The Rules of Cycling Biathlon Are Shorter Than You Think | Western Colorado
I was intrigued a few weeks ago reading Dennis Webb’s report on the Cameo Rifle Range and that the facility was working on a plan to enable a mountain bike biathlon.
I was even more excited when a Google search for sports returned surprisingly few results.
What does sport look like? Can you do it on a unicycle or one of those old school bikes with the giant tire? Does your rifle go on its back or in some kind of scabbard like you would on a horse? So many questions!
Mountain biking biathlon is a summer variation of the sport that the Scandinavians invented to fend off Napoleon’s army, trolls, or something like that.
The original blend of cross-country skiing and target shooting dates back centuries. One of the first official clubs formed in Norway in 1861 and was called Trysil Skytte-og Skiløberforening, which in English translates to something that probably involves fewer letters.
I started researching the sport because after reading that it might be coming to Mesa County soon, I knew I should try it. The internet returned information about a mountain bike biathlon race in Montana, but no rules or instructions, and a few other event pages but little about what the sport involved.
I finally came across a pdf of Biathlon Canada’s 2009 Guidelines for Mountain Bike Biathlon.
Let’s take a pic and see what we are in this business, or at least what we would do if we played by Saskatoon house rules:
not DEFINITION 3.1.1 Mountain biking Biathlon is a summer sport combining mountain biking and small caliber rifle shooting.
3.6.2 Course Minimum of two loops made up of varied terrain. Trails should be “non-technical” in nature, cleared of trees, debris, large rocks and obstacles.
Can’t imagine there are too many big boulders in De Beque Canyon.
Any dangerous rocks or roots should be well marked with fluorescent spray paint. Trails at mountain biking facilities or downhill ski resorts should not be used.
Good news for the residents of Little Park Road who fear there will one day be a Tabeguache Trail Invitational.
Before the start and after the finish, the equipment and clothing will be inspected by the international referees of the IBU and the UCI.
I can’t wait to show them how I matched my neon pedals to the laces of my shoes.
After placing the bike in the holder provided …
In this universe or another, there is someone who has tried – or will one day try – to steal an unlocked bike at a biathlon competition while the owner was firing a rifle in the opposite direction. I don’t know why I’m sure, but I am.
… the competitor will retrieve his rifle from the support …
Ah, crazy. There is an answer we were looking for. Granted, this is the safest option, but I mourn a dream of driving specs while carrying a Schmidt-Rubin on my back that is taller than most fifth graders.
… place the rifle on its back in the transport position, go to the appropriate firing lane (lying or standing), fire five rounds, place the rifle on its back in the transport position, put the rifle back on the holder and race on his mountain bike. For each missed target, the athlete must complete a penalty loop.
So far, we haven’t found anything that prevents the use of a penny-farthing bicycle. I am sure this trend will continue.
Standard mountain bike (no road bikes or cyclocross bikes).
Does not explicitly prohibit penny-farthings.
Bicycles must be equipped with front and rear brakes in good working order.
I think we still have a case.
The size of the bicycle tires should be at least 26 x 1.5 – 2.35 wide and have a rubber tread.
It’s a slim, standard mountain bike. I wonder if our neighbors in the province have any other advice.
Mountain Bike Training: If you are planning to participate in the sport of mountain biking, you are encouraged to join your local bike club and become a member of the Canadian Cycling Association.
Oh, well that part seems friendly.
Tom Hesse is the city’s editor at the Daily Sentinel.