Sitting on what you know is volcanic territory while getting hit every few minutes with another earthquake does make a person a little uneasy, but so does getting your wheels off the ground.
When the earth is shaking it only makes sense to get above it, right?
It turned out we were in the right place for the weather, with my home town under a deluge of rain. The Kuratau track was in great form, ready for our two groups of keen club riders.
Adjusting to what they needed, I actually spent quite some time just motivating them to power more before the corners and off the upramps. But there was some homework to do first.
Karaitiana was hard on the gas early in the turn, but that had two major drawbacks; it meant that she most often didn’t power hard down the straights, and then she wouldn’t enter the next corner very fast.
Using a smaller first turn of the throttle wasn’t easy on her highly strung 50, but was brilliant once she had that down. It helped her power much harder down the straights, and also helped her brake later and carry more speed through the next corner. We just had to make sure that she also got more confident in using her front brake through the first half of the grippy turns.
Jayden was a pretty good jumper, but we made him a better one, mainly through power use once again. His habit was a late blip of the power off every up ramp and we needed to make that much more consistent.
Starting with body position, I could then show him the two different ways of leaving an upramp; either up and forward if he was powering off the ramp or being able to get low and back if soaking it more. The second skill is a bit more advanced, but at this track you could just send it anyway so we focused on the former.
With a solid power all the way off the ramp he was still able to choose between a big and small jump depending on how much twist he gave the throttle, but either way it sent him flying much more consistently. With the right balance of standing he will learn to land with his knees back enough to soak the hit without collapsing completely and power off down the next straight like a pro. Well that is what I am expecting anyway!
This wasn’t my main highlight of the day though, as there was actually two, and they both involved jumping. Tia was the first, launching her CRF70 higher and further than even she probably thought possible. The second was having my friend Gerard join us for the afternoon session where he proceeded to blitz the main table top and the turns. He has really hit another level and it is so good to see the hard work and coaching really pay off, just as I am sure it will for others in his group who I have coached before like Glen, and hopefully for the others that were having their first session.
I know that David said that perhaps he should have had a session like this long ago, which is what made the kids session so satisfying, but you know what they say- better late than never.