This four day escapade began at a private track on the outskirts of Inglewood and finished on the sands of the Gold Coast. The MX track near Foxton, that is. On the way there would be plenty of spills and just as many thrills.
Awards for Bravery
Kade, Katriel and Nikk are some tough cookies. While the recent rain made for dozens of falls, the boys kept getting up. Fortunately the reward was substantial- in the form of a huge confidence boost for two of them over their trepidation at hitting ruts, while the reward was pure speed for the Katriel.
The next day dawned fine for three sessions at our more classic Taranaki venue, Barrett road. Local gun Larry Blair showed how committed to doing well at next years MX nationals he really is, the Berquist brothers were back alongside Ben Ekdahl, and Zac Hetherington was joined by someone we haven’t seen for a while. In the exact words from his mother, “Sam returned home buzzing, and very muddy! It is so great for him to have the opportunity to improve his riding”.
You may have seen the ballsy riding of young Trent on my facebook page, a CRF50 holding it wide and dealing with the consequences. He had the Wanganui Club to work towards and while that didn’t go to plan that weekend when his chain came off in one race, there was nothing wrong with his training.
From Fourth to First
On the other hand, his training partners for the session had a different story for the weekends racing. Keen rider Gareth Lewis joined in for the training along with his daughter Asia, who went from getting fourth place finishes at the same club rounds one month before, to lapping everyone but second place. Her improvement was noticed by a few people and it blows me away that I can be a part of helping kids ride like that.
We used the range of jumps and turns to up-skill Ethan and Tom in the next session. While I wasn’t able to help them jump anything new that day it was easy to see how much more jumping ability they gained. After them we had some brothers from Tauranga, Frank and Joel Bishop, down for a road trip. Having heard of the seriously cool tracks down this way, they had spent the Thursday at Taupo, then carried on for an afternoon sampling the fun at Patenes, before joining me on Saturday. From pumice to sand, to finishing themselves off in the deep sand of the Gold Coast track, the venue for my final day of coaching this week.
Saturday morning was not an easy session to coordinate and we definitely got it wrong. It was a case of doing my very best to make the most of what we had, and out of it all came some real gold. While Jake did improve, it was Michael Gimblett who flicked some sort of speed switch, riding as good as he had ever ridden and totally buzzing about the session. It was a relief to hear that from him. It also meant that the training was only going to get better from there.
With Jorja now having the mini track to herself, followed by three more; I had a great time of it. Tyler had the highlight, getting back up after a decent off to post a time that was the same pace as the fastest rider, to which I responded that he would have to do another one before it was valid. I thought it must have been a mistake, until he got an even faster one, just a tenth of a second shy of Cam. He was gutted and stoked at the same time, while I stood impressed.
Many thanks to the Taranaki and Gold Coast clubs for their support, along with Darren Patene and Stu Black of Inglewood, along with Larry Blair and Colin for having me.