Spent all day in the bus so when we got to our accommodation I looked to see where the nearest trails were (I knew there were some here) and turns out there is a big chunk of trails directly across the road! Went looking for them but what I found instead was a load of crap through the bush made up of randomness and rocks. Rode the rocks but didn't appreciate them all that much and upon closer inspection of my GPS track, I didn't really find what I was looking for compared to what's on the Trailforks site so I'll have to have a better look over the next few days. Hard to know where I'm going when I don't have a mobile device with me and all the signage in the area is in Swedish.
One thing I did find plenty of out in the bush were orienteering flags - stacks of them from flat plates to actual orienteering flags hanging from trees, all with punches attached. I figured maybe I'd stumbled into an event but there didn't appear to be any orienteering going on so perhaps it's a permanent course of sorts.
One other point of note (other than the fact we had no issues whatsoever getting our bikes on the bus today) was the Lidl store we found at our bus rest stop (we had to change buses because the air con on ours broke and it got to around 30 degrees today) that had chocolate at a ridiculously cheap price - roughly 80c for a 100g block and $2.10 for 200g flavoured blocks. Puts Australia to shame. Could spell disaster for my supposed chocolate diet whilst in Europe (which actually ended after the Hungary long distance event). There is another Lidl store directly across from our accomms, oh dear.
We most definitely did not eat dinner at a McDonald's either (I know because they called out our number in Swedish rather than 'Merican and we only knew it was ours because no-one else went up) although the store was called Max. It was about the cheapest feed we were going to find at that time of night - hard to think of 8:45pm as night when it's broad daylight.
It's a good thing the O events in Europe are so well organised because the buses, trains and planes are totally f***ed. Got to Copenhagen Central three hours early this morning (just in case plus had nothing else to do) only to find our booked train to Stockholm had been cancelled. No warning, no email, nothing. So paid another $50 or so to get just over the ocean into Sweden and await the rest of our trip but the advice here is our bikes are too big to go in luggage despite the online info saying they'd be fine in a box (and they are perfectly okay on the regular trains). Will find out in about two hours I guess...
After suffering innumerable delays in our attempts to get to Stockholm today, we eventually gave up (no way to get both us and our bikes there either on train or bus today) and settled into a hotel near Centralstation in Malmo (Sweden). Went for a walk around Slottstradgarden (insert as many dots and circles above letters as you feel necessary) and decided it'd make a far more interesting sprint map than Copenhagen did with gardens, hedges galore, trees, paths, canals, bridges and even a casino. Throw in a couple of road closures and you can extend it out to the centre of town with little alleyways, malls and buildings galore.
Hopefully tomorrow we'll get to where we're going but not until evening unfortunately so another wasted day. Also decided that $20 for lasagna for dinner at a nearby bistro was a bit too much and prices at the hotel's restaurant were looking like double that (anything above Hungary prices falls into that category now) and that a $15 DIY salad from the grocery store would do instead (half for dinner, half for lunch tomorrow).
Decided today that I may even enter the Aus Champs in SA, if travel conditions are favourable (would go in my age category though rather than pretending I'm an elite now that I've officially competed in two old person events internationally).
Orienteering (bush) race (Gribskov) 1:51:00*** 15.29 km (7:16 / km) +145m6:56 / km ahr:151 max:171 spiked:17/25c shoes: Salomon Speedtrax black/yellow
WMOC M40A Long Final
Started off badly, finished off worse. Had some epic map reading fails on the controls near the finish, including taking a completely wrong road over to 20, correcting through the bush and then making a total meal of the control anyway despite my best efforts at a sensible route.
Got stuck in a dryish marsh at one point (11, thought I was going through rough open but was going N instead of NW and was nowhere near the CP when I bashed through the green to the road), tripped over a branch early on in the course (twinging my knee and making me hobble most of the rest of the course) and had to assist a woman at 3 who didn't know where she was although I think it was more a case of 'I'm not right at my control and don't want to lose valuable seconds figuring it out' so I quickly pointed at my map and then took off.
Points to note were that anything darker than light green was NOT wise to go through, nor was the rough open and I actually found a wet creek bed (tried to jump to what looked like a solid landing on the other side but turned out not to be as my foot went into it).
Legs didn't have the fitness (probably due to a long ride I did yesterday, stupid idea) and brain lacked the required navigational abilities for the area (or any area really) to ever bother a higher ranking. Think I finished in the top 50 (of 60) although there seemed to be a number of DNSes. Happy to make all the A finals though given I didn't really think I'd make the bush ones so that's something. Probably won't be so easy when I move up to M45 (I'll worry about that in another four years though) with a larger field.
That marks the (potential) end of foot orienteering on this trip. Onward to MTBO and maybe foot events at O-Ringen if we can be bothered with them. Hooray!
Orienteering (bush) (Gribskov) 1:04:56  *** 4.64 km (14:00 / km) +43m13:23 / km spiked:14/17c shoes: Salomon Fellraiser black/blue
WMOC forest model event
A very leisurely pace around the model event for tomorrow's race. Checked out the different vegetation (although the rides are still varying in distinctness, more visible after a couple of hundred people have been along them) and mapping (the faster green stripe symbol was used for areas with small or large amounts of fallen branches whereas the slower green stripe was used for thick clumps of ferns).
Mucked up the first control by attempting to go around the hill but had already forgotten that with 2.5m contours, the hill barely registered, and also 13 where I crossed a track that I wasn't meant to and then kept on going (had thought it was the first track but it was the very obvious second one).
The advertised climb of 110m on this course was far from what my Garmin recorded. Perhaps the setter also didn't realise the contours were not 5m.
For some reason I thought it'd be a good idea to go out for a long, tiring ride in the warm afternoon the day before the long final. To be fair, I hadn't planned on going this far (probably) and was just doing some map reading practice on the one forest remaining on the Farum map but when I got there, I discovered it was an actual mountain bike park so I had to go and ride all the trails (well a lot of them). One of the activities I did was to hop onto a section of single track (sometimes mapped, sometimes not), ride it to somewhere and then try and figure out where I was on the map by the end. Seemed to work okay. Loads of MTBers out there and not just on the nicely groomed tracks - I was encountering them on tracks I thought no-one would ride on (including one rooty, windy piece of shit that I really enjoyed but was *very* slow).
Also managed to find a heck of a lot of bridle trails and they're not the easiest surface to ride on given they're mainly sand that has been chopped up by clipetty clops. Seriously, if this forest isn't mapped for MTBO then the Danes have far too much forest. Shame that WMTBOC next year is over the other side of Denmark but then I probably would have breached some kind of embargo if they were using these forests.
Calf was sore earlier in the day (hence the decision to not run at the model event) and still a bit sore now but I've offset that with tired quads.
Orienteering (bush) race (Tisvilde Hegn) 43:58  *** 6.91 km (6:22 / km) +74m6:02 / km spiked:19/24c shoes: Salomon Speedtrax black/yellow
WMOC 40A Middle Final (& long qualifier)
Second starter given my scrape into the final in yesterday's event and I started off great guns. Had probably one of my best middle distance runs in history up until the second control out of the spectator run through. I almost couldn't do a thing wrong but then I started to have small misses, in the light green at 13 (followed a woman to the incorrect control, almost knowing that it wasn't mine), missed the narrow ride directly into 17 (thought the elephant track I was following was it), ever so slightly left on 19, wrong side of the thicket on 20 and an absolute disgrace at the second last, which I knew was along the edge of the light green but my brain saw all the old people running to the top of the hill (where there was clearly a control) and figuring we'd all have the same run in, I ran there too. I had completely forgotten that the B-E courses had a different last control to the As so I punched it like a dummy then ran down the hill to my correct control (where there were of course Aussies taking photos).
Managed to scrape through once more to the long A final on Friday - although this time as second last qualifier - but with all the B finalists being promoted, that means they'll all start in front of me (I assume). It was almost a disaster too with the 25% rule for M40 - my time was five minutes clear of the 15th placed person in the B final (roughly 49 minutes), all 15 of which get promoted to the A final (bottom 15 in the A get relegated to B) so if I'd had someone with a worse time in the B (which was 700m shorter) promoted ahead of me, there'd have been tears (mostly directed at Blair). Fortunately didn't come to that.
Quite annoyed also that there were no M40A maps left at the arena (they were boxed at the finish), meaning there was someone(s) at the event who felt they needed my course map more than I did even though he or she didn't run that particular course. Thankfully snagged a nice fresh one at the EC.
Another ride around another lake (they seem to have an endless supply here) using the Farum map once more to find all the trails. Put a new chain in yesterday to attempt to get rid of the noise that it was making but I think it may be the bottom bracket (again), which I just had serviced and replaced right before this trip. My saddle bag has also fallen to bits so now I have to carry all my tools and spares in my back pocket, yay.
Copped more stinging nettle to the legs this time (got it on the arm on Monday) so that was fun. Legs were a bit tired to bother doing anything energetic.
Orienteering (bush) race (Tisvilde Hegn) 1:15:17*** 10.85 km (6:56 / km) +144m6:30 / km ahr:152 max:185 spiked:16/21c shoes: Salomon Speedtrax black/yellow
WMOC 40-2 Forest Qualifier
A fun day in the forest. I loved running out there (when my knee allowed me to - I wrapped it up in strapping tape before going out and that seemed to hold the patella in place). Made a meal of the 1st and for that I took 'safe' track options to the 2nd and 3rd (split printout showed I made errors at 1, 2, 3 & 16 although 2 & 3 were just because I took long options). After that I figured the 'safe' options were going to take far too long so I went bush and it wasn't terrible. There were a couple of CPs where I thought I was too far over then stumbled across the control. Must just be my brilliant navigating! Unfortunately after those I started drifting right and I lost over 3 minutes on #16 alone after having three attempts at it (unfortunately the three places in front of me were <1min).
Not sure yet if I qualified for the A final tomorrow because at this stage (5.5hrs after I've run), the "live" results seem to have reverted to five hours ago but upon leaving the arena I was borderline.
We found at when we got on the 7:30 bus this morning that an 8:30 bus had been added but we were already getting on so no point waiting for the later one (plus there turned out to be major traffic issues getting into the arena later with a lot of late starts, which could screw around with my result if they're upheld). Now reading the email that came out at 8:30 last night, it seems they scrapped both the 9:30 and 10:30 buses so luckily we went for the early option!
Coming back was a load of fun. Tash and I just missed out on getting the first bus (there were two people in front of us that missed it, then us and then no-one else) but somehow between that one and the next one ten minutes later, a major crowd formed and by the time the second one arrived, we got crowded out and somehow missed that one too! Some rude Russian woman on the bus somehow managed to get her friends further back in the line onto that bus. One of them copped a ball of strapping tape to the head for her troubles (she did not appreciate that but she can get stuffed). No wonder the Russians got banned from the sprint at JWOC today (and from the Olympics, international athletics...) with attitudes like that.
As per usual another great forest for MTBO. Great mixture of forestry roads, crap 'narrow rides', a bit of sand and a "lot" of actual MTB single track (the forest is closed for MTBers today and tomorrow). Would love to get the bike out there before the end of the week but not feasible given the distance from our accomms and our lack of appropriate transport. I will have to make sure to attend the next W(M)MTBOC in Denmark.
 Just scraped in with the last qualifying spot in the A final. Obviously I pushed myself too hard to qualify for the sprint earlier in the competition so this time I thought I wouldn't expend too much energy in the process! In fact I could have dropped another 3+ minutes out there.
Orienteering (bush) (Tisvilde Hegn) 51:34  *** 4.18 km (12:20 / km) +63m11:28 / km spiked:11/13c shoes: Salomon Fellraiser black/blue
WMOC forest model event
Knee wasn't feeling overly spectacular so I walked the suggested course investigating the mapping. I think I may be best avoiding the green tomorrow and maybe even the white if it can be helped. Light green seemed to vary from open to slow whereas the other two greens were best avoided completely and I wouldn't even bother trying to find the narrow rides.
Didn't have any major dramas other than going off course and then heading the wrong way down a track to 3 although I figured that out quickly then I got distracted by an old guy on the way to the final control who looked like he had no idea what he was doing but I headed for him anyway and turns out my initial assumption was correct so I missed it by a good 50m.
Knee felt awful for the whole thing so will have to tape it tomorrow and hope for the best, which at this rate won't be much. Seems the past two days it held out just long enough to get me through the sprints.
Went to the nearby tourist trap kiosk afterwards looking for ice cream but decided that $7 for an ice cream scoop or $8 for a milkshake was excessive even by holiday standards (especially after yesterday's daylight shakedown at the cafe... where the woman had never even made an iced chocolate before we came along!) Walked into town and bought a packet of 6 Mars Bar ice creams for the equivalent of about $5 instead. Win.
The buses for the events haven't been overly kind to us. Yesterday's last bus from the EC got us to the sprint final at three hours before my start (and sitting around on the concrete slabs for two hours wasn't the greatest motivator). Tomorrow's first bus will get me there more than two hours before my start but the second bus isn't until two hours later and will be too close to leave it to chance so looks like we're getting there early. The third (and final) bus is at 10:30 and with last starts at 12:20 (it's a 45 minute trip), I'm not entirely sure how many people will be opting for that one.
Decided I should probably go for a ride given how early we got back from the model event so took off around the big lake (after first putting sealant in my rear tyre given it was almost completely flat, not sure how or why as I'm pretty sure I filled it in NZ back in April). Didn't have a map around that one for all of it so went out without one and tried to find as many trails as I could. There is an actual "MTB rute" (more like MTB root with all the trees) along the south side although it's difficult to follow as the signs only seem to appear intermittently with double the number of 'no bike' signs along the way so it was hard to know where I was and wasn't allowed to go (I ended up ignoring those). Hit several dead ends and rode back on myself on more than one occasion.
The lake seemed more irregularly shaped that I thought and after almost two hours I was beginning to question exactly where I was and how long it was going to take to get back when I checked my Garmin breadcrumb trace to realise I was less than a kilometre from the Arena and even on the right road to get there, amazing!
Twinged the right knee when I was looking for the anti-inflammatory tablets after dinner and that was a lot of fun so should be a laugh tomorrow.