It just so happened that my first (long awaited) session with Taylah Rampton came just days after finding out that we were to have a girl from New Caledonia joining us for two weeks. It also happened that we had just announced the new “Live with Broxy” plan, so when Taylah’s Dad asked me for my honest opinion on what would help her the most. My answer was easy- some time with us is what she needs!
Joining Taylah for our first ride of the week was Phillip and Joseph Shepherd of Wellsford. Their stories of mad antics had me worried at first, so I made sure they knew there was to be no craziness- for day one at least. Consequently I chose Pirinis as a relatively safe way of getting them introduced. That didn’t stop Phillip from losing his bike in a massive hole that I didn’t know existed, and neither did it stop Jo from flying into the chicken coop!
The next day Dominique had arrived from New Caledonia, and we spent the day at a whooped out Mangakino track, teaching them how to power their rear wheel into the holes among other things. It helped Taylah nail a tricky tabletop that had been bugging her and the boys literally rode their bikes until the stopped due to the clogged air filters.
The High Life
We made the excursion into a true road trip by spending a couple of hours watching the Secondary Schools MX race at Rotorua on the way there, and then stopping at Nick Franklins compound to check out the epic new set up he has been creating. While the jumps blew their mind, was surprised me was how all five of them followed me up the narrow stairs of the mega ramp, 50 feet above the foam pit.
The next day was the expected arrival of “Cyclone Lusi” so we enjoyed a well deserved break while it put some water on our tracks. Now we had the difficult job of choosing which track to ride, as they were all going to be good, but Pirinis won out because it had been ripped just before the rain and was going to be stay slushy enough that it would be similar to the practice session of a race day.
It was perfect and the boys and girls used the lap timers to lay down some furiously fast laptimes. By this time I felt that we were really starting to help Taylah overcome her habit of dragging the rear brake through the turns and it was beginning to show, especially through the deeper right hand ruts where she couldn’t use it anyway as that leg needed to be off the peg.
We took a bit of a risk the next day by heading to the worn out Tokoroa track that had been too dry to groom following the nationals. Now I don’t know how much rain makes it on to a track but it must have compared to the million liters the club had dumped on the track prior to the nationals, because it was once again the loamy goodness I practically grew up on. Dominique, Taylah and Laurent followed my directions around three different sections and a whole bunch of starts before Laurent and I finished with a hard session on the extra knarly back section, making sure he could get the bike upright and stick to a rut when necessary.
What turned out to be our final day together as a “family” was also a photography session for the local newspaper, and a filming day for an Airtime TV segment. It began at Maungarangi Preschool before heading to my track around lunch time. Unfortunately it was not my best day of coaching, crazy heat and the added distractions of filming limiting what we could work on. I hope the exposure of getting on TV made up for that however, and the team looked great.
With the Taupo Nationals happening that weekend we said our goodbyes to Taylah, while Dominique had one last day with me at my track the following monday. It was cool to be able to give her that one on one time and we eventually got her laying super hard into the turns, not to mention learning her first real whips. It was actually a good way to sign off her time in NZ before I headed off east, as always though the end came too soon.