Info for Mountain Bike Orienteers

Mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) is, as the name suggests, an orienteering sport performed on mountain bikes. Unlike in foot orienteering, MTBO competitors aren't typically permitted to leave the trail and track network. This makes the navigational tactics in MTBO similar to those of ski orienteering, where the major focus is route choice while racing at high speed.

The sport attracts both orienteering and mountain bike enthusiasts. The most important orienteering skills needed are route choice and map memory. Extremely good bike handling and the ability to cope with steep slopes are an absolute must.

Mountain bike orienteering is the newest of the four orienteering disciplines administered by the International Orienteering Federation. It started in the late 1980s at club level in countries where mountain biking was a popular outdoor sport. By 1997, national championships were being organized 12 countries. As of 2009, the count was up to 58 countries. There is now an MTBO World Championships organized every year. At the 2012 event, in Veszprém, Hungary, there were national teams from 31 countries.
MTBO Barnstorming Tour
Will Span the USA
Magnus Wallenborg, SWEJuly 25, 2014 — Thanks to a grant from the IOF and national support, Magnus Wallenborg, a member of the IOF MTBO Commission, will tour the USA this September to promote mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) at events hosted by Orienteering USA clubs on both coasts (detailed here). He will also give presentations at several venues favored by MTBO Team USA members as he crosses the country checking out US MTBO terrain as well. If you have a suggestion for a great place to ride or an idea to help promote the sport, then send an e-mail to MTBO Coordinator, Greg Lennon at greg_lennon [at] OrienteeringUSA [dot] org.

Organizing an Event

To learn about organizing an MTBO event, check the following links:
 Ingrid Stengård, Finland (Photo by Paula Lehtomäki)
Ingrid Stengård, Finland
(Photo by Paula Lehtomäki)

Online Map Memory Training

The Catching Features web site has a Ski Orienteering Simulator that is beneficial as a map memory training aid for MTB orienteers.


2015 Orienteering USA
July 26, 2014 — Greg Lennon, MTBO Team Executive Steering Committee Chair, has just announced that he is now accepting applications for the 2015 Orienteering USA MTBO Team which will compete at the 13th annual World MTBO Championships, August 15-23, 2015, in Liberec, Czech Republic. If you would like to apply, please send an e-mail to Greg at greg_lennon [at] OrienteeringUSA [dot] org.

Contact: Robert Buraczynski (rburaczynski [at] localnet [dot] com)last updated 12 August 2014