MTBO Rossendale Quarries, Bacup, Jun 24 2018


Date of event: Sun 24th Jun 18
Type of event: Other
Nearest town: Bacup, Lancashire


Simple results for MTBO and Novice courses.
MTBO Splits
Novice splis

Event Report from the Planner (and prime mover in putting on this event):

I hope everybody enjoyed their tour of the quarries, the weather certainly helped. I think it's a great area for MTBO with the combination of contour features, paths everywhere and the grass offering reasonable off-track riding. It's certainly tough riding and tough navigation though so I hope you relished the challenge presented and didn't feel it was too hard.

My estimate of winning time was a fair way out, so sorry to anybody who ended up out of drink or misjudged their effort. My test ride was 65 mins and not 100% effort so I guessed at 50-55 but I guess in hindsight knowing the area and route choices makes it a lot easier in such terrain.

Also apologies for the string of control problems 24-26. 24 was misplaced but in a place which would've been easy to see on the way in so if you had problems it was likely to be on the way to 25. But then 25 and 26 were swapped over so maybe those finding 25 correctly and seeing it was 26 were even more confused. Without control hanging help I couldn't have put them all out myself on the morning and unfortunately we had no spare manpower for a controller to check control hanging. Ideally we should be following the foot orienteering model here with taping sites and agreement with the controller in advance about sites, but we need more competitors to justify that. But apologies to anybody affected here. A quick check of the splits times shows some time losses in here although without chatting to all of you I don't know if these were caused by this or mechanicals or other navigation issues. Nobody changed places after 23 although of course that's not to say you wouldn't have without these issues.

It's a shame not to have had more competitors entering. Of course any event in June is likely to have lots of clashes but this area is very exposed and you (and I) don't want to be up there in bad weather. Hopefully the event will kick start MTBO in the UK as we're terribly short of events and competitors.

Many thanks to PFO for their continued support of MTBO. It simply wouldn't have been possible to put this event on without their help mapping, printing, SI kit and on the day help.

Alan Hartley BMBO - planner.

PFO Organisers Comments:

This was always going to be a small event and therefore some shortcuts would have to made to ensure more manpower than justified wasn't being expended.  In the end, in addition to Alan's planning visits, PFO combined parts of 3 maps to create the composite and made one mapping visit to determine the link between Cragg and Ding and iron out some details in Ding.  Control 19 (pond) was added as part of this visit. It was not on the base map!

Gillian RW and Bridget J handled Registration, while Kevin B acted as hod carrier for Alan in control placement in Cragg & Ding. Thank you all for that support.  I placed all the controls in Lee and am responsible for the errors (124 wrong site, 125 swapped with 126).  Most competitors took this in their stride and at least one admitted that he didn't notice - "there's the control, dib, crack on".  My apologies for any confusion.

If this had been a championship or a better supported event, controller's and checkers would have done their bit.

None of this detracts from the splendid day for all.  My fondest memory of the day was on the ridge of control "120, Pond, South side" and seeing a Brocken Spectre projected into the early morning mist in the valley below.  Happy days.

I do have photographic evidence, so when I can figure out how to turn the image into a JPG I'll post it here along with others.  Images now posted.

George Crawford-Smith PFO - organiser.

Pre-event info below here:

Notes from the planner:

- An approved cycling helmet must be worn.
- Beware high unfenced crags - the tallest are outlined with a purple uncrossable boundary.
- Respect areas marked as out of bounds.
- Use CARE on the two fast descents for your own safety and that of other users.
- Give way to other users including horse riders, walkers and other cyclists.
- Be aware of illegal motorbike use in the area.
- No swimming in any ponds - danger from underwater quarry equipment.
- Ding quarry (2nd one) has some very deep puddles on the paths marked with marsh symbol.
- The start is nearly 500m above sea level - dress accordingly.
- It is recommended to take tools, spares, a first aid kit, a mobile phone and food/drink - estimated winning time 50 mins.
- Rocky paths make pinch punctures very likely.
- One-way trails not marked as one-way on map but course planned to go with the flow - be wary.
- Other competitors may be using the same track but going in the opposite direction - be wary.
- Maps are two back to back A4 i.e. four sides all 1:7500 5m contours ISOM2017 i.e. foot O map not MTBO map.
- Riding off paths is permitted, ridge tops generally better riding, rocky areas best avoided.
- SI stations are contactless for SIAC dibbers at range of 30cm BUT S/F are conventional punching.
- You must report to the finish by course close time 13:30 even if you have to cut your ride short.
- First aid available at registration/download.
- Emergency numbers are listed on the first competition map.

A route map from Registration to the Start will be provided to all competitors.  The route will not be taped. 


PFO is providing the event logistics for BMBO (British Mountain Bike Orienteering).

We have access to not only Lee and Cragg Quarries but also to Ding Quarry for a PFO hat-trick of sprint courses. Unlike in 2012 we are running this as a continuous event starting at the top and ending at the bottom.

The quarries are all long since disused and have many small scale contour features from their industrial past and with a combination of the matrix of trails and short cropped grass they are venues that can host the truest test of MTB navigation.

We are offering two courses. The "MTBO" course is for regular MTBO riders and any fit cyclist. The actual course will be about 15km (TBC) with little in the way of ascent but bear in mind the route to the start will be about 4km + 250m climb i.e. big steep hill. Allow 30+ minutes from Registration to the Start.  There will also be a "Novice" course if demand warrants it, which will be just in Lee Quarry.

Long course has 28 controls and Novice course has 9.  Therefore, all SI card types will have sufficient memory.  We will be using SIAC Air enabled controls so contactless compatible dibbers will speed up your control visits.

events location


Nearest town: Bacup, Lancashire
Grid Ref: SD863218
Postcode: OL13 0BB
Latitude: 53.69261
Longitude: -2.20839
Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)


Planner: Alan Hartley BMBO
Organiser: George Crawford-Smith PFO
Controller: N/A
Contact: General enquiries to Alan Hartley -

Info for dog owners

No dogs on courses.  This is sheep country.  Dogs are welcome in the parking area and may be walked locally under supervision.


None at Registration.
The local cafe may be open.  TBC.
Public toilets in Stubbylee Park adjacent to Futures Park.

Image Gallery

Click the image for a larger version.

Early morning over Lee Quarry, GCS

Early morning over Lee Quarry

Early morning Brocken spectre at 120, GCS

Early morning Brocken spectre at 120

Control 121 Knoll South foot, GCS

Control 121 Knoll South foot

Control 120 Pond, South edge, GCS

Control 120 Pond, South edge

Heading in to 127, GCS

Heading in to 127

Heading away from 121, GCS

Heading away from 121

Planning exit route from 121, GCS

Planning exit route from 121

Lots of activity at 126, GCS

Lots of activity at 126

Looking down on 127 and Bacup town., GCS

Looking down on 127 and Bacup town.

Action at 121, GCS

Action at 121


Please note: when entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.

Read our privacy policy to see how we look after your personal data.

Posted by George Crawford-Smith