SMBO – Pentlands
I’m a little late with this one … other training and life keep getting in the way!
The first event in the summer SMBO (Scottish Mountain Bike Orienteering) 3h series was last weekend. Just like last year, the weather was lovely and sunny! I had helped out a bit with the map, but not much, so I was allowed out to compete in the ‘generation category’ with my favourite cycling 10 year old.
The day started with a logistical hiccough – which meant that Iain had to cycle all the way to the event centre in Balerno. For those that don’t know Edinburgh, this is 12.5km uphill from where he lives. We helped him along a bit with some gentle pushing, so that he wouldn’t be exhausted before we even started!
Last year he rode with his dad, who insisted he should do it all himself – and that I should do the same this year. Sometimes it was hard to resist, but I tried to keep my ‘help’ to open questioning, gentle suggestions and handing out of sandwiches 🙂
This applied before the start:
“Think about making a loop”
“Look at the contours”
“What will you do if we start running out of time?”
“What difference will the control values make?”
“Is there anything to look out for that will tell you we are nearly there?”
“How far do you think it is?”
“Which way at the next junction?”
And at the very end:
“Are you really sure you don’t want to go up that big hill for just one more control?!”
Luckily, Iain had been warned about this one before the start and insisted NO – just as well, as we only got back with 4 minutes to spare! 😀
I was very proud of him as he was doing a good job of the map reading and navigating, his technical biking skills are improving nicely and his fitness and stamina are really beginning to develop.
The generation class can be a funny one. There are 7 year olds competing against 15 year olds and kids who just ride competing against kids who plan their own strategy and read the map. But it is all about encouraging new people into the sport, and the good news is, numbers are going up – there were 7 in the class at this event. Hopefully they will all come back again another time!
Iain came 4th – and only just missed out on a podium spot by a few points. Not to worry, a fun time was had and he also managed to beat one or two adult teams. The proof of success was that he asked if he could go out biking again the next weekend.
Luckily, I was able to wangle this into my training plan. On the hottest day of the year so far, we did a fantastic proper hilly loop from his house, going up higher than last week and taking in some much more technical trails. He’s a star! This is my long term plan in the making – watch out for us taking the mixed pairs by storm in a few years’ time!