Peel Adventure MTB-O: Race 1


Friday saw the 1st round of the Peel MTB-O series of races for 2004. It was held on a slightly chilly/dull day of typical Lakeland weather in the mighty forest of Grizedale. The numbers were up on many of the previous races due to it being before the JK and reasonably accessible to lots of people, and there was a strong contingent of regular MTB-O riders with some of the GB MTB-O team present as well!

This was my first MTB-O race, having taken up mountain biking after a long term leg injury I saw it as the ideal way to combine my 2 favourite sports. The punching system used was EMIT, with a ride-through sensor being used, you only had to be within 2m of the control for it to register, meaning not having to get off the bike and faff around.

There were 14 controls on the Open class, spread over the whole map which had been specially prepared by Dave Peel to show the ride-ability of paths and tracks. With my swanky Miry map board, reading the map wasnt a problem and with lots of other people out on the course there were plenty of targets to catch and overtake, while trying to stay on your bike at top speed.

The course was 14km straight line, but with it being much faster to cycle along the tracks this distance ended up at about 22km overall. Grizedale forest has a reasonable network of paths and tracks, but in relation to some Southern forests there was limited route choice and only a few sections of single-track. The only thing to be careful of was going down the right track at 5 way junctions!!

I was the 4th finisher and went into 1st place, and had to wait around for about 45 mins to find out that I had been knocked back to 3rd overall after a fast ride by Gary Tompsett (the organiser of the Rat Race) took the lead by 2 minutes.

I really enjoyed the race and look forward to Sherwood Pines, as there will be more navigation and route choice required, so hopefully my orienteering can beat the mountain bikers. For any orienteers who dabble in Mountain biking Id really recommend it, great fun and great training. And anyone who just fancies a slightly different type of orienteering, get on a bike and get going

Great organisation and a top prize giving with lavish prizes all round (not a mug in sight with Hogaarden for 3rd place!)

Bruce Duncan

Open - 14.2km
1st Gary Tompsett Alpine Bikes M35 69:44
2nd Steve Heading TCA M35 71:47
3rd Bruce Duncan GRAMP M21 72:45

Women's Open - 10.4km
1st Charlotte Somers-Cocks LOC W40 80:50
2nd Nicola Drummond SOC W21 87:35
3rd Carol McNeill LOC W60 88:35

Full results are available here

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