Last Sunday really was a day to remember...everything I'd been missing all my life...MTB orienteering! God, I love it!
When Dave (the bf) came across the British Mountain Bike orienteering website I was a little ridiculously excited, I'd been pestering about geocaching for a while but busy lives often means there just isn't time to go mtbing and geocaching...time being at a premium, mtbing has to take precedence. So you see, this just has the bloody lot as far as I'm concerned, competitive orienteering and mtbiking - lemme at 'em!
First of all we had to join BMBO - British Mountain Bike Orienteering, for the bargain sum of £6/an (and if you grumble at that then you're tighter than, well...me)! Once you've got you're membership sorted you can register for events.
Being on the doorstep to the Peaks our obvious go-to choice was Dark and White. Dark and White Challenge Events organize a weekly summer league (which, alas, we missed) and a winter league running from October to March (which we were just in time for the start of...yay), held all over the Peak district. Their winter season consists of 6 events across the 6months, each 3hrs long. The aim is to navigate your way around as many checkpoints on the map provided as possible, there is an appendix on the reverse-side of the map which describes the physical positioning of each checkpoint so you know where to be looking, eg; finger point at wooden style. Your progress is recorded by electronic dibber attached to your wrist. Different check points are worth different points, ergo the point of the exercise is to allot as many points in the given time as possible.
My lovely assistant, Dave, demonstrates the 'dibber'
If you are not back at the finish point within 3hrs you begin to lose points; roughly, so many per minute but once you go past 30 minutes over you lose the lot! Dave and I defo fluked it this time...coming in with 2 minutes to spare!
Wrap up well and expect to get dirty....very dirty!
Sunday's event was at Hayfield...what could be better than romping about all over t' hills 'n dales of t' Peaks? Bloody nowt! We even ran into Nick Craig, fresh on his return from the tropical climate of the Langkawi Mountain Bike Challenge, no pause for thought for this guy...he went straight from that into this, and boy did he shift! Chapeau to the blurry fella speeding past with a cheery hello - what a guy!
Everyone involved seemed to have a great day, I would certainly recommend it to anyone that loves to xc mtbike. The cherry on the cake for me, however, came a couple of days later when the results came in and we received an email informing us that we actually placed 2nd in our group...I had to laugh, though - there were only 2 teams in our group! Ah well; we'll get 'em next time!