Thursday 29 October 2015

Navigation fun on mountain bikes

Two Sundays ago we had the 5th mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) event of the season. There's one more to go - on Sunday, 22 November at Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria.

In a nutshell, this is what MTBO is all about...

You start individually in a staggered start - an interval of one or two minutes between participants.

 There are three courses: short (8km), medium (15km) and long (20-22km).

At the start you get a map on which the checkpoint locations are marked.

Also all the tracks and paths are marked and the thickness of the lines indicate how big or distinct the track is. Vegetation indicated (green, beige, dotted) is useful, but reading just the black paths will get your around the course. This is not rocket science! (children can do it).

And then you start and ride from checkpoint to checkpoint (in number order) until you get to the end.

There will be junctions where you have route choices but for the rest you can do what you want. It's like treasure hunting on your mountain bike - excellent fun.

And then it is good entertainment to shoot the breeze with other bikers afterwards to compare routes.

Attendance at MTB O is low - sadly. It's helluva fun and gives a great twist to mountain biking. It's like mountain biking with an objective - to gobble up checkpoints as you race around the course. Of course, you don't have to race... you can ride as you wish and enjoy your time out there and the scenery.

I hope to see you at Groenkloof on Sun, 22 November 2015.

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