By John Leitch
Posted: Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 12:07

What a crowd of riders, particularly new-comers, such that the younger group was a heaving mass of activity.

Paul Wright had the older group and he put them to work on Level 1 while I the upstairs section, like Level 2…. and even then we only used the half of it.

Paul's report is in red lower down.

All this space is such a luxury.

After two practice runs, riders in the youngest group did a skills circuit with the stop-watch running, the penalty for missing a cone in the slalom run was an added 10 second on their time, so we ranged from lots of clear runs up to a couple who had a 20 second penalty.

After three timed runs, the best figures were:

23sec – James
26sec – Freddy
26sec - Arthur
27sec – Harry
29sec – Alexander
29sec - Austin
37sec – Hugh (1 cone)

Next, we staged a pie fight where seven riders had 60 seconds to turn all the 20 marker cones upward-facing while all their seven parents (or stand-ins in two cases) did the opposite. As always, the nifty turns after the end of time had been shouted triggered protests from the other side.

We had a lot of ‘engines’ which was great for the exercise where riders were divided into two trains, one circling to the left, the other circling to the right…. then both turning and riding through a narrow ‘track’ without bumping anyone or anything.

They got so skilled that we managed to upgrade the challenge so a pair of riders arrived at the same time from opposite directions and then rode through shoulder to shoulder as a pair without bumping each other.

Final race for the younger group – five laps, handicap.

1 Harry Adshead
2 Alexander Fraser
3 Hugh Canning

It was tough luck on Alexander. He went off first, being younger than the rest, and as he came into the final corner Harry, now second, had only eaten up half of Alexander’s advantage. But disaster then struck, he tumbled while cornering and Harry hit the line before him, even though Alexander quickly mounted (good lad) and got on the move again.

Report from coach Paul Wright

It was my first time at Canon, our new venue. I was very impressed by the space that we had and by the variety of terrains.
I took the older group of 10 children. My aim was to cover Leading and Following, with the aim of following the wheel in front. The important aspects of this are looking straight ahead, keep a steady pace and no harsh braking, as that will cause people behind to crash. I split the group into 2, with the groups being of similar ability. There was a boys group, and a girls group ( or more correctly a girls group with Daniel). We started off with just simply following the leader in a line. The aim is to close the gaps, so that the gaps are kept as small as possible. For that to work the children had to keep to the pace of the slowest. We then moved onto 2 exercises which moved the first rider to the back; in the first the front rider hares off the front and catches up with the group by making up a lap. In the second the lead rider peels off, and then drops in behind the group. We finally split the children around the track and got them to form a long line behind a specified lead.
We finished off with a race around the Canon site where the winning team was decided by the position of the last rider.
Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves greatly. When I am next on I will be looking at using the slopes to look at gear selection, cornering etc.