Both the five leaf clover and the Wanganui paddock I found it in were something of a pleasant mutation. Less than a kilometre from the ocean, the paddock we were using for our coaching had a wave-like contour of its own, which made it like riding the ultimate golf course, except without green rules.
Maddison, fresh off a KLX110 and wanting some help with a clutch bike. We started slow, learning how to use the slipping point and get up through the gears. By the time our hour was almost finished, I was so confident that she had it sorted that I went and pinched her brothers CRF150RB, plonked her on and let her loose. Half an hour later she was still going round and round on her dream bike.
Fortunately big brother Jordan couldn’t be too disappointed as he was aboard his brand new CRF250R in a session that included the farms lucky son, Angus Reid. Along with Hunter and Hayden they shredded grass as they learned, turning an average looking day into something more like those ones that a motorcycle rider dreams of.
Many riders in the area would know my next three students who were put through their paces- work which included wheel taps and slow wheelies. They were Cullen Hurley, Aden Brown and Lochie Cotton, quick riders with hopefully even more skills and confidence now.
The next two days at Barrett Road were kicked off by Mr Gallichan and his favourite bike, a 1974 Maico 490 who had one goal in mind – air time with style. After leaving a series of dents in the dirt from his low slung expansion chamber, eventually we had him landing nicely up on top of the finish line tabletop. No exhausts were harmed in the development of this stunt.
In preparation for a major race in Singapore we worked with Larry Blair, helping him with line choice and settled corners however it was Charles who had the best conditions of the trip on a drying track, before overnight rain made life hard for the boys from Energy Honda the following morning. Learning full body movement both standing and sitting was the key. Five sets of gloves were completely muddied by one rider alone, a sacrifice well worth it in both learning to handle the conditions and to slide on elbows instead of putting hands down when falling over!
Win or Lose
A father and son team made big progress with their riding before coaching finished up on the mini track. My job became a mix of coaching and counselling, as the riders faced victory and defeat at the hands of two particularly difficult rut sections. Learning to overcome a challenge helped Logan Kerrisk go on to nail his next race the following weekends in exactly those same conditions.
They say you create your own luck after all.