Having woken up to snow in the hills above Lawrence it was a stormy start but well worth the effort. The team from the South Otago MCC helped get the word out with a good number of riders braving the cold and rain, getting the most out of what we had trying to build confidence and stop at the right time. There were important lessons to be learned and the comments from one Dad summing it up with “We normally wouldn’t come out to practice in conditions like this so it is great to get coaching for the wet races that are bound to come.”
Gore was next on a track just out of town that had a slope to it, perfect for the excess water to wash away. Mark Robinson was to be thanked for this group of mini riders who were some of the keenest I have seen as we touched up on skills and gave the odd new one to think about such as leaning their body into the hill on an offcamber corner more than the bike when trying to power out so the wheels are digging down into the ground instead of power sliding into a spin.
The plan is to work more closely with each of the Southern Honda shops next time, I have been learning how much time on the phone this very important side of BRC requires.
A wonderful time was had coaching the Bennie family aboard their CRF 80, 150 and 230 machines in between the MX track stops. They are a product riding on their wet and hilly farm combined with their love for the Honda Kids Club Camps that have seen them all ride red bikes only. Definitely good fun with a family like this.
From there, following the theme of the Sandpit series we were able to use the Southland MCC’s club track at Oreti Parkonce again, the first in a year or so. I was impressed with the effort that has gone on to adding good sand to the venue to lift out the puddles on the main track which helped for our session with the older boys. However the mini track had not had that treatment yet.
It seems that something has been working down south with four national titles in the junior ranks going to southerners while the top of the mini ranks have all been through sessions with Broxy Rider Coaching, something we carried on with this trip. Nathan Rhind has been rapidly moving through the pack on his way to catching Mark Robinsons son Matt where they now often get first and second places. After coaching Nathan on this trip I spent time with Kruz Carter who is also right up near the pointy end of the 65cc class, not too far behind Regan Turner of Dunedin who has also been faithfully attending our sessions.
You couldn’t have picked we were on the same planet the next day up in Cromwell apart from the perfect mix of oxygen and nitrogen found in the air of both places. Central Otago only required two layers of clothing and the track was in perfect nick for our sessions.
Bryn Gilbert surprised me with great skills in his one on one session, which we then made the most of by using much more of the whole track for more cornerspeed and commitment to the first half of the turns. That carried on with the next session being Campbell King, Oamaru rocket Joel Meikle and Cross Country rider Rickie Kilgour.
After changing some hard to kill habits I soon had these riders blowing us all away. The small clip I posted on Facebook was just a taste of what they started to achieve. I am hoping that Campbell can show the south what he showed us thanks to the technique changes – the base is there!