The Ashburton MCC has a fascinating dynamic. They run flat track races that are packed with keen locals, yet their riders rarely go abroad to compete elsewhere. For the first time in many years I was able to get involved with the club and see how it ticks while giving them some valuable MX skills along the way.
As they arrived, the riders didn’t seem nervous despite the Supercross-style track we were using. This was good because they had no need to worry. We started out on a flat patch of dirt working on basic skills that would help them more than anything else, with nothing difficult to take their focus. I soon gave the bigger kids more freedom with a safe section of the main track, which is where we all went after the first drinks break for some serious standing work.
It is not every day that I see a dozen riders transform their style in such a short time. Something about the atmosphere was working brilliantly as they transitioned to a style better than most dedicated motocross riders in a short period of time. Perhaps it was such a clear difference from what they had been doing that they understood the key points clearly. Whatever the reason, it was good, and we were able to start teaching them the beginnings of how to whip.
My afternoon group was similar, despite being adults who might think they are too set in their ways to learn. Watching them lean their way over the big bumps in the sawdust section was a real treat, meaning I only had to get hard on a couple of riders who needed reminding that technique comes before real speed.
Unfortunately the wind was gnarly by this time, so for the last session we relocated to another track nestled right down by a river. The trees gave great shelter, or was it that the wind happened to stop? Either way, the new track was right up their alley, where we could put the skills to practice. They had a ball, and by the time we finished with some key starting skills they really looked like proper motocross riders.
The club is keen for more so we will be back. I have no intention of teaching them backflips, but you just don’t know what they will be capable of by then!