Trials Torque Articles
KiwiRider -Jan 2006
New Zealand's First Trials Academy Opens
Hundreds of hours of work by previous NZ Trials Champion, Stephen Oliver, have come to fruition with the official opening of the NonStop Trials Academy in 88 Valley, near Nelson in November.
With guests of honour World MX1 No.2 Josh Coppins and current NZ Trials Champion Warren Laugeson, taking part in a display of trials riding technique on the newly unveiled arena, the crowd of supporters was treated to some outstanding riding.
"Most motocross riders at World level practice on Trials bikes" said Josh who was riding a new Gas Gas 250, as he explained how the balance of trottle, clutch, and brake at low and controllable speeds could translate to a faster race pace.
"Too many motocross riders concentrate on speed, and lack the basics of riding skills that riding a trials bike will teach."
| Warren Laugesen|
Warren, who flew down from Levin for the day, was riding a Montesa Cota 4RT, borrowed from Brendon Wadsworth, of Nelson Marlborough Trials Centre, in Blenheim. Although unfamiliar with the 4-stroke engine (his own bike is a Scorpa), you wouldn't know it, and Warren put on a tremendous display of skilled and brave riding, as he climbed the many artificial obstacles that make up the man-made part of the course. He said that the time and effort that Stephen has put into the Academy has created a facility of the highest standard, and is suitable for all riders to experience, from complete beginners to those of World standard. As well as the arena section there is any amount of natural terrain for observed sections further up the valley, and Warren said that you could ride all day, constantly finding new and different obstacles to challenge your abilities.
Stephen also has an interest in bicycle trials, which his three sons are skilled at, and included their specific needs into the design of the obstacles. "You might say I'm a little obsessed," he confessed "but there needed to be a permanent venue where supervised instruction could provide for the future of the sport."
Stephen's dream is to see New Zealand riders reach World levels of riding ability and that can only come with the formal and intense practice and teaching that such an Academy can provide. He said that the construction of the facility would continue to expand and develop, but now it was at a stage where it could be used for coaching either small groups, or individuals. With no funding from the governing body, Motorcycling New Zealand, Stephen has been grateful for the local support from many businesses, including Goldpine, Hirequip and Nelvac Home Services.
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