Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mapping some trails for MTB orienteering


I took a few photographs of the trails at Clinton yesterday.  The trails are on the mountain bike orienteering map and the photos illustrate two different types of mapped trails.

The first set of photos show a trail that I've mapped as a "path slow riding."  From the MTB O' mapping standards that would be:
A path narrower than 1.5 m wide, with sufficient obstacles to require the riders to
choose their way to avoid obstacles such as stones, rocks, ruts, grass, sand or mud.
Possibility of rocky surfaces. Pedaling is more difficult, riding is slowed. Skilled/fit
riders will pass. Less skilled/fit riders may have to dismount. Speed 25-50 %

The next set of photos shows a trail that I've mapped as "path: difficult to ride":

A path less than 1.5 m wide, with difficult obstacles such as roots, deep sand/mud,
erosion or rocky steps. Very slow riding or impossible riding. Skilled/fit riders may be
required to dismount. Speed max 25 %.

The photos may not give the best idea of the terrain.  It is hard to see the scale of the trails and the bright sunshine makes it a bit hard to see what is going on.  But, I think it gives a general idea of the trails at Clinton and my current thinking about mapping them.  I think I may be over estimating the difficulty a good rider would have on the trails.  Since I'm not a very good rider, I have trouble understanding what a skilled rider would have trouble with.  I guess the most important thing is to be consistent.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:00 PM


From the pictures your choice looks reasonable. As you say, consistency on one map is the most important.

Don't expect the mapping to be consistent between any "developed" bike-o country, the spread in mapping style is much larger than with o-maps.
I wish we had a few more MTB maps in the U.S. so I could get a better sense of how other people view the trail differences. Maybe we'll have more over the coming years.

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