In memory of Mark Sands the Whangarei MCC have been given full permission to go hard with the clay track on Kaiatea Road and they are off to an awesome start. At this years coaching day with the club, these track options made my job easier, which was considering I was coaching three groups of up to ten riders in each. But first we needed to do some homework.
When I arrived it was exciting to see freshly turned topsoil that had been treated with their watering system overnight. They had even used the right equipment, with tines ripping up nice chunks of dirt that wouldn’t turn to powder. But now that the water was deep into the dirt, all it needed was flattening out to seal that water in and encourage greater line choice for my riders, especially those with smaller wheels who would only ever follow the main line unless the other options were also made friendly. We did this by enlisting some helpful dad’s to ride the club quad bike around our corners. With riders feeling free to go anywhere, we helped them get wider before starting their turns for much more cornerspeed and confidence.
That allowed us to make the most of the clay areas that have been formed thanks to extensive earthworks. Consistently curved and extensively wide, the cuts had been made for safe jumps that would not cut out quickly or send someone over the bars easily. A noticeable lack of banks is exactly what I like to see, making as few dangers as possible. Riders can just enjoy getting bigger and bigger with goodtechnique, as we hammered during our training sessions. Head past handlebars up the ramp, knees in skinny part of bike and able to soak when landing.
We even spent quite a bit of time on the mini track as it had some good turns and humps of dirt for jumping on if desired. This set up with a safe main track and mini track is bound to grow the grass roots of the sport in northland. I hope that many of the local members bring their mates along to give it a go, because I am sure they will have a ball and could well be hooked for life.