Our pair of coaching days for the Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle club was a winning formula that just kept getting better.
It began with an excellent organizer who had the two days booked out months in advance. The goodness continued as the paddock dried out, topped off by the fact that our Friday and Saturday sessions were followed by the Hawkes Bay Champs on Sunday. It turned out to be a ripper track too.
Rip and Grip
We started with a fresh batch of mini riders, most of whom had not received coaching from me before. They had a track of their own, one that flowed up and around the bowl of our paddock with a short wet patch to keep them thinking.
My favourite part was helping them get fast around the grassy turns. These skills involved getting wide before the turn, getting their inside foot back on the pegs before powering out and then pushing extra hard on the outside peg to avoid the rear sliding out. Their reward was some laps in the adults track, which they also handled with style.
Friday afternoon was quite the opposite as I had coached most of these junior riders before. We headed straight for the adults track and we had a ball working on some fairly advanced skills, topped off with rut work that impressed me big time. Our starts at the end were also good fun, especially when the pack reached the wet patch before the finish line. There wasn’t too much carnage but it was a good watch.
I was well looked after at Paul Ashtons place that night before starting with a very experienced “Novice” group. There were some very quick riders who taught me a thing or two when it came to off camber turns and the like. Watching two of them in particular was a real joy as they negotiated one turn made extra gnarly thanks to the wet patch halfway through. It became obvious that it was best to be powering out of this turn with your head over the handlebars, whether sitting or standing. Very good to watch I can tell you.
Finally we rounded off with the MXer group, spending a great deal of time on the awesome ruts that were forming in the section of stubble paddock. We were even joined by the legend himself, my old mechanic Jimmy who was basically running in his brand new 2016 450. I didn’t teach him much but we had a good time comparing bikes on the fast and flowing natural terrain.
By all accounts the racing on Sunday was excellent, although I am always keen to hear more feedback from those there. Did my students stand out?