not give up so it is now up to them. We made it back to the Ludeman’s that afternoon for a barnstorming effort on both their MX loop and the big hill behind.
After two weeks on the road I was getting anxious to get home but first was a night at the delightful Morere Hot Springs (recommended staying) and two sessions with our favourite East Coast crowd. The track was in excellent condition as it turned out, the worries we had about rain only making it better. This time I worked through standing with Sonny and two riders I was meeting for the first time before testing them with a few laps to see if it had sunk in- then repeating until there was no doubt. The afternoon session was similar with five keen students only the coaching and tests included more cornering.
Rolling into my driveway after nearly two weeks on the road, was bitter sweet knowing I had to shoot off to the Auckland Champs the very next day but it was only to make the next few weeks based from home even sweeter.