Rotorua, New Zealand’s mountain biking mecca, is hosting the 2016 New Zealand Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships.
Orienteering Bay of Plenty (OBOP) will be using two new maps, and one relatively unused area, for the Sprint, Middle and Long (Classic) events. The Sprint map will use the new Tihiotonga-Waiariki map, providing park like and intricate riding around buildings. Tui Ridge will deliver extensive route choice challenges for the Middle, and the weekend will be rounded out with the Classic at Cougar Park, Tokoroa. The overall event controller, Pete Swanson, believes Cougar Park,with it’s superb trails and outstanding event centre will become one of NZ’s preeminent MTBO maps.
But it’s not just the three championship events which should appeal to MTB orienteers and mountain bikers. Whakarewarewa Forest and the Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park have recently been awarded a Gold Ranking and have to be explored. Rainbow Mountain, Craters of the Moon (Taupo), W2K and K2K Trails (Taupo), the Moerangi Track Ride, and the Motu Trails including the Pakihi Track, are all within easy striking distance of Rotorua.
Fun training and adventure rides can be supplemented with the North Island MTBO Champs being hosted by North West Orienteering the weekend before (12-13 November), and the Huka Challenge, which is part of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, the Saturday after (26 November). Easy to string together a week or two of great mountain biking!
OBOP is also really excited to be using its new SPORTident Air timing system for the championship events. We believe it’s the first time contactless punching has been used for a MTBO event in NZ, which will be a great experience for all competitors. There is a warm-up mini-sprints event in Whaka Forest the Friday night before the main champs events so that people can get used to the new system, and hone their MTB navigation skills.
Three championship events on new maps, with lots of other great areas and riding on offer – “Be Rude Not To” in the words of the name of one of Whakarewarewa Forest’s most enduring and famous trails! All the info can be found on the website.