It is what I am paid for, but sometimes the improvement surprises even me.
These riders were showing caution, and without some guidance there was no way they were going to clear the tricky step up or hit the jump into the sawdust at full throttle. We were using the Christchurch MCC’s home track for this, the first stop of this months’ Mainland trip, and I decided to change their approach to these obstacles.
The first job was to make sure they were prepared to jump safely, so we practiced jumping and landing with arms bent and knees gripping the seat, not up around the tank. Once that was sorted then the real fun could begin.
Nailing those two jumps began way back in the first third of the turn before each jump. One corner was flat, that other was a long berm, and most of the turning started only a little before halfway through the corner.
Braking with as much width as possible, they had to wait until they were deeper than they wanted to be before committing to as much lean as they could in that first third of the corner. Then use the throttle to begin straightening themselves up. This meant squaring up the flat corner so they had a straight run at the step up, and staying low through the middle part of the berm before drifting right out wide when hitting the jump into the sawdust.
Which brings us to the first statement in this story. The results were quite incredible, yet looking so easy. I was a happy coach, and they were even happier.