A great write up from our club captain Cipo from the recent Chiltern Compass…..
”This sunday myself and Gareth Batson entered the Chiltern Compass .
The event is pretty much orienteering on and off road on a bike where you follow a map and select the checkpoints with points ( some have high points and some low ) and choose the route you take to get these points .
The aim of the event is for you to accumulate as many points as possible in 3 hrs ( there are electronic dibbers at all the checkpoints ) .
It was the first time I had ever entered an event like this ( same for Gareth ) and with us being total rookies there was no pressure! We can both read maps well but basic knowledge is enough to get you started .
After signing on and dibbing in, the HWCC chaps were on their way ( myself and Gareth). The checkpoints we selected were all easy 10 or 20 pointers – Easy isn’t always easy as off road conditions were rather challenging ( recent downpours meant muddy tracks and deep deep puddles).
Myself and Gareth knew some of the tracks we ride but discovering new lanes / tracks and routes was enlightening and fun .
You have 3 hours to dibb as many checkpoints as you can .
Before we knew it we were smashing though as many cut throughs and lanes as we could . One track we came down would have been beautifully dry and fast a week ago however not this day . We rode though several long deep puddles that covered out shoes and went up and over our disc brake discs ( on the wheels ) leaving us covered in all kinds of muck and water . This was fun and certainly developed bike handling skills .
As we ticked off the check points, the realisation of time and planning checkpoints based on score would have reaped us a better time for points ratio .
It gradually dawned on us that we had 30 minutes to get back to the hall and finish within the 3 hour time slot – we quickly bagged the last checkpoint and hit the quickest way back . The fastest and most efficient way back was on the road so we hammered it along the road to longwick from aston rowant like a pair of time trial testers .
We passed guys on road bikes several times and I missed a PB on a segment by seconds . As we passed through Chinnor we hit traffic, then it was through and off all the way to longwick ( the finish point ), Gareth and I just banging away at the pedals chewing the stem, heart beats at threshold and vision starting to darken .
We had 5 mins left as we pulled into Longwick and we glided to the hall Dibbing at the finish, tongues hanging out and vision starting to come back .
Wow what a morning.
To my mind Cyclosross and MTB orienteering events like this are the future –
Low traffic – personal goals and in this case teamwork make for great enjoyment and a safe riding .
Massive thanks for Richard Wise for organising the event and MTB BMO for organising/governing such events – they are a revelation
Also – the food at the end was huge – great coffee and tea also
More please ”
Get involved everyone!