Course Planning Hints

MTB-Orienteering Events

I've only planned three events, but in NZ terms that makes me an expert! Only those wonderful guys at Ground Effect have done more, with SIX Cyclic Sagas to their credit. Here are some suggestions based on the Hutt Valley OC Winter Series which might be helpful for those planning MTBO events of around an hour in length. I'll add to the list if I think of anything else, or if you ask questions about particular issues.

Before we start, let me give you my guiding principle: we are NOT aiming to convert foot-orienteers to MTBO, although some of them will be interested. We are trying to put on something that bikers will enjoy doing.

An now here's a sample of the instruction sheet we hand out to riders. A whole page is a bit much and we know it's not all getting absorbed, but we have to try.

Wellington MTBO Series: ST PATS FOREST 29 JULY 2000

Before Starting

  1. You have been given a CLIP CARD. Fill it in except for "number" and "day".
    Course 1 is for Open Men (OM). Expected winning time is 80min.
    Course 2 is for Open Women (OW), Vet Men (VM), Jnr Men (JM) and Rec Men (RM). Expected winning time is 70min.
    Course 3 is for Vet Women (VW), Jnr Women (JW) and Rec Women (RW). Expected winning time is 50min.
  2. A rider can start on each course every 2 minutes. There's a booking sheet for start times, and fill in the start time on your card as well (two places). A couple of minutes before your start front up to the starter who will keep the tear-off bit of your card.
  3. Your map has ALL the controls marked. Each course uses a different combination, shown on a MASTER MAP. You will have 2 minutes to mark your particular course before you can leave. The start clock will beep every 2 minutes.
  4. You have to carry the card with you, and punch in the numbered square at each of your controls. To help you there is a code number on each control and this is also marked on your map in brackets. Hand in your card at the finish.

On the Course

  1. This is a "cross-country event" in which you must visit the controls in numerical order, and clip your card to prove it. You and your bike must go to each control.
  2. Stay on the roads and tracks. But you can choose which tracks to use between control points. We have made some extra "tracks" with tape. They are shown on the map, but there may be no marks on the ground (to begin with!)

    Important: SH2 (River Road) is OUT OF BOUNDS with the exception of a 200m taped section shown as a track. There are routes under SH2, and there is an enlarged map at the start showing you the detail around Moonshine Bridge. You can travel across the grass anywhere between SH2 and the river.

  3. Wear a helmet.
  4. The tracks are open to other users. Ride as if you are going to meet yourself coming the other way. One particularly narrow track is shown as one-way.
  5. Report to the finish, even if you decide to abandon the course. We'll come looking for people who don't check in. Controls will be collected after 4pm.
  6. In the event of an injury, here's our safety plan. We haven't got marshalls on the course so we rely on you, the other competitors. Each incident is different, but hopefully the first rider on the scene can give first aid while the second can head straight to the finish and report to Michael or Brent. We'll have a St John first-aider and a 4WD vehicle there.
Next Event: Waitarere Forest 26 August, signposted from the village

This page was written by Michael Wood, and was installed on 31 July 00
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