What is it?
Mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) combines the skills of map reading, route choice decisions and bike riding ability. It can be both a competitive sport as well as an active outdoor recreational activity.
Using a detailed, customised map that shows terrain features as well as the road, track and path networks, competitors have to navigate between checkpoints (controls) making route choices on the best (fastest) way. Picking the best route choice that uses the fastest tracks and minimises the amount of climbing involved, is part of the challenge of competitive MTBO along with the ability to handle a bike over varying terrains. To minimise following, competitors are started at least two minutes apart, except for mass start events.
As an environmental safeguard, competitors may not leave defined paths and tracks and all controls are placed on obvious features such as track junctions.
A variety of courses are offered at all events to suit different levels of fitness and navigational ability - from beginners through to seasoned competitors. There are also social courses available for those new to the sport or for those who want to ride as a group.