Yep the bet for £75 went into Default at 10.30am today, Shane decided that breaking his legs/arms was on the cards so he called default
The plan with “project bender” was for Shane to prepare himself to do the Unofficial hardtail champs next year, i was going to drop in every now and then and see how he was getting on, the rough plan was to do the local tracks, then a trip to cwm carn and some local races. I did suspect that this could happen as Shane VERY quickly found out he was out of the comfort zone. This is really starting from basics, and Shanes teacher decided to get him jumping rather than working on core skills like how to brake and gear shifts. Avill Ball is nothing like the track they have been training on.
So on friday night we went to see what had been taped, this saw both Paul and Shane going very quiet. One could say Avill is technical, add to that it is very very dry, the tracks for tomorrow are dust, go off the main lines and you are on 4″-6″ of powder and fluff, i got some snaps of the track and a worried looking Shane.
As with most track photos it dont look to bad, however it is steeper than it looks with lots of off camber rooty bits covered in pine needle fluff, wacky line choice is dependent on wether you can find traction, most are rut racing. I reckon nearly everyone has binned it up there today.
Shane had a go this morning, and his skill/ability level and bike control are not there yet, HIS TEACHER (not me by the way) wants to start again. I did a run on the bender and the bike was fine, tyres worked well (fresh pair) slack head angle was a joy through the tight turns, need to retune the rider !
The last few days has seen bravado beyond ability, i really thought this would end with one of them in hospital, but the fear and self doubting has been playing hell with the pair of them. This kinda proves that a strong positive mental attitude is needed more than a flash ride in racing. You need to push your comfort zone to progress and you need to know when to walk away from something if you know you are out of your depth, come back to it later.
Now he has fresh tyres anyway, i reckon 2 more trips to the training track then move it up a bit, and hopefully try the coombe sydnham race (easy track) then take Shane to cwm carn before xmas.
The moral of this story is dont make bets beyond your ability ! Shane now understands that downhill racing isnt as easy as it looks. Project bender is still on, there is a lot of work to do before next years champs (and if he dosent show up he owes me £100) can we take a newbie and create a racing machine, or just get him through the Champs alive ?