New appeared sports are spreading with high speed during last 2 decades. One of them is Mountain Bike Orienteering. It is not surprising that the interest of people towards this sport increases day by day. We can state that the number of athletes taking part in Mountain Bike Orienteering tournaments is quite high.
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Even though being a new sport, mountain bike orienteering dates back to 1980s, when it was considered to be an active outdoor sport. Competitions were held in places where mountain bike orienteering was popular and only a few representatives from some countries took part in.
In this context, the last decade is very significant. Because the interest and number of representatives of mountain bike orienteering grows. And as a result many countries send applications for participation in World Championships in Mountain Bike Orienteering. The main body which is responsible for organizing MTB competitions is International Orienteering Federation. This construction is recognized and authorized by International Olympic Committee.
Comparing with other types of orienteering, mountain bike orienteering is very difficult. A person who goes in for this sport should have appropriate skills and preparations.
If you are new to this sport, there are several important points that you should be aware of.
- Physical strength of the athlete and readiness is of great importance.
- Ability to read the map is the pledge of victory for each athlete who takes part in MTB competitions. Besides, it is permitted to fix the map to the bike in order to follow it during riding.
- The athlete should be able to choose between mountainous paths in order to avoid the sharp slopes of mountains.
- Solid mountain bikes should be used in order to overcome the road difficulties easily.
- Participants in MTB orienteering tournaments should wear helmets. It is obligatory.
- Competitors are allowed to wear a compass to their arms.
- Athletes can carry drinks with them too.
- In order to solve the problems connected with bike, participants are permitted to take tools with them. But they are not allowed to receive help during repairing process.
Above mentioned features are very important if you want to go in for this sport. Anyhow, everyone should remember that this is not an easy sport and additional courses and knowledge should be acquired beforehand. Security is also very important, because mountainous slopes with abrupt ups and downs are very dangerous.
Mountain bike orienteering organizers mark the path which athletes should pass through and follow during competitions. And there are only few countries that permit participants to leave the marked path. These restrictions are performed for athletes’ safety and security.
For realization of mountain MTB orienteering competitions more than 40 square km. territory is required with various uneven surroundings. In order to mark the territory the organizers usually choose areas with pine trees because such territories suggest vast options for the athletes to decide the path they want to take and ride smoothly with less climbs.