Kirk Up Close
What to choose- a night sleeping in the van or a 4.30am start? The latter seemed wise until a busy schedule and DRD deadline made for a very late night but nevertheless the show must go on. Making up for a postponement three weeks before saw us arrive at the drying Barrett Road track of New Plymouth, meeting my four young projects for the day.
They were Josh, Logan, Josh and Adam riding a variety of bikes from the little KTM50 to the 250 version but being friends they meshed like magic. It was a similar meshing of very different personalities that made the smoothness of this session the most surprising as they overcame spills and enjoyed the thrills of being pushed to their upper limits. Young Logan had to stand up to the challenge the most, especially with the softer corners but we evidently got through as he gained his best ever result of 15th in the soft terrain of the mini nationals the following weekend.
Ready to Go
Zac Hetherington was back with Ethan Muir after that for a challenging two hours that began with a loop on the starting straight and finished with starts on the same. This time it didn’t end so well with Zac unable to put the kind of starts we practiced into action at the following nationals so we look forward to seeing him back in his element soon.
The Good Vintage
Tricky Dicky got his organizational skills back to work with four keen men the following day ready to try something new. Overcoming the weirdness was not easy but in more than one case it became the highlight of their day to learn they could now corner so much easier. The challenge came in the ability to get well forward or back while soaking landings and upramps of jumps, something I hope to refine more with them soon.
A day to catch a ferry, cycle to Blenheim then catch a ride to Tommy D’s epic track saw Daniel Wooley and I moto it up before meeting up with Stu and Mitch Biggs for our first Nelson session in some time.
Seeing the Anglesey boys so much more grown up than the last time we had met in 2008, riding CRF150R and 250R machines was very cool, especially being able to work with them again after so long. An email from their mum after the weekends racing said it all, “Comments abounded on how fast keegan was!! His cornering was primoJ“
An undisclosed coachee said the session exceeded his expectations while Charlie Rowe was to become my traveling companion for the next two days.
Charlie at Home
We headed to watch the NZ Mini Nationals, Ikamatua, Gold country an hour from Greymouth. After the training session there last month I was impressed with both the great condition of the track and atmosphere in the pits. Buzzing with a great attitude this was the place to be, the micro climate of that area holding off any bad weather and making for excellent racing.
While there are too many names to mention there is no doubt as to my pride in seeing so many of the kids I have worked with at the pointy end of the field. The top five 7-8yrs 65cc riders were all aces who we have worked with, the problem that caused was who do I support?
From there it was back to Charlie’s home for the night and some free riding in the morning on the farm. As keen as I was to support the mini’s I had to get selfish and attend the practice day at Motueka’s Rat Track, venue for round two of next years NZ SX Champs. It was well worth the effort as my rusty Supercross skills showed, eventually remedied on the fifth session.
That being just halfway through this trip I was definitely missing my girls but the show must go on, the story for stage two yet to come.