Six junior riders could not have asked for more favourable riding conditions on Saturday with a warm temperature and a slight afternoon breeze.
After a couple of easy warm up laps, the 6 riders made their way to the starting line to receive some final words of wisdom from parents and coaches before heading off for their hot lap. Richard May was the first rider out of the blocks and posted his quickest time ever around the 1.2km circuit shaving 9 seconds off his PB in a time of 2:50. Andy Blair was next to leave with legs spinning into a blur as he managed to shave 2 seconds of his PB in a time of 2:37. Lucas Howlett made sure that he left a little bit of fuel in the tank for racing on Sunday and in doing so, posted a time of 2:43. Not to be outdone by is brother, Bernie May set off at a blistering pace only to find himself making contact with the ground around the chicanes and taking a little bit of bark off in the process. In fine May form, he dusted himself off quickly and rode his way back around to the main straight to be patched up. Bernie later recorded a time of 2:34 (well done Bernie!). In an effort to improve on Kal Blair’s PB, we sent Wilfred around the track for some ‘on-the-go’ coaching tips only to find out later that there were a few occasions around the track that Wilfred struggled to ride along side Kal. Nonetheless, Kal rode an impressive time of 2:29 but not quite enough to set a new PB. Last but not least and having listened attentively to the advice provided to each and every rider, Liam Scotchmer set off with a determined look in his eye. It proved advantageous for him as he stopped the clock at 2:18 – a notable 5 seconds faster than his previous best time. Well done to all the riders, especially Bernie for getting back on to the bike so quickly.
The next activity was a team event and the riders were split into two teams. For this event, 1 member of each team rode around the track as quickly as possible, returning back to the start finish line to tag the next rider in their team. Team Kal comprising of Kal, Lucas and Andy won the first heat with all 3 riders crossing the line ahead of Team Liam. This activity highlighted the need to focus on emergency stops with most, if not all, riders struggling to stop on the line for the transition.
We moved across into a slalom activity that required riders to navigate their way through a series of cones and then accelerate back and complete an emergency stop at the starting cone. After 15 minutes or so of refining the art of emergency braking, we made our way back to the start finish line for heat 2 and what a difference the skill practice made. The riders decided to mix up the start order for each riding making the event even more exciting. It was pleasing to see that every single rider executed their emergency stops perfectly, making each transition as smooth as possible. The race came down to the wire and this time, Team Liam with Bernie and Richard took line honours for heat 2. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time on the day for a 3rd heat but we are sure the riders were happy to finish the day on 1 win each.
A big thank you to Wilfred, Andrew May and Peter Wilkinson for their help running the session.