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Discussion: MTBO WOC Team(s)

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 3, 2018 4:47 AM # 
Alongside the foot-o WOC, the MTBO WOC and JWOC is happening in Austria. What a pity you couldn't do both tRicky… Place for banter, performance, grizzles about the online coverage, etc.
Aug 3, 2018 6:29 AM # 
I am a terrible foot orienteer.

The main event will be the Asia/Pacific Cup where Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Kyrgyzstan(?), USA and NZ(?) will battle it out in the relay as to who is the best non-Euro country. We're allowing a bit of leeway this year given the US team will be riding WE and not sure at this stage if either of the two ? are fielding teams (NZ has asked but may be too late and too expensive at this stage and will also be riding WE).
Aug 6, 2018 3:18 PM # 
I can start grizzling about the online coverage because I have no idea where to find it.

NZ was too late in submitting a team for the Asia/Pacific Cup.
Aug 6, 2018 6:30 PM # 
Any fantasy league? where might I find it?
Aug 6, 2018 6:32 PM # 
Watch the live tracking here. Mens elite set off at 10:40am Vienna time.
Aug 6, 2018 6:34 PM # 
Tash how dare you trump my post. "Vienna" time is GMT +2.

Haven't heard anything about a fantasy league this year.
Aug 7, 2018 4:18 AM # 
I think NZ has one guy and two women, both juniors. So a big ask to make a relay team which would have to be ME. I would say, not too late, but too early for the "main event". They'll be beating you in a couple of years tRicky.
Aug 7, 2018 6:06 AM # 
Actually they've been actively discussing putting in a relay team but with WE, not ME (Marquita is here). The entry deadline closed a few days before they enquired about it and now it's in the too hard/too expensive basket.
Aug 7, 2018 6:29 AM # 
Start times (local):
MJ: 9:30
WJ: 9:40
ME: 10:40
WE: 10:50
Aug 7, 2018 2:41 PM # 
Can you shout a bit louder tRicky I can't get anything from the website.
Aug 8, 2018 7:08 AM # 
Progress results of the Asia/Pacific Cup after the mass start - rules are for non-European countries (or really just countries we feel should be involved) with top two riders in each scoring points from 15 down to 2 based on percentage behind the winner in the respective classes. Countries involved:
-Australia (3 ME)
-New Zealand (1 ME, 2 WJ)
-Japan (2 ME, 2 WE, 1 MY)
-Hong Kong (2 ME, 1 WE)
-Kyrgyzstan (2 ME)
-Turkey (3 MJ)
-USA (1 ME, 4 WE)

Must have a valid result to score points.

Progress points:
NZL 26
JPN 25
AUS 23
USA 18
TKY 13
Aug 8, 2018 8:19 AM # 
Well, we should invite other non Europe countries to compete...? Any other races this will count to (excluding the MTBO WOC? )
Aug 8, 2018 1:13 PM # 
Lots of mp's in the middle. But tRicky survived!
Aug 8, 2018 2:00 PM # 
Ori, maybe you can tell me what other non-Euro countries are involved and I'll add them. Asia Pacific Cup is exclusively a non-event related to WMTBOC. We don't even have a real cup to give away at the end.

Yes by me 'surviving' I may have picked up an A final qualifying spot. Depends on how many high ranking people MPed or DNFed.
Aug 8, 2018 2:12 PM # 
Oh dear, one of the Kyrgysztani riders is still on course.
Aug 8, 2018 2:46 PM # 
Thanks for clarifying this re: 'Asia Pacific Cup is exclusively a non-event related to WMTBOC'.
Aug 8, 2018 4:25 PM # 
Well it is in the WMTBOC thread so I figured it was self explanatory but then being in a thread doesn't mean a lot on this site :P

I'll update results after all the protests and DQs from today have been sorted out although they don't tend to look down the list as far as the Asia Pacific nations to see if we went on illegal routes.
Aug 8, 2018 8:18 PM # 
Progress results of the Asia Pacific Cup after today's middle event (today / total):

NZL 29 / 55
JPN 23 / 48
AUS 23 / 46
USA 17 / 35
TKY 7 / 20
HKG 10 / 15
KYR 8 / 8

Tomorrow is the relay where points are doubled (7 for 1st down to 1 for 7th). Sadly neither NZL nor KYR are fielding teams but the potential for the remaining teams to MP is increased.
Aug 8, 2018 11:49 PM # 
..potential to mp… protests and DQs... What's going on there tRicky?
Aug 9, 2018 6:57 AM # 
It is simply amazing how you MTBO riders are able to read those maps! When distance between rides and distance between dots of the dot line symbol are about the same it becomes very hard for me to figure how junctions are, is there a junction at all and is it allowed to trough or not. I guess it comes with experience. I would need symbols with unbroken base line component to be able to complete a course like that middle (and several hours of course).

edit, something like this
Aug 9, 2018 7:18 AM # 
Hence why there have been a few complaints and reinstatements of DQs over the past couple of days (e.g. was the track junction indistinct or illegal). Yesterday there were 9 DQs in the men elite but 7 were reinstated after the map was studied in detail and it was decided the map wasn't clear enough in certain areas.

Circle and line breaking has also been a hot topic in that there hasn't been any. It makes details around the controls very difficult to read.
Aug 9, 2018 8:14 AM # 
I make MTBO maps and would LOVE to be able to use all solid track lines. But I think it's like the green stripe in foot-o. Terrible symbol but no-one has been able to think of a better idea. (You may know that we want to portray 4 speed levels times two track widths. And specially the shape of junctions. And whether a junction is distinct or not:-)) We've experimented here with an underlying non-black colour, but haven't found one that works. That idea of a thin black "spine" might be worth testing, thank you Jagge.

The use of the "dash point" in OCAD to control dashes and gaps is vital, and is not used enough IMHO.
Aug 9, 2018 8:32 AM # 
Instead of thin center line above an other solution might be mapping white forest with (light?) green and drawing all rides on white corridor base. So white would reveal indistinct junction, green would indicate no-go. No changes to actual ride symbols.

But I can imagine all of those are already tested and proven worse than current symbols.

What it comes to black spine it might be enough to use it only at junctions and maybe also rides close together, but not elsewhere. Like that it would do the trick but the overall visual impact would be a lot smaller.
Aug 9, 2018 11:08 AM # 
Interesting Jagge. The MTBO world in general has found the question of off-track travel even harder than making a clear picture with dashed lines. Around here, we use white and light green to indicate allowed and not allowed forest. (The spec uses white and green to indicate forest visibility which is "nice to have" but hardly essential.) We want to show where it is allowed and feasible to pass, and to allow off-track passage as much as possible. For obvious reasons, we don't have a tracker on every rider and compliance is impossible to check. Besides, it introduces more route choice:-)) In jurisdictions where no off-track travel is allowed, this would be just as you suggest.
Aug 9, 2018 8:00 PM # 
Green is vital in countries where off track riding is allowed. Riding Sweden and Austria over the past few weeks they don't allow off track riding except on areas marked orange (not yellow but they still use both yellow and 50% yellow to indicate open areas that you CANNOT ride on).

I agree with Gruver about the dash points. Both Craig S (Qld) and I critique maps where they're not used and it seems to be the exception rather than the rule and it is an important component of junctions that this is used otherwise it looks like some junctions don't join. Very difficult to distinguish on the go.
Aug 9, 2018 8:10 PM # 
Progress results of the Asia Pacific Cup after today's relay (today / total) bearing in mind double points (15-13-11, etc):

AUS 30 / 76
USA 26 / 61
NZL 0 / 55
JPN 0 / 48
HKG 22 / 37
TKY 0 / 20
KYR 0 / 8

Unfortunately one of the Turkey riders concussed himself yesterday so they were unable to start the race. Japan had an incomplete women's team and their male counterparts MPed. New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan failed to field teams.

However, long final A start lists have been released today and both Kyrgyzstan and Australia can only front one rider so it could all come down to the sprint event on Sunday!
Aug 9, 2018 10:18 PM # 
Nice going, team USA!
Aug 10, 2018 1:05 AM # 
Would be good to see Canada on bikes. is there any MTBO at home?
Aug 10, 2018 6:40 PM # 
In a totally bizarre occurrence, a "map error" in the M21B final has meant that all M21B riders are now riding the M21A long course and will be ranked with M21A riders. Apparently they forgot to print the M21B maps but just happened to have enough M21A maps. M21B winning time remains the same (105-115 minutes) despite the course now being 13km longer.

3 min start intervals with up to 3 M riders, followed by up to 2 W riders then a gap. Seems a bit odd. It does mean all nations in the Asia Pacific Cup will now have at least two riders.
Aug 10, 2018 7:17 PM # 
I would say that's one of the more bizarre things I've seen in international orienteering, but then I remembered the 2014 (foot) European Championships - the main function of which was to provide case studies for us to use in event adviser/controller workshops.
Aug 11, 2018 12:50 AM # 
Heh heh. I remember an Aust-NZ MTBO Challenge, in the days when nominated team members rode before the others. There were enough maps for the team members but not enough for everyone else. Shall I say anything about a WMOC? No maybe I'll get Kapamahanga'd in return:-))
Aug 11, 2018 8:28 PM # 
Progress results of the Asia Pacific Cup after today's long distance (today / total) - I have retrospectively awarded Hong Kong and Kyrgyzstan points for the mass start event; they were classed as OT but the rules haven't been adhered to for the rest of the races and no-one has received that classification since then despite riders going over the designated time limit:

AUS 25 / 101
USA 25 / 86
NZL 14 / 69
JPN 20 / 68
HKG 13 / 54 (+4)
TKY 13 / 33
KGZ 0 / 11 (+3)

MPs (2), DQs (6) and DNS (1) to NZL, KGZ (formerly KYR until I found the proper abbreviation) HKG, AUS and JPN ruled out 9 riders from point scoring today, leaving AUS and USA as the two teams to fight out for top spot. Anything can happen in a sprint! All three of the Aus team managed to MP the Aus long champs earlier this year.
Aug 12, 2018 5:19 PM # 
Final results in the Asia Pacific Cup after today's sprint event. Aus suffered from both a DQ and MP so had to rely on the remaining rider for points. NZL had a major mechanical but the junior girls both pulled through to top the table. USA had all riders finish as I believe they did all week.

AUS 13 / 114
USA 21 / 107
NZL 29 / 98
JPN 21 / 89
HKG 11 / 65
TKY 15 / 48
KGZ 7 / 18
Aug 12, 2018 11:47 PM # 
Great competition tRicky. Well done yourself for saving Aus from an MP three-peat!
Aug 13, 2018 2:15 AM # 
Seems there's not much forum interest from North America in the biking. Wonder if they think nav is easy at 30kph? Perhaps they were all glued to WTOC:-))
Aug 13, 2018 2:30 AM # 
no lack of interest. and I have competed at both wtoc and mtbo. nav is not as easy at 0kph as you think.
Aug 13, 2018 4:48 AM # 
Suitably chastened Joe. A dispassionate review of the thread shows 75% of contributions came from just 2 people. So maybe not much interest from elsewhere either. But as you've pointed out that may be a false conclusion too. Well done to all participants in all three world orienteering champs this week! And well done to all who followed progress, some at awkward hours.
Aug 13, 2018 5:36 AM # 
I think there are a lot of people in the US (can't speak about Canada) who would be interested if there were land managers interested in allowing MTBO.
Aug 13, 2018 5:49 AM # 
I've had a go at trail-o. I thought it would be easy but it's not. Mind you I'm still not convinced the two I got incorrect were wrong!
Aug 13, 2018 6:01 AM # 
I quite like trail-o, though it can be crazily frustrating.
Aug 13, 2018 8:31 AM # 
That's a pity Origami. In the land where MTB's were invented.

Round here mountain-biking is very popular but we too are struggling for suitable areas. A HUGE amount of track-building but its (a) A to B tourist trails thru scenic country and (b) intense track-building on dedicated areas which looks like spaghetti. And with few junctions. Get onto one spaghet (is that the singular?) and you get some fun riding but there's no getting off. One-way restrictions are a nuisance too.
Aug 13, 2018 8:43 AM # 
Big article in the USA mtbo Facebook page about their performance and challenges...
Aug 13, 2018 3:44 PM # 
Spaghetto. (seriously)
Aug 13, 2018 4:56 PM # 
No need to comment on this forum when we can banter with tRicky in person. It was a fun and friendly competition amongst non-euro teams. Thank you, tRicky, for tallying points! Maybe next year we will have an actual “cup” :)
Aug 13, 2018 10:24 PM # 
Yep, I left it in our accommodation unfortunately but we were heavily overweight at the airport anyway.

I'm wondering if allocating double points for the relay heavily favoured countries with relay teams (of course it did). With normal points we'd have outscored NZL by a solitary point.
Aug 16, 2018 12:00 AM # 
It's great to see what mtb-o looks like at the highest level. That no touch punch would be awesome.

I wouldn't really expect USA to be competitive, I don't think there are many events in the US. In mid-atlantic, we don't quite have the terrain I usually see in these maps with a ton of wide fast forest road like paths (except maybe Fair Hill) instead of singletrack but there are a few good venues with (I suspect) good access but usually require good technical skills.

Just no one to set the course since not alot of people in traditional orienteering clubs mountain bike so it takes some self-motivation to set events and aim at pulling in a completely different crowd. I've found the 3 I've done to have the most appreciative participants. It would be nice to actually participate.

If I lower standards on a good navigational challenge, then there are plenty of parks for mtb-o many of which are currently used by local AR clubs (which can make it more interesting with controls off-trail).
Aug 16, 2018 12:34 AM # 
Hi Erik, would you send me some of the maps you’re talking about? I’m intrigued. They may have potential.
My email is
Aug 16, 2018 1:52 AM # 
Erik I too think that we have to be creative with areas to get people navigating on a bike. The maps for this event are 1:5000 foot-o covering a river corridor. See the map links with "Bike" in them. Be pleased to see yours, will probably get more ideas than drooling over the intensely-managed European forests:-))
Aug 16, 2018 4:06 PM # 
Will reach out by email. This can get you started:

Used for mtb-o:
Birdsboro (constantly expanding trails due to being a non-managed open space):

High potential:

Fair Hill (huge area)

College Campus, lots of social trails, could be good for sprint:

Mount Penn, limitations on bike on lakeside but plenty of other trails, spaghetti web of trails, heavy social building by downhill mtb'ers:

Rocky Ridge, very technical (rocky), SVO map:

Some mountain bike areas but not great for mtb-o:

Governor Dick:

French Creek (a few maps on dvoa site, limited trail network, connects to birdsboro):

Non mapped areas:
Marsh Creek State Park (good venue), Neversink Mountain

You can see trails on this site:
Aug 17, 2018 10:43 AM # 
A blog about mtbo in the USA a lot we can asisst them ! And we should ..
Aug 17, 2018 12:00 PM # 
I’d set more courses but only if the team wears branded shorts
Aug 17, 2018 12:49 PM # 
Last year's AGM presentation
Note that the teams do a lot of fundraising for themselves, and self direction.
Aug 17, 2018 1:04 PM # 
Harsh and I do believe the US team pays their own way so the line about 'sending a team' is pretty meaningless since they essentially send themselves. If these guys didn't have their own dedication to the event then there wouldn't be a team.

I did agree with the statement about the lack of coverage though. Seemed every event of WOC attracted its own thread on AP with blow-by-blow descriptions of athletes taking interesting route choices whereas we struggled to get more than two people to comment in the WMTBOC thread! Whole events went unnoticed but then you can't force people to be interested in it... (I didn't see a WTOC thread at all, probably doesn't make for very interesting viewing).

Unfortunately if all countries were judged on results and deemed unworthy, we'd lose all the non-European nations (except for a couple of outstanding juniors who've appeared over the last few years).
Aug 18, 2018 3:48 AM # 
No WTOC thread. US Team has a blog where I post about the competition. Not as much content this year because I wasn't personally in attendance. I generally don't post to AP about Trail-O very much because the community here often ridicules the sport. I post in other forums that include people who support and are interested in the Trail-O discipline.
Aug 18, 2018 4:01 AM # 
For the past 4 years, I’ve hosted one of the few MTBO events in Canada. Our map is adapted from an older O map belonging to another club so it’s serviceable but imperfect, and it wouldn’t meet standards for an official MTBO race.

To echo points already mentioned, it is difficult to find places where these events are welcomed. We really wanted to try a new venue this year but didn’t find any options that would work. In the end, so much time had been wasted that we decided to take this year off. Unless we’re willing to charge a lot more, I think we’ll just have to find creative ways to keep exploring the only venue that loves us.

The other reason, also mentioned above, is that few of the O club members with the necessary skill sets are mountain bikers so there isn’t much interest in the club. The event has been very popular with adventure racers and has attracted a lot of families to the novice course.

A few years ago, I asked someone on Orienteering Canada what would be involved in getting Canadians to the world champs. They said there would need to be a sanctioned national championship event with appropriate official certifications, meet standards, etc. That all made sense. As in the U.S., the winners would pay their own way so it’s just a question of going through a fair process to select a national team.

It will probably be awhile! :)
Aug 18, 2018 6:28 AM # 
That's a rational policy I suppose, but it may keep Canada out of MTBOWOC for ever. Around here there are only occasional national-level events but I think a respectable selection panel which uses "known form". It has respect I think because we've been lucky to attract a couple of riders who can approach medal standard (and in juniors and masters, reach it). Might be chicken and egg, but, as US is doing, you have to try. Look at the foot-o. There's the Euros, and us.

As in a lot of things, a tiny spark may ignite the bonfire. Gather the fuel (domestic events). Start a bi-lateral competition with a neighbouring country.
Aug 18, 2018 7:24 AM # 
I'd love for Canada to be represented but then I'd also love for any countries in South America or Africa to also participate - I think South Africa used to turn up but haven't seen them in a while. Hong Kong and Kyrgyzstan both competed this year to add to the Asian contingent (we're claiming KGZ because Europe has enough countries already although I'm not entirely sure which continent it sits on). Hopefully there'll be a WMTBOC (or WMMTBOC) outside of Europe in the not too distant future if it gets enough support so I have a reason to visit N America or Asia.

Does the US team hold selection trials? I didn't think they had any.
Aug 18, 2018 8:15 AM # 
tRicky do you see sprint-MTBO developing as it has in foot-o? There probably aren't enough participants for a separate WOC, but could some countries produce specialists due the type of land access they have? Eg ski resorts interested in attracting summer customers? Motor camps that close up in the winter. States with restricted shopping hours that have empty supermarket parking buildings at certain times? Small country towns with street networks designed for population that went away, or never came. Spiced up with artificial barriers which are all the rage in foot-o now. We've been allowed to ride through an extensive graveyard. And you've done great vineyard events. What about corn mazes?
Aug 18, 2018 9:15 AM # 
Given that many of the sprints I've ridden are in the bush, it's unlikely. Access restrictions are more complicated for urban sprints because of the bikes involved although this year's Aus sprint champs was held in a school. There are people who consider themselves 'sprint specialists' (and after the year I've had, I may be one of them) but if you look at the results of WMTBOC, well it's the same names doing well across all the disciplines.

I doubt there'd be interest in a sprint WMTBOC because most of the field competes in all the events anyway although there were a few exceptions - I know of a Hungarian rider who did the mass start and middle but not the long and his teammate's first race was the long (he DNFed) although they both rode the sprint.

'Artificial barriers'... well ask the people who came unstuck at the concrete drain at the start triangle last Sunday (I was almost one of them). Several flat tyres including Rob Garden. There was no warning other than seeing other riders getting flats but I thought it was due to the curb next to it.

Also as you've suggested I don't see what format you'd have for a purely sprint championship. Many countries wouldn't attend (especially if one of the major races was a relay).
Aug 18, 2018 12:09 PM # 
No, forget the idea of a separate WOC, but consider whether countries that might have trouble getting access to forests, or whose natural terrain hasn't got a dense track network, could develop an expertise in shorter formats on some of these alternative terrains.
Aug 18, 2018 2:05 PM # 
Re team selection: If there were a few events using real MTBO maps across the country, we might be able to convince the Orienteering Canada board to approve a team based on those results. Finding areas to welcome MTBO is the first hurdle, then finding interested volunteers to make proper maps is another hurdle, but it could probably happen from there. Then we’d find out if there are people willing to pay their way to the world champs. I’m guessing we’d be more likely to find interested Masters racers.
Aug 18, 2018 3:33 PM # 
MTB in a corn maze? I just... no.
Aug 18, 2018 3:34 PM # 
High risk of cutting?
Aug 18, 2018 5:09 PM # 
Too narrow and twisty, and hard to turn around. And if you have two coming away reach just head-on. The bike would be a disadvantage.

(Unless the maze was specifically designed for that purpose.)
Aug 18, 2018 10:11 PM # 
Oh dear, seems that any little side issue, such as reference to the separate foot-o WOC, artificial barriers, or a joke about corn mazes, diverts attention from the main idea. Which is, are there alternative accessible terrains that could support some sort of bike orienteering? Reference to the sprint discipline was intended to suggest they might be smaller than we might have considered before, and yet still be relevant to international competition.
Aug 18, 2018 11:13 PM # 
If you can work out something, all the more power to you. Personally, I really enjoy mountain biking and I really enjoy orienteering, but I don't necessarily feel a need to do them at the same time. I also enjoy kayaking and playing guitar, but one at a time.
Aug 18, 2018 11:41 PM # 
Maybe unicycles would fit better, and turn better, in corn mazes
Aug 19, 2018 12:23 AM # 
People have suggested that to me. I'm not good enough on the unicycle to pull it off. It's also worth noting that unicycling isn't really faster than running (in a straight line).
Aug 19, 2018 5:26 AM # 
How about combining MTBO and Ski-O WOCs? The bikes might need fatter tyres, but I gather those tyres were actually developed to allow MTBs to be ridden in the snow.
Aug 19, 2018 6:29 AM # 
Fat wheels bike...
Aug 19, 2018 9:43 AM # 
Walking is faster than unicycling.
Aug 19, 2018 11:27 AM # 
Depends on the unicycle. I have one with a big wheel now, and I can actually keep up with little kids on bikes with training wheels.
Aug 19, 2018 11:54 AM # 
Is it still a unicycle if you have training wheels?

Case in point about sprints, NSW just had to cancel their sprint champs in Oct since they couldn't find anyone willing to give them access.
Aug 20, 2018 10:13 AM # 
It was a bit unlucky with the dates, all nominated spots were booked...
Aug 20, 2018 10:36 AM # 
Have it on the Friday. You've got people coming from the UK (or wherever Keith lives), NZ and WA who'll be there all week anyway ;-)
Aug 20, 2018 12:40 PM # 
Not a bad idea.. I will raise it with Hamish...
Aug 20, 2018 2:00 PM # 
That wasn't (entirely) serious. You have to cater for your local riders before the visitors and experience shows - at least in WA - that the locals would rather go to work than attend a MTBO event. Priorities I tell you...

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