The MTBO Club
So what is MTBO?
MTB Orienteering is the sport of cross country cycling, combining riding and navigation. Using specially produced maps, riders navigate their way along roads, tracks and trails to control markers (checkpoints) placed at specific locations. Interpreting the map to decide which is the best way from one control to the next introduces some challenge, so that it’s not all about speed. Riders are timed electronically with the rider locating their controls correctly in the shortest time declared the winner. Riders carry an electronic card (SportIdent) which registers their visit at each control. Course lengths vary from 5km to over 40km, in terrain from flat coastal pine plantations to undulating native bush forests. Courses are available to suit riders of all abilities, from social to competitive. There are classes for males, females and pairs/groups, covering ages from 10 to over 70 years. MTBO events are a low-key and fun competition and are open to anyone to try.
What do you need?
The basics are a bike, helmet, drink bottle and basic tools and tube. Some form of mapboard on your handlebars will also assist in holding the map in a convenient position to read. Map boards can be as simple as a clipboard held in place with cable ties, right up to sturdy commercially available models. Here are some examples:- MIRY, ORIFIX, AUTOPILOT, WINDCHILL or DIY board A comparison of major brands of mapboards was done by Australian Orienteer magazine and the article can be read in full here. For rider who want to get their own ‘SportIdent’ timing stick, check out the models here.
Some general rules include:-
• Stick to marked roads, tracks and trails. No shortcutting.
• Keep out of ‘Out-of Bounds’ areas.
• Render assistance to other riders.
• Ride defensively and in control at all times.
Australian Competition rules can be found here – Rules
National Series – Rules
QLD State Series – Rules