What makes our camps so cool is that we are officially there to train our riders. That means they get to have more fun, because we can minimize the risks and get stuck into the skills that will help them avoid those nasty accidents. This months bootcamp was an extreme example of this, for good reason.
Vinny went over the bars once and ate dust another time before briefing had even started. He was only mucking around on his pushbike and it was pretty funny, but it gave me sufficient warning. I was taking absolutely no chances with the safety of these Bootcampers.
I laid down the law early in our briefing. Anyone causing trouble or not willing to learn will be sent home. It is very simple really, and it works; because I really mean it and no one wants their parents to come get them early.
Not even willing to let them “Warm up” on the big track, where their excitement will often get the better of them, I got straight into skills work. Not only that, but we did those skills on the mini track for full risk reduction. The cool thing is that the riders love it out there, sporting one of the best berms in the country. Even if you do ride straight over it, you end up on an uphill. It is pretty much the perfect scenario.
We started with a major key in cornering and braking, then spent most of day one working on standing skills. Vinny still managed a crash, but that just prompted us to up the training even more with work on bike control in the air- a.k.a. whip work. He had no more trouble after that.
And They’re Off!
By the time we got to day three I could confidently let them at the track for our final timing session. Even this was carefully managed, coming early in the day while they were still fresh, and splitting the riders up into safe little groups. The stop watch proved that all of our safety work hadn’t slowed them up at all; in fact it was quite the opposite. Clayton was four seconds a lap faster than he had been at the end of his last camp with us, with others like Breanna making an even bigger increase.