They arrived like a presidents escort, black cars and tinted windows. The difference was that the flags were not American or French but the Silver Fern of our very own All Blacks. In all the years that Blue Wing Honda has supported my racing and coaching this was my first chance to actually help the staffs riding skills and we had the whole Sandpit of Woodhill motorcycling park to ourselves to do it.
In what felt like a flash back to our Honda Team photo we were again parking at the old carpark with its flat riding area amoungst the tall pine trees. It might have seemed a bit too easy except for the fact we were here to change habits, after that there were enough trails to challenge us for hours.
Coaching your bosses might seem intimidating. That was not to be the case however after making sure that everyone knew who was boss for the day, they were in my world and nothing was going to get them out of learning today, like it or not!
It turned out to be a really fun and relaxed day after the initial lessons. Those changes came in very helpful during our big foray into the woods although nothing was going to make the soft sand behind the Superbowl any easier. Watching one of the ladies weave their way up one sandy hill showed a fearless determination greater than anything I had seen before- she just hung on and kept powering! If only I had taken the helmet cam.
The next day was our first coaching session at Ardmore in many years, it was good to be back. This was the more experienced riding staff along with a big team of Botany Honda riders deserving a special treat. The track was dry but tight, taking in every corner the track had to offer.
Disturbing the Peace
At the allocated hour the air became filled with happy sounds of bikes and joking, anyone who knows Danny will be familiar with the kind of atmosphere he creates. This group included some even more powerful bosses but this time without the Men In Black type arrival scene. Possibly the only downer was having to turn away those riders who were hoping for their regular practice day.
Free riding mixed with large group coaching gave some good ideas to the riders, the most productive of which being how early to start using a berm and lifting their front wheel more than they needed to on jumps just to make sure they weren’t scared if it was to happen. With camera in hand I was able to give them a visual on how they were going but didn’t capture any crashes despite the wishes of some who could not make it.
Next month we sum up the next two chances we had at using the track, sorry if you missed it!