Normally green grass would not make the best pillow for a sleep. A poke in the ribs followed by a “Huh? What?” and he was back in the land of the living for one last session. Two and a half days of hard riding combined with a hard night of coughing can take it out of you, but that didn’t slow Ryan down much. In fact, he went back out to pedal his CRF250R the fastest any of us had ever seen him ride.
I can certainly see why we run our Academies like we do, with an easy day of play riding at my track scheduled for day three of those four day camps. These students had no such luxury.
We had begun at Joel Meikles track in Oamaru where ripped turns and jumping were the main focus, especially helpful for the father and son team of Donn and Charlie. As you may see from the GoPro footage, the older boys were getting fairly flat and sideways. What you wouldn’t see is the smile on the face of Charlie aboard his KX85 as he lands those jumps you see which happen to be the biggest he has ever done.
After a relaxed evening with the Meikle family who ended up helping us with accommodation AND dinner, the next morning saw us cruise down to what they call the Balclutha Reserve track. This place is a favorite of mine, and was in great condition despite the masses of rain the town had experienced in the past few weeks. There was hardly a puddle to be seen!
That day and the next revolved mainly on one small section that had much to offer with a timing section followed by a rutted turn before jumping into a berm, one that led onto a small jump before finishing with a fast sweeper that tightened up at the end. Loads of variation in a mostly safe environment; the ideal place to push these lads to great heights of speed.
Cutting a long story short we shaved a full two seconds from each of their best lap times, an impressive feat when the lap was barely over twenty seconds long. Of course that kind of speed is not sustainable for more than a lap or so, but that is not the point. Improving a riders sprint speed will also increase their moto speed because they can now back off from that intensity a bit and still be going much faster than before.
They left the camp battered and bruised, but better off for it.