“Because it means you have more fingers gripping the handlebars.” It was a strange experience to have an 8year old quote word for word what I had taught him how he should try using one finger on the front brake instead of two over a year ago. His initial excitement had turned into dedication on the Hokitika sand, now churning out the skills at a hot pace.
His counterpart was never far off him though, Liam stepping up quickly despite a lack of riding years. Before long he was braking deep into the turns and standing like he meant it, as was little William who went from a struggle to survive on the slushy sections to the kind of demon rider his dad knew he was capable of. Not bad considering the town had been flooding just twelve hours earlier.
Jayni was next, proving why she is right up there as one of the top female riders in the area. Her sights are set on beating Roma Edwards and she was determined to soak up all the skills she could, which was always going to help in the battle to keep her arms bent when jumping.
A fellow competitor of hers named Brooke was next up, getting the ultimate welcoming gift as she arrived- a bigger and better bike. Despite taking a little while to get used to, it was obvious she was ready for the machine and she would soon be charging harder than ever, especially with a quick younger brother to help keep her motivated.
Probably the strangest skill I had him doing was to keep his inside leg bent with knee high when he was turning hard and then getting his foot back on the pegs before powering hard. It helped him hook up a whole lot better but went straight into the imaginary box labeled “I’m gonna have to work on that one”, along with whipping the bike both ways.
The trip had been long overdue and I would love to be back on the West Coast again next spring; if these great people are happy to welcome back this North Islander again!