It has been far too long since we made our way up to Northland so we weren’t to be deterred this time with so many familiar faces coming back out of the woodwork.
I hardly recognized the young man struggling to squeeze his long legs on the old CR85. Last time I had seen Xander King was aboard a CRF70. While we wish it hadn’t been this long between stops it was a buzz to work with him again as we quickly moved through the key stuff and into the nitty gritty. Jeremy McCullum was his training partner for the day who’s family had looked after me the night before, right at home with the older rider and loving the Atlas neck brace we put on him.
Change Of Plan
That afternoon was meant to see me travel further north but the rain had begun and when Murrays Gravatts track was already wet, the only choice was to postpone. In true style, the ones we were to coach were not to be phased. We soon had them booked in for Dargaville the next day and just had to pray the rain would hold off long enough.
After loads of X Games and good times with Tom and crew, along with some stress reshuffling the next days sessions to get it all happening as early as possible, the day started well with Tom, Ethan, Cody and the Searle brothers. I was so stoked to be working with them again and able to show them the things I had learned over the last year. It was a dry session but just as we began the next group the rain began to fall.
Two Hours Too Late
It was a real shame, the only consolation being that the track was still rideable and for Ezra Boyd and Stu and Finn Delamere it was better than what we would have faced on the clay in Kawakawa. It was cold and wet but somehow the riders didn’t look to be struggling much and Finn especially surprised me. Along with Christian, Ana and Hamish, we worked through some pretty tricky skills which they caught on to quickly.
The rain stopped just as we were done. It was pretty frustrating but judging from the feedback of those that got back to us since, worthwhile. Hopefully next time I get more time to hang with friends like the Morgan and the McKenzie families. That crew is a great bunch and it was great to see them all at it still, along with some new faces.