Mountain Bike Orienteering

Mountain bike orienteering is an endurance sport attracting both orienteering and mountain bike enthusiasts. The most important orienteering skills needed are route choice and map memory. Extremely good bike handling and ability to cope with steep slopes both up and down is an absolute must for a top level athlete.

Mountain bike orienteering can be practised in many different types of terrain. The essential requirement is a large number of paths, tracks and roads offering the athlete challenging navigation. Navigating between control points means matching map to ground at high speed, correctly interpreting the maze of paths and tracks.

As an environmental safeguard, competitors may not leave paths and tracks.

Mountain bike orienteering is the newest of the orienteering disciplines administered by the International Orienteering Federation. It started in the late 1980s at club level in countries where mountain biking was a popular outdoor sport. In 1997 national championships were already run in 12 countries - and the number is rapidly growing.

World Championships in mountain bike orienteering will be organised every second year from 2002 onwards.

Equipment:

MAP: The map provided by the organiser can be a special mountain bike map, a ski orienteering map or an amended foot orienteering map.

COMPASS: The compass is attached to the competitor's arm or to the map holder.

MAP HOLDER: A map holder (map case) attached to the bike or to the competitor's chest makes it possible to view the map at high speed without stopping.

HELMET: A hard helmet is compulsory.

BIKE: Competitors use robust mountain bikes. For safety reasons, the condition of the bike (e.g. brakes) is checked by the organiser before the start.

TOOLS: Competitors may carry tools and replace spare parts but may not seek or obtain help to carry out repairs.