Three days of ride, play and sleep, on some of the most idyllic motorcycling and tourist destinations NZ has to offer. This is our version of paradise.
The lower South Island offers options for almost any weather type, and we made the most of it when floods were over flowing the driveways of our Oamaru students and the same heavy rain putting a damper on the home tracks of my helper for the camp, Campbell King. On meeting our crew at Gore we promptly headed inland to the softer soils of Cromwell.
Along for the ride was a range of ages, but one general skill level- near the top of their game.
Luke Laying It In
They started with three 65 riders who are used to battling each other on the mini tracks of the lower South Island. Ryan Tutty and Matt Robinson had their dads there to hold the fort, joined by fierce foe and new friend Luke Hayman. This trio were practically inseparable on the track and off, with Luke joining the others at their batch in Wanaka for the darker periods in between our riding days.
The rest of us stayed nearer the track, our log cabin hideaway that happens to be central to just about everything in Cromwell, including the pools which we made the most of on both nights of our stay, soaking away the sore muscles or creating havoc with the toy volley balls that proved to be a temptation we couldn’t ignore.
Elementary My Dear Watson
Our crew included James Dickson and another Luke who soon became ‘Watson’ to avoid confusion. Both of these lads are battling for top honours in the cross country series they have down there. Interestingly, their main competition being a past boot camper of ours, Todd Keown.
Filling in the final spot was Kade Srhoy, but wait, there was one more. The lad recently crowned 13-16 85cc champ known as Joel Meikle was a last minute addition which only added fire to the ‘scrubbing’ games that were about to begin.
Having top riders like Joel and Campbell really upped the intensity of our training. They acted as role models, inspiration or competition, depending on who you spoke to, and were not above taking the time to help the other riders in every way they could. Their motivation got to the point where Kade started pushing so hard that he scrubbed so much speed off a jump that he came up short and went down spectacularly, a solemn warning but one that he fortunately walked away from.
The training started with mainly techniques, introducing a new one along the way which made a big difference to the front end traction and exit speed of all who mastered its Villipoto style of riding. Not the least of whom being Campbell and myself as well.
Where Its At
The front brake also got a lot of attention along with many other key things, but as the days progressed we could focus harder on putting it in to practice with some simulated racing action.
Time would fail us to go through everything, but by the time we finished our 1-2-3 sprint laps on our third and final day at Poolburn it was obvious that we had made some big in-roads on the riding ability of each these riders.
Camps really are the way to lasting results, there is no denying it now. All I can say is thank you to the parents who helped make this possible, the Cornwalls for the use of their batch and the Cromwell club for being so accommodating. We will be back and in the mean time look out for these riders!