We had one of those days where the skills flowed like water, just like the river bubbling away right behind us. This is the low down of our morning session in Golden Bay.
The excitement was high, with more than a dozen riders turning up right on 8am. I got straight into the safety briefing, followed by a shotgun approach to standing skills. Riders then separated into two different sections of our track where I got stuck into a bunch of riders individually.
That first session was fast and hard, so the drinks break was welcome, followed by a smaller section for each group where they worked on whips.
Joy James, who had graciously got these riders together, was a little nervous about this one. Many of the riders get a little silly in the air, but I aimed to make the younger ones safer riders by channeling that energy into gentle whips.
The older riders definitely went big, but the only mistakes were really good looking whips that were bigger than they intended. Travis, the track owner, did some goodies, but it was also Joy’s son Hunter who was consistently going big. He then went on to ride awesome at the VMX the next day, looking great on his shiny red Honda.
From there I started with cornering, moving to ruts after another break. Front brake and throttle control, entry speed and not letting their chins drop. Josh was soon carving a massive rut with his footpegs. I think if we had left him much longer there would have been a handlebar rut as well.
I finished with starts, eventually letting them battle their own group in a race to the first corner. They stayed impressively straight, and it was a great way to finish the day before I shot off for a late flight home from Christchurch.
The last time I had coached here, Hamish Harwood had just moved onto the bigger bikes. He was flying, but now, five years later, he is the MX2 champion for two years running. Who knows, will one of these kids be the next Hamish?
Moto is alive and well in Takaka.