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Get Lost Racing (GLR), hosted by Kyle M. Bondo, founder of and host of the Merchants of Dirt Podcast, will help you Master the Endurance Sports that make up Off-Road Racing by teaching you what they are, how they work, and what makes them great -- one discipline at a time!

May 14, 2017

Trek and Trail 6: Mountain Bike Orienteering

Get lost in the endurance sport of Mountain Bike Orienteering (MTBO) by learning how it works, what gear you need, and where you can race it.

What the heck is Mountain Bike Orienteering?

The sport of mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) is a mountain bike race where riders use a map and compass to navigate the course by finding orange/white flags (controls or checkpoints) in the correct order.

The goal of any MTBO racer is to be the fastest rider to find all of the controls (in the correct order) faster than anyone else. If you do that, you win! Unlike a typical mountain bike cross-country (XC) race that requires you stay with a lead pack, MTBO riders can be all over the course with no one knowing how far or near they are to first place.

Adding to the mental challenge of having to read a map, paying attention to which trail is which, and making good route choices is what makes MTBO both physically and intellectually satisfying. MTBO is more than just a being a good mountain bike rider; it also requires you to be a good thinker and decision maker.

Map reading, navigation, and quick decisions can actually make you faster on an MTBO course than a rider who is in better shape than you. However, when you mix natural speed (based on a good physical foundation) with excellent navigation skills, you create an athlete that is both fast and smart.

This is why MTBO America’s slogan is Fast brains make fast bikes!

Episode Highlights

  • MTBO Introduction
  • How it Works
  • Types of Races
  • Equipment Used
  • Where is it Raced

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Outdoor Reckoneering Links

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