Darkness and snow envelop the van as its lights struggle on the Desert Road. Inside I am toasty, enjoying the sugar rush of an icecream that is helping me get the last hour or two to my accomodation for the night and very thankful to Honda for a modern van with a fully functioning heater system. My three day journey had just begun.
On the lower eastern side of the north island, we were drawn to the Barons family farm once again where Bryce was good enough to let us rip up a sacrifice paddock before the cows were sent there to kill the grass grubs, while Kylie had organized a number of local riders that her son and daughter would end up joining for a half day session, of the likes of Charlie and Ben, Grace and Hugo, Conall and Liam.
Setting up an outside track for the big kids and a smaller one inside of that for the littlies got us all started before venturing off to the mini track where puddles, mud and a whole lot of fun was waiting. Which was also the order of events for the afternoon adults session, where we covered everything from ‘splats’ to help get across ditches, to the full 101 on berm skills. Another excellent day and well worth the wait, this being the fulfillment of a session we had been forced to postpone a month earlier.
And its freshly groomed club track. So fresh in fact that the groomer was still there and was able to tickle a few places up while we coached, for the small request of being able to listen in on the jumping sessions I was to do. Pretty cool considering he is not your classic spring chicken, unlike the three sessions of riders that took us through the day, the youngest being Jaxon Watt on his KLX110 and the eldest being a promising cross country rider who will be turning senior soon.
By the end of the day we had some great lines going and big improvements in jumping style, and as a bonus we were joined by a future after schools coach looking to take the Manawatu area, keep your eyes out for that if you live close by.