Slightly muffled by her helmet but clear to hear from a distance came the nervous laughter of a lady pushing herself to heights she had never intended on reaching. There was no doubt when the bike was sliding or how she felt on experiencing the sensation of jumping. The Kiwi way of not making a big fuss about how you are feeling is the manly way, but can make life hard for a coach. This was not the case with Susan of Hawkes Bay aboard her TT-R125. There was never going to be a problem reading her emotions, and it was great!
Of course her husband Peter took more coercing, and when Susan mentioned that the improvement she felt was almost enough to make her speechless, it was only his duty to make a smart comment along the lines of “Ok Broxy more of that then please, lets get her quiet!“. Yet even he was verbally impressed by the difference that some key changes to his sitting and standing styles could make, which speaks volumes in itself.
We were at a fairly wet Valley Road track which had been the scene of a very successful Magic series round just two weeks earlier while the rest of the country had gotten drowned, but had finally seen its share of rain. Still there was plenty to play on, and once the trail riding husband and wife team were done, it was time to work with a very enthusiastic selection of the teenage kind.
This time Sam Linton joined his brother Darcy and his mate George for this session where we smashed through some very necessary skills before putting them to the test on what turned out to be the slipperiest surface I have seen for some time. As it turned out, our excursion around the rest of the track was perhaps ill advised but you get that sometimes and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? No it really wasn’t that bad and we were able to finish on a strong note and once those lads all have decent tyres I am sure they will be well prepared for any condition.
That left a little time to visit some good friends of mine in the area before making my way north to our next venue out near Wairoa to spend the morning with Xavier Dalzel, his brother and Riley Stanaway. You would remember the icy blast that brought snow up the country, and yes our fingers were rather cold, making it even harder to change riding styles as the body didn’t even want to do what it was used to, let alone something new. However we persisted and came away with a small taste of the good side of every skill we tried. Was it enough to pique their appetite and cause them to keep working on those skills in the goal of feeling that extra safety and control? Time will tell but we know what will happen if they choose the good side.
And it would be a crime to not mention the magical trip home with its magical semi wild horses, impressive lake and the fat snow flakes falling as I reached the highest point on the Waikeremoana road. The more of NZ that I see, the more I grow to love it.