Years of dreaming, months of planning and six weeks of hard work to keep 6-10 ravenous teenager and adult males in food. The training was the easy part. Yet we would never want it any other way.
At least half of this weeks group were well past their teenage years, yet we all had the same goal in mind. Yet there was a difference in opinion as to what extent we really needed to go when it came to off the bike training. All the excuses came out when it came time for Sarah’s compusory training run on Tuesday morning. Sore backs, busted knees. They might as well have been in a rest home rather than a MX camp. Nevertheless when the time came, only I was left behind to mind Chloe and Megan, whether the others left by bike or foot.
The benefit of being prepared was strickingly obvious with one camper who had pretty much everything, including the boot dryers. They might not have needed the sponsorship talk, but the riding was good and lap times came down significantly as a result. From Monday’s techniques to Thursdays sprints, the on bike training was certainly made the most of.
With some last minute additions bumping the numbers up to their maximum, Broxy’s training went out the window a little in order to keep up. They came from both ends of the north island and with Cade joining us once again from the South Island it was a fairly good cross section of the country. So far as age went, this was pure gold as a bunch of 85 riders went extremely well together both on and off the bike.
While the older teenagers got up to their own shenanigans, the social opportunities were so great that even when one rider got injured, he was back the next day just to enjoy the company. Of course there was the benefit of listening and watching the skills being taught as riders got confident doing things like using their front brakes late in ruts to help them enter faster with added control.
Our Academy came to a peak of success in its final week, mainly thanks to some very well timed rain. While Pirinis was going to be the dryest it had been all summer, I had a limited watering system working down at my track, one that had been fully groomed the week before. Campbell King joined us for an epic riding session that saw some incredible moments, too many to list here. Then it was a divine appointment at the Taupo track where a rainy day stopped just for us, and the wind held off until we were ready to pack up. Absolute bliss.
All of that rain cleared for an epic two days at Pirinis. My best laptime had three seconds smashed off it, as did all of the other riders. We were able to ride like never before and it was all captured on camera as a film crew was there to document the day. Watch out on the Honda NZ facebook for some very cool shots, including some epic shots from the back of Logan Blackburn as I chase him to a very fast 1:33 laptime.
The summer of 2013/14 will go down as one of the highlights of our career. While we hope for more of the same in the future, we have been truly priviledged to experience something like this in our lives. Our very special thanks must go to Trish and Francis of Pirinis Motorbike Park for their unbelievable generosity.