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


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some MTB Orienteering notes


I did a bit of mountain biking riding this summer.  I also did some mountain bike orienteering mapping.  And since I now have a couple of nearby MTB O' maps, I've done a bit of mountain bike orienteering training.

I've learned a few things about mountain bike orienteering and figured I ought to write those things down:

1.  I expected that finding my position on the map when it wasn't in my hand would be difficult.  I'm used to orienteering with a map in my hand.  Using a map on a board on the handlebars seemed tricky.  But, it isn't very difficult.  And it is an easy skill to train and practice.  And there are a few tricks that make it  easier.*

2.  I need to get some feedback on my mapping.  I've made distinctions based on the speed and rideability of trails.  I've been consistent, but I'm not sure I've got it right.

3.  I'm not a very good mountain bike rider.  I have a hard time paying attention to anything other than the trail in front of me.  I don't get a good picture of the terrain around me because I'm picking out rocks and roots on the trail and not looking up and around.  But an advantage of being bad at something is you can see improvement quickly.

4.  The MTB O' mapping standards seem to work well.

* Having written that, I have almost guaranteed that I will have a major error the next time I do a MTB O' course because I lose track of where I am on the map.  As soon as you decide something is easy, you're bound to screw it up.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:54 AM


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