There is nothing quite like a track groomer with all the necessary equipment who lives onsite, just as there is nothing quite like a perfectly formed berm that can offer almost endless traction to those who are able to use one properly. At our Wairoa camp we were given the berms thanks to the fastidious efforts of Shorty Taylor, and we used that to help these some of this kids excel at the recent Hauraki Plains Schools MX.
A bunch of riders made the trek from Hastings/ Napier to join us here, and for good reason. This is a two day camp, at a fairly ridiculous price that includes accommodation and food, along with a
perfectly prepped track and some of my guidance for two days. Due to the large numbers of riders the coaching is not as intensive and riders often only have half a track for each group at a time, but there is a lot of bike time to enjoy and refine some new skills.
One of the main things that this camp gave us the chance to work on was increasing corner speed through leaning the bike more through these awesome turns. Even on the flat corners there is plenty of traction, so there is bound to be progress when you add a rut or one of those perfect berms. I am there to make the odd suggestion, then of course there is the positive peer pressure of having your mates around.
Logan and Luke were able to make it this time after we had to move the camp out by a week due to the easterly front that dropped 80mm of rain right where we were meant to be. It was a good call, especially considering the gains that he was able to make.
To accomplish that extra cornerspeed I first had to make sure that they were using the berm from its beginning.
It had formed just as most berms do, with the middle section getting used almost exclusively. People just don’t seem to trust their ability to put the wheels accurately in that first part of a berm, which is their biggest loss.
Typical tufts of grass frame the top of the early and later parts of that berm, as it does on many others around the country. What it affords is endless traction to those brave enough to get leaned right over at that point.
The way I think is to lean further than I want to before I even reach the berm, knowing that the berm and tufts of grass are waiting there to catch me just in case. It is scary, but relatively safe. There is no way you could carry that kind of speed through a turn without leaning that far.
What I found interesting were the comments on a photo that came from the camp, saying “Broxy Rider Coaching showing the speed into a berm and speed exiting berm… leaning it over is all ok.” It really is so good. I would just rephrase the comment a little bit.
People talk about entry speed and exit speed. I just put it all together into one thing called corner speed which means your entry, exit and the main turn all together are fast. Leaning it over is not just ok, it is the thing that makes this speed possible without popping over the berm or having four wheels.
“Broxy Rider Coaching showing some of the speed (entry, exit and corner speed) that is possible through a berm thanks to leaning it over.” It might like a small change, but something that I think is important to get straight in peoples minds.
The result was shown that following weekend. Riley got his best career result with a fourth placing at the Hauraki Plains MX, with Logan Taylor finishing second in his class. Exciting times, showing the power of guided bike time on a well groomed track.