Imagine you are from somewhere outside of NZ. You have wanted to backflip your motorbike ever since you knew it was possible but finding a decent foam pit is just too hard. Why not book a spot in one of our camps and get an overseas holiday experience at the same time- it might just make perfect sense and is exactly what one young American did with us this last month.
Trent McMyler is from Alabama. One of your classic old fashioned nice guys in a 21 year olds body who just happens to ride ramps, backflip into lakes on his push bike and fit the description above perfectly. Once he had seen the Redbull video of our latest FMX camp he knew that was where he needed to be- the other side of the world, even though he had never flown anywhere in his life.
While there are probably a load of foam pits in the States they are mostly private and not set up for public use, especially not in a coaching-camp scene with everything else looked after. We probably don’t realise how lucky we are with a facility like Nick Franklins. Just read a few of the comments on the Redbull clip mentioned above to get an idea.
Trent had touched down on a Tuesday morning and arrived at a stop just two minutes drive from our place, the bus arriving while Sweet Home Alabama happened to be playing in the McDonalds I was waiting in. He stayed with us and came along to a test I had with DRD the following day where he also geared up and started getting warmed up again on a bike for the first time in our hemisphere. He wasn’t looking particularly comfortable aboard my 450, which didn’t give me a lot of confidence in achieving his goal if I am to be honest, though fortunately the main goal of staying in one piece was achieved. The day before camp starts would not have been a good time to take a hit!
This was our first FMX Boot camp- just two riders requiring my full attention and three days to achieve what they wanted. At $700 it might not seem cheap but we promise results as well as an awesome experience. Over the summer we will be able to host more riders as Nick Franklin will be back in NZ, which should be epic.
Our second rider was Brett Kilian, a motocross rider wanting to push along his already ample jumping skills. While I may have been the host so far as catering and guiding, Brett was non-stop entertainment any time the helmet was off.
Tweaks and Overhauls
Brett got right into the hill ramp from early on, moulding his ability to power all the way off the ramp and avoid the old enemy named “Straight Arms”. From there we moved to the main freestyle ramp pushed right up close to the landing and progressed our way up in distance from there.
There were bigger challenges at first for Trent, the result of being out of his element in both time zones and environment so we just took it slow.
Outside of the riding we did Rotorua one evening with a few runs down the luge compulsory, before heading to the hot pools at DeBretts in Taupo the following night with its warming waters working wonders on some sore bodies with one day to go.
With rain putting the ramps out of order the final day was all about the foam pit, not what Brett had come for although it certainly helped him overcome some fear with a couple jumps of his own and plenty of practice watching Trent get buried under his bike.
You will notice the push ups photo, the result of pushing away from the bike when I had warning him in no uncertain terms what his punishment would be for that sin – if he survived the impact in one piece that is. The threats worked from there on out and he hung on until the bitter end every time much to our relief.
So from a cautious start, by lunch time on the third day Trent began pulling flips all the way around into the foam pit, a massive buzz for all of us because the goal had looked so far off. When the battery ran out of puff we called it a day even though Trent just wanted to keep doing them, knowing that a big pack up was in store and waiting until he was back with us again on a future camp before pushing our luck any more.
As a real bonus we had photography expert Alick Saunders join us for the third day, enjoying the time and honing his skills while capturing the excitement of the day. We are stoked to be able to show you some of these pics thanks to his generosity, at the end of the day it is the Franklin family that we would like to thank the most for letting us make use of their awesome facilities. We will be back and who knows where they will be coming from this time!