Perspectives on American MTBO

US MTBO Team in Estonia

OVIEDO, FL — MTBO America’s Executive Director Kyle Bondo had the chance to talk with Kevin Newell from Pangea Adventure Racing this month to discuss mountain bike orienteering (MTBO), the 2013 World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships (WMTBOC) coming up next week, and the future of MTBO in the United States. The article itself highlights Florida Orienteering (FLO) member and 2013 Orienteering USA MTBO Team member LTC Dave “Dash” Ashley (USAF) in an effort to advertise both MTBO and the FLO fund raiser needed to help get Ashley and the US MTBO Team to Rakvere, Estonia on August 27th, 2013.

The article titled World MTBO Championships 2013 is an excellent introduction to MTBO and illustrates what it currently takes to get American MTBO athletes into world MTBO competition. One quote from Ashley that was most telling was when he said:

“[I’m] realistic that as a newbie to this specific sport and going against the best Europe has to offer, that I’ll learn lots and be humbled.”

Approaching MTBO from the Adventure Racing side of the house, Newell points out how MTBO place in American off-road sporting culture by quoting Bondo’s thoughts on how everything fits together:

“Adventure Racing is the reason there is renewed interest in American MTBO competition in the first place. […] Adventure Racing is sort of the American version of European MTBO in some ways. We always have to add something tougher and meaner to a European sport to make it American-strong!”

Newell’s article overall does a fantastic job capturing the current challenges Orienteering USA has with MTBO development. He concludes by quoting Bondo with regards to the where the United States is currently at with MTBO development from his perspective:

“[S]upport from local clubs is where it has to begin. […] In comparison with other national orienteering teams, we are still at the pilot stage of an experimental program. […] If orienteering clubs begin to learn about MTBO, create their own events, and get Orienteering USA the tools and support to sanction MTBO A-Meets, we may begin to build the environment the United States needs to send world-level athletes to the WMTBOC.”

About Pangea Adventure Racing
Pangea Adventure Racing is the #1 producer of this multi-discipline sport in Florida producing more adventure races than any other promoter in the United States. They are not just about racing, but more about everything between navigating historic coastal waterways and cycling through the mud, to ziplining across the treetops in the moonlight. Pangea AR offers an easy crossover for mountain bikers, cyclists, runners, triathletes, water sport enthusiasts and even gym-goers looking for a little outdoor adventure. Check out the Pangea Adventure Racing website and blog to learn more!