In what looks to become a permanent fixture, last weekend we held our second North Harbour Mini MX session the day before their next round of racing. This time it was on the same track that they were going to ride on, with soft conditions giving me some specific things to work on.
The first key to handling the sand was making sure that the young ones were not going to chop the throttle in the wrong place. I tried to be clear that they didn’t need to be full throttle, an important point because they might associate power with speed. All we needed was something consistent; half throttle was fine, so long as they didn’t chop it to nothing and then power again. Hopefully this came across clear enough.
Another major point was moving their foot backwards on the peg when not needing rear brake or gears. With that, and pressure on the outside peg out of corners, they had much more ability to stabilise the bike or save it when getting out of shape. I think this helped many of them, so long as they don’t use this as an excuse to not use those foot levers as much as they should.
One father had an interesting point, in that most riders were really slow into the only off-camber corner on the track. I decided to try it out for myself, discovering that there was definitely a way to improve, with the highlight of the day coming as an unexpected bonus from that process.
During my little demo I discovered that standing was the best way through two of the faster bends. I mentioned it, and the kids obviously saw it as well. We spent a little time working on standing technique then sent them out and were blown away by how many of them started standing up really well.
It seems that the kids were pretty stoked too. After that I got back on topic and started talking about the off camber turn that had been the motivation for my ride. Making a straight section to brake hard for a moment before the turn was the key, along with keeping in touch with the brakes around the corner for stability. That also seemed to work, much to our delight.
I had this feedback since the session from a main man behind the club, Craig Stephens. “So many kids riding really well and parents stoked that their kids taking on board your training! Lots of good standing up…”