Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Noob Nathan Winkelmann here, giving my perspective of what MTBO will be like.  WARNING: reading this will likely make you smarter-or at least feel smarter, which is basically the same thing.

Have you ever seen these types of pictures:

That's what I'm up against going into the MTBO race in Poland!  I have an array of thoughts of what to expect, and what I will look like executing the sport!
I know it involves a mountain bike, which I know how to use.  I know it involves a map, which I know how to use.  SO, MTBO should be easy!  But I'm afraid, I'll feel like I'm back in the swim pool, getting lapped by 80 year old ladies while doing my 'hard' sets.

MTBO will be using different types of maps, such as:

Trying to find points in a particular order, using the fastest paths to get to each point.  The maps are quite a bit BIGGER than I'm used to, with a 1:5000, 1:10000, 1:15000 compared to a 1:24000, so there are a lot more details, and I believe the travel to be a lot faster than I'm used to.  However, coming from the Adventure Race side of things, I try to be different and think different than the 'navigator', relying on trails and direction to get me where I'm going-not necessarily the terrain features(this gets me in trouble when the trail is NOT on the map), but I've had great success when the trail IS on the map!  The other half of the equation is the short time frame, compared to a 24hr race, I'll be navigating to a few points within a few minutes, with other competitors riding all around me(talk about second guessing yourself!)  I wonder if finding one of the top 20 competitors, the ones with GPS tracking on their arm, and just following would be a bad idea? :) Then again, I don't know every rule-and definitely need to know all the rules in order to bend them in my favor!

So, just hope Team USA puts me in a Holiday Inn Express the night before the races, at least in "MY" mind, I'll be doing awesome!  I'll report on how it ACTUALLY is, much to the dismay of "what I think I do", I'll post about "what I really do"!


  1. Is everyone from team USA on one team or pairs or solos?

  2. Nancy, everyone races individually. There is a team relay, but each rider still rides alone and comes back to tag the next person.