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gps_mtb_trail_nav

Checkpoint map from a recent trail nav competition. Courtesy trailbreak.co.uk.

We wrote about mountain bike orienteering a couple years ago and noted that it was a mostly UK phenomenon involving navigating a course using just a map and compass. Trail Break, a UK-based mountain bike event promotion company, has updated the concept with a new GPS-friendly race format called “Navigator Dual.”

Here’s how it works: riders download a GPX file with numbered checkpoints onto their GPS device. In Stage 1 of the race, riders have to visit each of 8 numbered checkpoints in order, #1-8. After checkpoint 8, riders try to hit as many of the remaining 20 checkpoints in any order they wish – just as long as they get to the finish before time is up. It’s not clear how long the overall race is but riders must hit the first 8 within 3.5 hours. Most checkpoints / shortest time wins.

This definitely sounds like an interesting idea and one we may see here in the US as more and more mountain bikers begin using GPS on the trail. Forget MTB Geocaching – Navigator Dual is the next big thing in MTB GPS!

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