I could have been the first sign of civilisation it had seen in weeks, the way he looked at me. The large black dog that met me at the gate of our south Auckland coaching venue, and promptly followed me up the drive to watch over the riding for the rest of that day. Bike-wise this dog generally kept out of trouble, greeting new comers with his gummy smile; but he still failed to give me any clues came as to why I now had the pleasure of its company, and what I was going to do about it.
He watched on as bike after bike went through the sessions, starting with an excellent group of riders both young and old, there thanks to a certain Murray Lever; followed by the Manning family, and backed up with a third group that involved Nathan and Danyon Aarts. Only at the very end did we discover that this dogs owner was none other than the Prumm family who lived next door; best known for their daughter Katherine, ex Womens Motocross World Champion. As much as we liked him, I was glad to see him home.
For the rest of the trip it was young Josh Bartosh who kept up the entertainment. Having been with us since the Saturday prior, he was fresh from riding the Queens Birthday practice event at Mercer and learned what it was to ride in stealth mode at Ken Fells track for Tuesdays coaching; something I often enjoy doing where you learn to carry massive cornerspeed as the throttle is not allowed to be turned more than half way.
There were plenty of small falls as my riders learned their own version of bike and throttle control on a surface that became very slippery quickly after a shower, fortunatley leaving with enough traction to still get the most out of this excellent venue. The increase in bike skills were best shown in the long ruts that the last two sessions were able to master, which I have no doubt would have been good for Callum Gerlach and his friends as well.
Short and Sweet
A good old fashioned lack of communication saw Josh and I all but arrive unannounced to the McCallum’s family B&B for the night before their son Jeremy’s session the next morning. They were incredibly accomodating and we were not forced to sleep in the van, and even opened up the cows shed to help us clean our filthy bikes in the cold and wet night.
We were off to a slow start at the Maungaturoto track that next morning, and the session was all about getting the foundation laid, but progress was made and soon Jeremy was on his way back to a more normal classroom with a brain full of skills. In the meantime Josh and I scooted our way a little further north to coach Stu and Finn Delamere. A circuit was made, a rut added by Josh and skills worked on with a fury that outmatched the rain that was trying desperately to cut us short. Fortunately we won the battle and the second hour of coaching was sweet, Stu nailing the rut with Finn starting to show skills to match his gutsy nature.
We won that battle with the elements but the rain had done its damage further north where we were to be coaching the next day so we cut our losses and headed home, for some well deserved rest.