Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Going on a quest

By Dan Thompson
26, May, 2016

We've known the guys at Dark and White events for years and have taken part in their excellent Trailquests from the start.

We've known the guys at Dark and White events for years and have taken part in their excellent Trailquests from the start. But after a few years away from the scene an event last week proved a great oppurtunity to revisit forgotten skills.

Trailquests are basically orienteering events but on bikes, these events are held all over the country with smaller local leagues along with national and international MTBO championships.

Unnamed-3

Dark and White have run their series of events in summer and winter for several years and have always been a mix of challenging courses that are suitable for all abilities in stunning areas. Often these may be less visited parts of the Peak District or are an oppurtunity to ride and explore new trails in familiar areas.  

This was the 3rd round of the 2016 summer series and started from Darley Dale near Matlock.

The rules are pretty simple you get a map and have 2 hours (for summer events - 3 hours in winter) to collect as many checkpoints as you can within the time limit. You can ride anything you want and choose your own route between checkpoints, collecting as many or as few as you like. Each checkpoint is worth a mumber of points (usually from 10-20) so route choice is essential to doing well. Time management is also vital as any time over the 2 hour limit results in points penalties. 

Checking the master map

For this ride I had a pretty special partner - a new Sonder Camino AL prototype (codename: STEALTH) 

Stealthy

This bike is pretty much the same as the Titanium version we currently have but in aluminium... along with a carbon fork and full Sram 1x11 groupset and LoveMud finishing kit. The bike was superb, it dealt with the lanes and steep road climbs that the early part of my route took and rough, technical sections could be taken at speed with a little care in the wet and greasy conditions. 

The event map

The competition area for this event was centered in the valley bottom with 2 'loops' of checkpoints on each valley side. The terrain to the east was steep and hilly but could mostly be reached on tarmac and good tracks, the controls to the west involved more sustained climbs but you could then maintain height and pick up a few points with little other climbing. Some checkpoints were a little harder to reach on rough off-road trails, due ot time constraints (and wanting to go get the big point scores) I skipped these ones. 

The route I chose was to get all the chckpoints to the west in the first 50 mins and then start ticking off those to the east, a couple of errors in route choice and in missing the 'dibber' boxes cost me and meant I had to miss 2 checkpoints I had meant to get and was 4 minutes late at the end. A final points tally of 190 out of 245 was enough for 6th in category and 12th overall.

Sonder bikes and Alpkit  are pleased to be supporting Dark and White events as a sponsor of the Trailquest summer series. 

Sonder Camino AL

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Related Deeds

Teuchters on Tour
Lessons learned cycle-touring Norway
In Daring Deeds
Against The Ebbing Tide
A perfect summer for "recovery" climbing
In Daring Deeds
A different road to the mountains
a running year of ups and downs in Peru
In Daring Deeds
Double vision
winning double gold in paralympics and worlds
In Daring Deeds
Athlete Adventures: Iceland National Trail
Ben Turner links the first Iceland National Trail
In Daring Deeds

News

Alpkit Adventure Weekender
Join us in store for an adventure filled weekend
In News
Teuchters on Tour
Fundraising cycle trip
In News
Silk Road Mountain Race
An unsupported bikepacking race in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan
In News
Adventures for Life Skills
Building life skills through a 19 day adventure in the Scottish Highlands
In News
27 Peaks in 77 Days
Jarda Zaoral is taking on Europes 27 peaks
In News

Develop

Bags more packs in our range
New packs for you to put your kit in
In Develop
Gripping Developments
A whole new glove range: the inside story
In Develop
What is Merino Wool?
What's all this fuss about Merino wool?
In Develop
Sonder Evol: Q&A with Bike Guru Neil
Sonder's new 140mm trail bike
In Develop
The low-down on Polygiene™
Wear more, wash less: you can't get simpler than that!
In Develop

Spotlight

Supporting the Silk Road Race
Watching dots on the Silk Road
In Spotlight
The Who’s Who of Backpacks
Navigating our new packs
In Spotlight
A Lake District Guide to Hike-A-Biking
How and why to hike-a-bike
In Spotlight
Handy Glove Guide
Need a hand finding your way around our new glove range?
In Spotlight
Build A Go Box
Be ready for adventure at a moment's notice!
In Spotlight

Kudos