A New Mtb Challenge For Keen Bikers




Rotorua MTBers enjoy adding different elements to their riding.  MTB Rogaining has provided some of Rotorua’s top riders and other bikers with a new challenge, combining speed and strategy.  For those keen to give it a go, the Rotorua MTB Rogaine Series is an ideal way to experience the buzz of trying to navigate at speed.

With a Rogaine (not Regaine which it sometimes gets confused with!) competitors get a map with lots of different checkpoints on it.  They then need to plan a course that enables them to visit the most checkpoints they can in the time allowed.  The checkpoints are worth different points and the person with the most points wins.  Foot rogaining is the most common, as done for the TaraweraUltra Rogaine Challenge, but Rotorua’s trail network is also superb for MTB rogaining.

There is quite a lot of strategy involved in a rogaine and the fastest rider doesn’t necessarily win.  Past events have seen some great competition between locals, such as Garth Weinberg (single speed extraodinaire) and Mark (Cabin) Leishman, and more experienced MTBOers.  Yes speed helps, but good route choices in stringing different checkpoints together is just as important.

Garth Weinberg has really enjoyed previous MTB rogaine events.  “I find that it is a great way of testing yourself, especially the Rotorua [events] because you think that you know your local forest very well but the rogaine is a true indicator of ones intimacy with the trails.  Being fast is handy, but making a silly navigational mistake can cost you dearly.  Be fast, but be smart.  Take it as serious as you want or just enjoy it with your family.”

MTB Rogaining is fun for riders of all abilities as competitors can choose a course that works for them, and try to get round it in the time allowed.  Usually some changes have to be made en route because they are doing better, or worse, than expected.  You can do the event as a team – sometimes two (or more) brains are better than one.  You also don’t have to go out for the full 90 minutes.

OBOP (Orienteering Bay of Plenty) is putting on the Rotorua MTB Rogaine Series as a way for local riders to give the sport a go.  Pre-entries are encouraged but not essential.  People who want to give the sport a go can just turn up on the Sunday morning.  All events will start and finish from the main Waipa carpark.  OBOP has some map boards for newcomers to use for free – which make it a lot easier to read the map while riding through the forest.

The first event is on Sunday February 14th, with the series being launched as part of the Rotorua Bike Festival.  There are also two other events on future Sundays.  And for those that are keen this will be a great build up to the NZ MTB Orienteering Champs which OBOP is hosting in November 2016.  For more info on the series check out www.obop.org.nz.