October 20, 2014
Saturday 6 p.m.
Just back from Albion Hills - final update for today:
- The race course looks spectacular - autumn colours overhead and autumn colours on the trails too. It might be hard to see some of the trails for this reason, and the wet leaves will add an extra element of fun. It's gorgeous though. And chilly. I was toasty while I was moving but be sure to bring warm clothes to change into afterward. There are large heated indoor washrooms so you don't have to do acrobatics inside your car to change. I'm not sure if the hot water is turned on but there are showers.
Important: Your race entry fee includes the park entry fee for Albion Hills so racers do not need to stop at the park gate. If you are accompanied by any non-racers aged 15+, they will need to pay $6.50 in cash at the self-serve station at the park entrance - or $5.50 if they are 60+. Thanks for supporting the park!
- Response to a question: The Novice Short course is designed to allow you to avoid the more technical trails at Albion Hills. Riders with basic mountain biking skills should be fine on the Novice Short course, as long as they don't stray too far off course. The Regular Long and Novice Long courses are for riders with intermediate mountain biking skills or better.
- A few of us are planning to have a late lunch at Caruso's Gourmet Pizza, 212 Queen St. South, Bolton. They're on the west side of Hwy 50, south of the Albion-Bolton Community Centre. This is just south of the big valley as you drive through Bolton. If everyone gets out of the woods on time and a few racers pitch in to pick up controls (most easily done on foot with a car), even the organizers should get their lunch at a decent hour! The restaurant is closing for a private party later in the afternoon. The sign says they close at 2 p.m. but the owner has invited mountain bike orienteers to eat in the front part of the restaurant until 3:30 p.m. They have pasta and a few other meals if you're not in a pizza mood. Come out and share your stories.
Saturday 11 a.m.
I may post a few more updates here today if I continue to receive questions that may interest everyone. Here are a couple from this morning:
- Bike computers are legal but not necessary. The course setter's bike computer has a dead battery and she didn't miss it.
- One racer was unable to click the link in the pre-race e-mail to see the sample orienteering map. Be sure the entire link is highlighted. If your e-mail program doesn't do that, just copy and paste the full link (finishing with "jpg") into your browser. Don't worry about the purple control description table on the right side. We will give you English descriptions for each control number, e.g. "Trail Junction", "Trail High Point".
Friday midnight: Some updates below:
- Details on how to find the meeting location
- A new piece of mandatory gear: either a whistle or a cell phone in case of emergency
If you did not receive the pre-race e-mail, please write Barb at Barb@Orienteeringontario.ca
If you are under 18 years old and will not be arriving at the race with your parent or guardian, please write us on Saturday to obtain your waiver by e-mail so you can get it signed in advance.
See the Albion Hills Trails as you've never seen them before!
We are excited to present the inaugural Star Tracks Mountain Bike Orienteering Race at Albion Hills Conservation Area. This is a rare opportunity for Ontario riders to try this sport, which is popular in Europe and Down Under. MTB-O is an exciting mix of mountain biking and navigation. If you can read a trail map and have at least intermediate mountain biking skills, you are ready to try MTB-O. Canada has never been represented at the World MTB-O Championships. Will we discover a future superstar?
How does Mountain Bike Orienteering work?
At the start, each competitor will receive a map showing places in the Albion Hills trail system where flags are located (controls). Riders will visit these controls in numerical order, trying to choose the best route to visit them all as quickly as possible. Control flags are placed along trails - at bends, junctions and other obvious features. It will help if you can tell the difference between a hilly trail (lots of contour lines) vs. a flat trail, but if you can read a trail map, you can do MTB-O. So this is the perfect event for adventurous types who know how to mountain bike but are less experienced with map navigation.
Riders may travel on trails, roads, parking lots or open areas and must use only the race map provided and (optionally, if desired) a compass to navigate. Bushwhacking is not permitted. For further basic information about Mountain Bike Orienteering check out the linked Wikipedia page.
We will be using the electronic SportIdent (SI) timing system to record racers' visits to each control. We can lend you an SI timing chip if you don't own one. A time trial format will be used, where racers will be started individually. This allows you to choose your own route.
- Mountain Bike
- Watch or other Timing device (to ensure that you return within the time limit)
- SI Timing Chip (loan available, fee charged if it is lost)
- Map, provided on race day
- Whistle or Cell Phone (in case you run into trouble)
- Map holder. Experienced mountain bike orienteers often use a specialized bike map holder. You don't need one to race but please come prepared with some plan for carrying your map. Some people stick the map in their jersey pocket and pull it out to look at it. Others attach their map to their handlebars, attach a clipboard to their handlebars, pin the plastic map bag to their clothing, or tuck the map bag under the bottom of their bike shorts or down their jersey. It's up to you but test your idea and be sure to ride safely.
- Compass: You don't need one but it might be helpful at some point to figure out which way is up on your map.
- Bike Computer - Legal but not required.
- Water or food. There will not be water or food on the race course but refreshments will be provided at the finish.
We are offering three courses that racers will choose from during registration. All courses start and finish at the Albion Hills Chalet.
- Novice (short, 30-60 minutes) - This course is intended for those who have basic trail riding and trail map navigation skills.
- Novice (long, 75-120 minutes) - This course is intended for intermediate to strong mountain bikers, who have basic trail map navigation skills.
- Regular (75-120 minutes) - This course is intended for intermediate to strong bikers and navigators.
Participants with intermediate skills should be comfortable with riding safely (or occasionally getting off to walk) on trails with roots, logs, rocks, mud, wash-outs, steep slopes, drop-offs, forest debris and other typical trail hazards.
Although most riding will be on trails or grass, all courses will include some park roads where riders may encounter occasional vehicles and must adhere to traffic rules. Parents, please accompany your children on the race course if you have concerns.
All participants will need to sign a waiver on race day. Parent or guardian signature is required for participants under age 18.
- Kids under 15 (Novice short course only)
- Junior under 21 (younger kids can enter this category if they're good riders)
- Open Male
- Open Female
- Masters Male (45+)
- Masters Female (45+)
Albion Hills, 1:10,000
Many thanks to the Ukrainian Club for allowing us to use their map. This is a standard orienteering map that does not include special symbols used in international mountain bike orienteering.
Race Day Schedule
9:15 - 9:45 a.m. Registration outside Albion Hills Chalet (Washrooms will be open.)
9:55 a.m. Pre-race briefing outside Chalet
10:00 a.m. First rider starts. Riders will be started individually at timed intervals.
Riders must return to the Chalet within 2 hours, whether or not they have finished the course. Please check in so we know you got back safely, and stick around to share stories and post-race snacks!
Directions to Meeting Location
Meet on the lawn outside the Albion Hills Conservation Area Chalet: Turn west off Hwy 50 into Albion Hills. Take the first left at the "Chalet" sign. Drive past the campground store, cross the Humber River, then take the right fork toward the Chalet parking lot. We will fill the closest parking lot quickly but there is more parking nearby.
Race entry fee includes Albion Hills park entrance fee so riders do not need to pay at the gate. You're welcome to stay and ride all day!
To Sept. 29
Sept. 29 to Oct. 17
Race day fee
only 10 extra maps
|Kids (under 15)||$15||$20||$25|
|Junior (under 21)||$20||$25||$30|
|Adult ( Stars Members)||$20||$25||$30|
(2 parents and children)
Contact Barb at Barb@OrienteeringOntario.ca.