Being able to hold a round of the NZ MX Nationals at a venue is one thing. So how did it fare with six young’uns of different levels doing two days of camp with me?
Just under three weeks earlier the track was in bad condition. It had been hammered by rain and bikes, making for big ruts and puddles mostly everywhere, but it was like a different track when I turned up early to scope it out for my camp.
This is the kind of sand that can drain, even in the middle of winter. Some dry weather followed by bulldozer work and a racing club day had transformed the place. There were still more ruts that my smallest riders could handle at first, but we were able to work on that over the two days of camp until everyone was able to enjoy it.
My biggest surprise was the accommodation. Mark had mentioned the possibility nearly a year ago but for some reason I was picturing tiny little huts. What he showed me was a brand new cabin with all the amenities and comforts of a proper house, along with an impressive smoko room that could sleep 30 people marae style if we needed it. It turned out there was plenty of room for all eight of us to sleep in the warm cabin comfortably.
An added bonus was the sheltered area we could safely spend an evening playing spotlight. It was only bedtime that stopped the games. They would have played all night.
Big Friendly Giant
Most importantly, of course, we made big gains on the track with good technique that helped their safety, speed and confidence soar. It began on the mini track before moving on to selected patches of the big track, eventually alternating between both of them as they were freed up to enjoy their enhanced skills.
The jumps are friendly tabletops, the only potential danger coming from the kickers that inevitably form near the top of the up ramps. Its ground is soft, so a fall in any turn is relatively forgiving, but not so soft as to make little wheels struggle too much. As we mentioned before it can also handle the rain. The only downside can be the prevailing wind, but we were blessed with idyllic weather for both days so there were no worries there.
My greatest satisfaction was seeing them master the rutted turns. Their greatest enjoyment seemed to be the work we did on whips and scrubs (see video here). Either way it was a brilliant camp, which really has no option but to grow bigger next time.