Chris Birch, extreme Enduro rider extraordinaire, recently took time out of his busy schedule to hold three one-day Rider Training Courses at the Toowoomba Motorcycle Club, Murphys Creek.
The three-time Roof of Africa and 2010 Romanics winner is in Australia briefly to hold training courses in Queensland and New South Wales, as well as to begin preparation for this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs being held in July.
When Chris was asked how many training courses he runs per year, the answer was a little surprising. “I am not really sure,” he said. “I have never counted them up. I will have to do that so I can answer the question in future”.
Having said that, it appears that Chris’s time is spent split between home with his wife Monica and two-year-old daughter Zoe, and traveling the world training or competing in Extreme Enduro events.
Chris’s coaching focuses on three principles; Balance, Traction and Control. His philosophy is that if these three principles are in place, the amount of trouble a rider can get into is limited. “I teach techniques that will make you better in three months if you practice them, rather than [techniques that will make you] a little faster at the end of today,” is his opening address to the participants.
“To get you faster today, I only need to show you how to get on the gas harder. I am more interested in giving you tips that need to be practiced but once mastered, will make you much better rider in the long run”.
Attendees begin the day with a breakdown of bike set-up and the dos and don’ts associated. Chris’s theory is that if the riders posture and positioning is correct, there is no need for the gadgets currently available. “Things like Bar-risers make it easier to ride badly”, he said. All the settings are demonstrated on Chris’s bike, this time a brand new KTM 350 EXCF kindly on loan from QB4 Toowoomba.
Once everyone’s bars and levels are adjusted correctly, Chris moves onto to rider positioning and the reasons why the correct positioning is more efficient that incorrect posture. “It is all about keeping your head stable and having a low centre of gravity. If you are standing straight up, the triangle between the bike and rider becomes very top heavy. By practicing the correct position every time you are on the bike, it will eventually become second nature and ultimately make for a much more stable and balanced ride.”
The rest of the day is spent on universal topics such as log jumping, wheelies and control while cornering.
The feedback from attendees was positive to say the least. “This has been by far the best training session I have been to,” said Barry Pugh, while Russell Bentley said, “a great day, the guy is BRILLIANT”.
The training for the three days was held at the grounds of the Toowoomba Motorcycle Club on 500 acres of Club owned land. “The facilities are great. There are rocks, logs, creeks, hills, anything and everything you could want in a ride are here,” said Chris.
Negotiations are currently underway to have Chris return for more training dates in 2016. To register your interest in these dates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
View images from the day below.