Dozens of lights searching the hill above camp after nightfall. Children volleying half-sized beach balls at each other during the day. You would be correct in assuming that this is not my normal realm of responsibility and that there were some nerves involved in running them for the first time!
Having my family at these camps is a version of paradise to me, but with the latest edition to our family a challenging two months old, it was just me at Whiritoa this year. Fortunately I had my 2015 CRF250R with me and I planned to take every opportunity available to ride it.
It was made even sweeter because of the latest Rekluse clutch that had only recently been fitted, which is where the river became my best friend. Riding through rounded rocks immersed in water was now a matter of keeping my feet on the footpegs and constant throttle the whole way through. When it all went wrong there was no need to panic about stalling. That Rekluse clutch is a seriously cool piece of kit.
Fun and Games
In my playtime I sussed a number of different coaching areas to use if riders wanted to progress to jumps or logs as our mix of girls and boys of all ages came together. It turned out that the essentials were all that was needed as group after group rolled through with turns and hills being more than enough. There was the odd time where one of my bikes was used for a test ride which was usually a highlight for the riders, reinforcing the Honda feel of this camp of course.
Finally it was time for the main games, where Spy Eyewear came to the party with a bunch of mini beach balls. They turned out to be perfect for dodge ball, where I separated the players into two age groups. With basic rules and parents ringing the borders there were no tears but plenty of laughs, especially when it was “Everyone against Broxy” time at the end. The massive game of spotlight later that night was also something of a highlight with no one going missing (that we know of!).
From Sea to Lake…
Rotoiti was a similar affair except I completely hashed the dodgeball game and couldn’t run the spotlight. Ethan made the coaching possible where we began each group on a flat area until they were ready to tackle the hill section. Most groups made it, with some of the younger groups progressing so quickly that we spent most of their time on the tricky bits.
One rider really stood out was William aboard his CRF50. He showed obedience and crazy speed mixed with plenty of control.
We were working towards something new for this camp, a time trial that saw each rider hoon around a diamond of cones in a clover-leaf fashion, racing for their quickest lap. The spectators got their share of entertainment early on but their numbers slowly dwindled from the hillside as riders just kept lining up for another go. All results were posted on a board at the sign on tent for comparisons to be made. Maybe next time I will have a go as well?