Playing leapfrog up the country is always fun when it involves motorbikes, especially if the prize is a big club day of kids to work with.
Kicking things off in South Auckland was Rayne, keen to get the jump on his buddies. He arrived early so we got straight into the goodness which began with both feet on the pegs around the turns to help him get his bum forward on the seat, followed by throttle control. He cottoned on to the standing stuff quickly, so he was well up to speed by the time he and Matthew were finished.
The next leap was up to the Leightons farm, with its rolling hills half covered in Kanuka and Fallow deer. The Mini track was all we were to need; after I had done my warm up moto on the whooped out main track of course.
Connor was jealously watched by his brother Daniel, who had his session before Peter and Jackie had their turn. These two were a treat to coach as every experience was a new one. Despite both of them tasting a little sand I am sure they are keen to get into this sport, and will do so in a much safer way then they would have had they not come to us first. I wish every new rider went through us as it would save so many whisky-throttle moments that put people off.
The big finale for the trip was at an old favourite. The Te Kopuru track near Dargaville has been home of a growing club of new riders thanks to the efforts of a few locals, and we were glad to be a part of it. The main group had ten riders eager to learn.
I spun the lessons a little differently than usual. Many of them needed serious attention to how they were standing so we began with that skill over a favorite little loop of mine before locking the style in to their minds by having them stay standing through most of the faster turns.
Difficult for all, there were also some big benefits. Not only did some of them find standing was the best way through some of the turns, every one of them had improved their standing position noticeably.
When we did focus on sitting through the tighter turns it was front brake and entry speed that we pushed hard. It was another Connor who proved to push his limits the most, a very impressive effort and a great way to finish another excellent trip.
My thanks go to all of those whose tracks we could use, especially Bruce and Judy of Dargaville Honda for also being such gracious hosts.