The West Coast can be a rugged place, exposed as it is to the constant winds coming straight off the Tasman sea except when interrupted by a raging easterly- or a visit by BRC! We were blessed with the stillest day they have had in three months. The sun was shining and the kids were smiling, as were we.
We got straight into the lesson while Sarah and the girls were off for a few hours of some riding of the four legged kind. Fortunately my group fit their bikes better than my daughters fit their horses, not that they seemed to mind.
Watching the transformation of 6 year old Rhys Kelly over the few months I have known him really has been akin to metamorphosis. You have to wonder how long any bike can handle the kind of punishment he is now dishing out on his own track. There is just one problem with someone riding this well- how do you help him improve?
Firstly there are others needing attention as they learn the big things like how to sit and stand like a pro with throttle and brakes next relying on their peace sign fingers. Once they are circulating happily, we can then give the personal attention that those like Rhys and his friend Josh really need.
Kev Kelly had been busy acting the ideal farming dad by shaping jumps and berms with his tractor over the past month or two, which we used to the fullest extent. The key to a really fast berm is to get off the rear brakes and get the wheels into it them early so that the bike and rider can lean right into it. Which is exactly what a number of the lads soon started doing.
Awhitu is both a fair hike to reach and a great place to enjoy. And when you see results in the riders like these, there is no doubting that we will be back.