Mountain bike orienteering – Pentlands

Image copyright: Walter Brydon

Last weekend, less than 24hrs after landing back in Edinburgh after our Austrian skiing holiday, we headed up to Currie rugby club for the first round of the Scottish Mountain Bike Orienteering series. I’ve not actually got any photos of this event, because I was too busy riding my bike… so I’ve borrowed the photo above from another rider. It shows a checkpoint we didn’t actually make due to a slight misjudgment of the path up there… we tried to go up the really steep way thinking that the other way would make a more feasible descent.. but unfortunately we gave up pushing up the steep side as it was just too time-consuming.

The event is ‘score’ format, which means you get a map with checkpoints marked on it and a list of how many points each checkpoint is worth and each team plots their own route. There is a three-hour time limit and there are penalty points for being late back. Giving up on 22 was probably the right decision, it allowed us to catch a relatively easy big points checkpoint (19) on the way back and get back on time (no penalty points).

We rushed off afterwards for a family lunch so missed the prize-giving etc but as usual we weren’t in a leading position anyway. We got 245 points to come 5th out of 6 mixed teams. However the mixed team category is very competitive – our points total would have put us 3rd if we’d been a male pair and first if we’d been a female solo or a female pair. In all, I was happy with my riding and happy with our route planning… though next time I think we need to take a highlighter and spend a little bit longer planning the later stages of our route before we start off, now that I’m a bit fitter we can afford to plan a bit more because my riding speed is a bit more consistent.

Categories: mountain biking, mountains, outdoors, Scotland | Leave a comment

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