It was a brilliant quote and I did write it down somewhere, it is just too bad that I lost it. Anyway, when I commented on how surprised I was at how well he cottoned on to what I was telling him, he replied with something like this, “Well I know that to get better, then I am going to have to do the techniques you are teaching me.” It was one of those moments of clarity that I will remember for a long time.
Josef showed all the signs of being a teenager in just the first hour of this Bootcamp. If you have ever watched the Bill and Ted movie then you would swear that they had modelled the characters after him. He was certainly nice enough, but for other reasons it seemed that I would have my work cut out for me.
When it came to riding tips, it was standing with his arms bent and knees gripping the seat that I thought would be the ultimate battle. You see, teenage boys tend to roll their lower backs to the extreme, as if bending in the waist will ruin their reputation forever. But without this skill we had no hope of helping him at all on the jumps and bumps.
His younger brother was even worse in this regard. I vividly remember Mr Skilton telling me the importance of sitting up in class, but surely I was never this bad. When we finally got him standing properly while I held his handlebar it was only moments before he had to stop. His body just couldn’t handle this kind of treatment.
So when I saw both of them crouching low to the bike through the step ups and braking bumps of Pirinis, I almost couldn’t believe it, hence the question that begins this story. What in the world would motivate any teenager to ride with such a good technique when it was completely foreign to their way of life? It turns out that the motivation of success is a stronger power than I had ever realized, and they obviously trusted that what I was telling them was right.
You definitely don’t want to over exaggerate that bend in the waist to the point where your lower back will be arched, but that happy medium that produces a straight back is a very powerful ability to have. Not only does it look right, it really works. Those two lads were soon riding faster with more confidence than anything I had seen them do, and their father agreed. It is a mantra that I will have to remember myself when trying to overcome bad technique in my own riding, and imagine if every Kiwi rider put it into practice. I am sure that ACC would be happy and New Zealand would be pumping out a bunch more World Championship contenders.