DEVELOPING RIDERS & THE SPORT

Pics by Lynne Franks

 

IMG_7818With so many events being held nowadays, it was really difficult to tie down a date for round 2 of this new series. In fact we ended up postponing twice and even then 2 other events sprung up on the eventual date, the 3rd September.

Nevertheless we had 49 riders participate and enjoy the training and the racing. The mini enduro series is designed to help young and new riders learn riding techniques, develop technical skills and practice those skills in a race format. And of course to have fun. So the day kicks off with an hour of coaching, followed by a riders briefing, a prayer and then 3 or 4 heats of short races

 

IMG_7914 IMG_7912 IMG_7896In the coaching segment riders first learned some valuable tips on bike washing and bike maintenance. Then, since the main course we had laid out for the heat races included quite a few pipes to ride over, they learned how best to do that. Starting off with a small pipe, each rider got to try that to build confidence and get the basics right before those confident enough took on a much larger and more intimidating pipe. As frustration and nerves slowly gave way to understanding and confidence, smiles were seen through most helmets as many even progressed to jumping the pipes.

 

 

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Race Time

IMG_8099 IMG_8090Having learned from round 1, we set out a separate track for the “Bobcat” class – for very young riders on PW’s/similar and 50cc MX bikes. The track was only 500 metres long and included lots of twists and tight turns, some ruts and minor technicalities. The 2,5 km main route for all the other classes included pipes, which for new riders were pretty scary, rocky hill climbs and descents, rock garden traverses and shaley loose tracks. With 7 classes – Bobcats, 65cc, 85cc, Pro Mini, High School, Ladies and Green – everyone gets to race against a similar level and has a chance to enjoy appropriate competition. And with Bobcats racing on their own; 65cc, 85cc, Ladies and Green racing together but started a minute apart; and Pro Mini and High School racing together – there isn’t much congestion on the course and no-one has to wait too long for their next heat race.

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Knowing that not everyone would be comfortable with tackling the big pipes, we made “chicken runs” around the pipes which would take the riders longer than if they went over the pipes … unless they got stuck or crashed in the process of course. By the 2nd heat hardly any riders were using the chicken runs as most riders had gained confidence and many were not even dabbing with a foot as they sailed over the pipes. Even the little guys on 65cc bikes could sometimes be seen jumping the pipes. Adult riders who in the morning could hardly get over them, were riding over the 4-pipe obstacle with feet on pegs. This was so rewarding to see. That and hearing mothers who came along to support their kids committing to participate at the next round, are the reasons we will persist with this series even though at this stage the numbers make it very difficult financially.

More pics available here

 

Results

IMG_8164Bobcats

  1. Brandon Clarke
  2. Lachlan Harriss
  3. Ryan van Niekerk

 

 

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Ladies

  1. Chanelle Smit
  2. Nikki Spurgeon
  3. Denise Forsythe

 

 

IMG_816665cc

  1. Matthew Stevens
  2. Joss Alexander
  3. Thabang

 

 

 

 

IMG_817085cc

  1. Hannes Buys
  2. Kieran Brown
  3. Callum Theron

 

IMG_8175Pro Mini

  1. Leon Jardine
  2. Armand Fourie
  3. Troy Adam

 

IMG_8173High School

  1. Scott Adam
  2. Dylan de Klerk
  3. Jason Dicker

 

IMG_8181Green

  1. JP Wright
  2. Chris Swart
  3. Charles Alexander