We like riding offroad, and the dirt doesn’t get much better than the North King Country MCC’s club track near Te Kuiti. This month I had my first chance to coach at this venue, made even more exciting now that it has been announced to be the home of our next Junior North Island and NZ Championships. But as with all good things, there were going to be some big challenges to overcome on the way.
Moving up in the world, Zara had her first go on a 65 at our session and she loved it; but not before some serious clutch control work. Next it was sitting forward and leaning back that took some time to get used to, before smashing out the standing position in no time at all. That left us to finish off with second gear starts that left her friend covered in mud, and big smiles all round.
Our next challenge was all the way from Northland especially for some redemption. It was not going to come easily however. The recent rains had left much of the track unrideable for the smaller bikes, and what was left had enough ruts and mud to bring his mind straight back to the Junior Nationals that affected him so much. There were challenges for all.
While a very quick Reef changed his sitting position, Carter was building back the cornerspeed he had earned before his broken wrist. Zac did his best to stand low to the bike but needed to borrow my neck brace in the end. In our final session the MacDonald twins needed some games to help them reach their individual potentials while Nikita was fighting even more fear than Jeremy after recently recovering from some broken vertebrae earlier in the year.
Playing a constant game of chess to help each rider fight old habits and fears, I was completely shattered by sessions end, and I wasn’t the one riding the bikes! But each rider persisted to the end, getting a taste of the goodness that can come from changing a few key elements. Best of all, Jeremy got a handle on the muddy ruts that were plaguing him, claiming a well deserved victory that made all the travel and hardship well worth while.
We are hoping to coach there on the day before NKCMCC hold their September club day, which is their last before the Junior North Island Champs at the same venue. This means people could stay the night, and get two days on the track in a row. Hopefully the conditions are a bit drier, as anyone who has ridden there before knows how incredible that place can be.