MTB Single Track (06/11/2015)
Category: Training
Map/area: Santa Cruz, California
Organiser: Scott M
Distance: 27.25 km
Time: 154:50
This was the definitely the best day I have ever had on a mountain bike!

The hills around University of California Santa Cruz have possibly the worlds largest collection of fantastic single track MTB trails, so when Scott said he could lend me a bike and take me along on a trip he was making with a friend of his, I was very glad to accept. It turned out that Scott is a tester for Specialized, often riding stuff that will only be announced a year later. He was able to get me a really nice bike: Full (adjustable) suspension, tubeless tires that never let me down no matter how steep I tried (or dared) to go up or down. With 1x11 gear setup and a spring-loaded seat post which could be adjusted while I was riding I had a blast. Thanks Scott!

Today I downloaded LiDAR point clouds and data from OpenStreetMap in order to generate a proper map of the area we covered, the main problem was getting the best possible contour detail: The default point classifications as I got it from NOAA simply skips over any area with dense tree cover, generating almost no ground points. When I used LAStools to improve this, my standard settings ended up generating knolls around every large tree. :-(

Since this is a Redwood forest of the same type as where they filmed the "Return of the Jedi" Star Wars film, with lots of those really large trees, the resulting map was completely unusable, but after a couple of rounds tweaking the parameters used to skip over non-ground objects, I got the map shown here.

It should be very obvious that this area would be great for any kind of MTBO race!
Hide comments (3)
tophat jr : What a route, what a terrain! Still your generated map takes it! Could also organize "normal" orienteering events here!
Martin L : How did you get the OSM into OCAD? I am trying such but my OCAD always crashes...
Terje Mathisen : @Knut: Yes, you could indeed run a full-on O event here, I believe that the local Bay Area OC have had events in a neighboring area (overlapping with the SW parts of my map), in the Wilder Ranch State Park, but for MTBO this looks simply wonderful with all the contours that make route choice really interesting for longer legs.

@Martin: I have not had any particular problems with the OCAD v11 importing OSM, except that I've made sure to keep the area relatively small, i.e. this particular map extract covered 7x9 km.

I expect OCAD 12 in 64-bit mode will get rid of these size limitations, but I haven't tried this since I upgraded.
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MTB Single Track (06/11/2015) MTB Single Track (06/11/2015)