The Vastly Intelligent Navigation Challenge Event
(The V.I.N.C.E.) May Event - Apprentices
TSTF is run by Big Scale Adventures Limited • Registered in England and Wales • Registered number 11234298 • Registered office 27 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3BL
⚠️ WARNING ⚠️
RIDING DIRT BIKES ON ROUGH TRAILS IN THE MOUNTAINS IS NOT 100% RISK FREE. IF YOU ARE UNLUCKY, YOU COULD BE KILLED OR MAIMED. IF YOU HAVE DEPENDANTS, YOU MUST have PROVISION FOR THEM IN THE UNFORTUNATE EVENT OF A BAD CRASH THAT PERMANENTLY DISABLES YOU.
This event has no umbrella insurance that is covering you or your family.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
The May ‘apprentice’ V.I.N.C.E. is 5 days designed to be a mechanism to introduce adventure riders to:
a) Trail-riding in northern Spain
b) Navigating the above by map and compass
c) Basic trail-riding admin-in-the-field
d) The actual orienteering event that is the V.I.N.C.E.
The V.I.N.C.E. is held over the Weds/Thurs/Fri of the week but the Monday and Tuesday are spent on slow-time skill-building exercises. Then, on the Wednesday, the first day of the event, the instructors accompany the riders out into the hills and walk them though their first 20 miles of routes, riding and navigation. Notionally, participants are by now, leaving the ‘apprentice’ stage and are able on Thursday, to set off in their team, WITHOUT an instructor. Students needing more support can expect to have an instructor shadowing them on Thursday so that they can ‘fly solo’ by the Friday.
The tuition covers riding skill AND map skill, but can easily be adjusted so that it is only ONE of these if the student so chooses.
In other words, if you are:
A novice trail-rider but an expert map-reader, this is the week for you.
A novice navigator but an expert trail-rider, this is the week for you too!
A novice navigator and a novice trail-rider, this is DEFINITELY the week for you!
And finally, if you are a competent trail-rider AND map-reader but just fancy doing the V.I.N.C.E. in May rather than September, then come along, but not until Tuesday night. You will pay £350 rather than £600.
27 to 31 May 2024 – remember, you must ‘report’ by 1900hrs on the 26th May
NOTE: this is 2 days of pure training followed by a 3-day V.I.N.C.E.
Quintanar de la Sierra, Burgos, Spain
2, 3 or 4 riders only – no solo.
£600 per rider – 5 days
This includes, three days of tuition, entry to the V.I.N.C.E, one map, set of notes and checkpoint booklet per team. Does not include food and accommodation.
a) You CAN cancel at anytime (before 13 June 23 and get a full refund less £50 per rider. That’s how much you are gambling, £50. I want to encourage you to commit and sign-up. If some issue means you cannot attend, you have only lost £50. If I, Austin VINCE, cancel the event you get a full refund.
b) If a statutory authority (govt, National park etc) makes the event impossible then it will be POSTPONED to a sensible date and this will be announced.
c) Get holiday insurance that covers you cancelling after 13th June.
Here’s how it works at the VINCE: Austin has block booked an entire venue. We encourage everyone to stay there. However, if you prefer to go elsewhere then be our guest but you will have to organise this yourself. Your entry fee does NOT include your accommodation, you pay for that yourself when you are in Spain. All we do is ensure that we’ve got the place booked for our party.
There are 80 bed-spaces booked across 3 hotels.
Do NOT contact the hotel about your reservation. Liaise directly with Austin.
If you don’t want to hotel it, with us, that is a great shame, you probably won’t save any money but there is a campsite (Camping Arlanza) on the edge of Quintanar de la Sierra. We have no association or arrangement with this campsite and we have never used it or stayed there.
You need to book in with the campsite yourself, but do not say you are taking part in an event: Camping Arlanza
The 2024 V.I.N.C.E. runs over a four map collation. They are the 1:50000 ICGN Spanish maps.
You will be sent:
sheet 277 Covarrubias
Sheet 278 Canales de la Sierra
Sheet 315 Huerta del Rey
Sheet 316 Quintanar de la Sierra
Buy more copies here, direct from Madrid at 4 euros a pop:
There is one set of guff (maps, notes, booklet etc) issued per team, NOT per person. If you are a ‘lone rider’ and Austin creates an arranged marriage, there will be one set of guff BETWEEN YOU.
Low key and lo-fi. If you want to pop wheelies and show off your super noisy after-market exhaust then please do NOT attend the VINCE. If you are selfish and unpleasant, do NOT enter the VINCE. Moto-cross space man clothes forbidden. Wear armour yes, but underneath your crocheted poncho.
The tuition will be in groups of no more than 6 people. The instructors are all well-meaning amateurs who have many years of experience of the event, trail-riding and map-reading. However, this is a DIY vibe. It is NOT a university, an ‘academy’ or an institute. If you think you are getting the former, you will be disappointed. The instructors are hand-picked by Austin & Dai and they want you to blossom and build skill so that you can come back, year on year and enjoy the event in your own right,
Zero, this is not a competition. There is no prize save the joy of taking part. If you are a super-competitive alpha-male then do an enduro, Twinshock Trailfinder is not for you. If you are found speeding (more than 20mph) around the trails, you will be banned from all future events. Don’t spit your dummy out when this happens, I told you this is NOT a rally, it’s a navigation challenge.
In 2024 there will be TWO classes in the V.I.N.C.E. but at the ‘apprentice’ event in May we are pushing riders towards paper map rather than the GPS class. However, in the ‘master’ VINCE in September, there ARE two classes
1) Paper map only, zero electronics, smartphone in a sealed bag – THIS is what we are all about…
2) ‘Anything Goes’ which includes pre-planned ‘routes’ that you follow on a GPS. Although this is not in the spirit of the event, we would MUCH rather that you came out, enjoyed the event, and didn’t get lost, by being in THIS class. Fire up Basecamp!
As of 2021, use of any kind of roadbook puts you into the ‘Anything Goes’ class. You will not be be compared to other teams who use only maps. Teams that used only maps to navigate are in a separate class. The trophy awarded at the event is for this class. The V.I.N.C.E. is a map-reading challenge, you can only be in the spirit of the event by spending two days actually map-reading. Expanded and enlarged maps are fine. Maps annotated with notes relating to Austin’s ‘notes’ are fine. Maps that are printed out then stuck together to make a rolling roadbook map are fine. Laminated map booklets are fine. Maps augmented by screenshots of Google earth are NOT allowed. You can use the internet to assist your planning but you cannot print it out and take it with you. Only the map and notes, as issued, can be used on the actual event.
What is a ‘roadbook’?
In Austin’s opinion, a roadbook is any mechanism that reduces a rider’s ability to cross terrain to simply following a list of instructions that may or may not be connected to the bike’s odometer and trip meter. These instructions include:
a) ‘Tulip’ style pictograms as used in rallies
b) Lists of written instructions (turn left at river, go 1,2km, turn right onto trail, at abandoned farm take left fork, go 0.8km, take left fork etc)
There isn’t any. Ensure you have your own and that it covers you for an off-road event of this kind.
Take out holiday insurance that covers a refund scenario.
This event is NOT licensed by the ACU or any other statutory m/cycle body. Remember- there is no ‘course’. YOU will decide where you go and how fast. The National Park speed limit on all trails is 12 mph. If you want to ride fast then this event is not for you. Ensure you have the NHS reciprocal cover thingy (EHIC). However – bear in mind that the EHIC often gets REFUSED in spanish hospitals and they illegally charge you for medical treatment! This is an international dispute at the moment. Get travel insurance (see above) so you are covered come what may.
- There is no recovery vehicle, rescue or first aid provision. Get a tow-rope.
- You WILL be sent the maps and booklets 8 weeks in advance – do your homework
- No unchivalrous behaviour and no cheating.
- This event is for people who want to make friends, enjoy the challenge of map-reading and the self-reliance inherent in ‘Adventure Motorcycling’.
- Let’s be serious, this is an orienteering event in a First World country. The TSTF is NOT ‘adventure motorcycling’.
- Your bike must have a number plate, a GB sticker and in Spain, at least ONE wing mirror.
You must ride in a team of 2, to a maximum of 4 people, (minimum two bikes) so be sure to put together your team before registering as we need the names of all team members. If you cannot find someone to team with, go ahead and register for the event, note that you do not have a team partner, and we will match you with someone with a similar bike and riding skill level as best we can.
Start / Finish Time: Each day, 8AM to 8PM (0800-1959). Official VINCE time is as per Austin’s mobile phone.
Penalties for late return:
Return at 2000-2009hrs 10 pts penalty
Return at 2010-2019hrs 20 pts penalty
Return at 2020-2029hrs 30 pts penalty
Return at 2030 hrs or later – disqualified from the event (however you may still ride day two but your CPB will not be ‘marked’).
The Dai Jones Ruling:
A dispensation consistent with the ancient English traditions of clemency and mercy. Named in honour of Bristol’s legendary trail-riding child-reforming youth worker;
If the last member of a team gets back late on day one by x minutes where x is 29 or less then naturally, they incur a penalty. However, the Dai Jones ruling states that if they curtail their second day’s riding by x minutes or more then their penalty is revoked. Hence, the team will still only have had a max of 24 hrs riding over the two days.
Team mates must ride together at all times! If you separate for any reason other than one bike is broken down and stopped or one rider is injured, and the other rider is going for help, you will be disqualified.
Obtaining checkpoint info from another team is grounds for disqualification. In the event of a dispute or challenge, a digital photo of all team members at a checkpoint will be required to verify the team has been to the checkpoint.
The score sheets are collected after each day’s ride, and the scores of points collected thus far are published. On the second morning plenty of teams are more motivated than ever to have a fruitful day and get that map-reading spot on! On the second evening the booklets are collected for the final time, points totalled and the winners announced and applauded at the Dinner on the second night.
In a few weeks this will be you – self-navigating your way across some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, by dirt-bike.
These metal plaques are what you are looking for up in them hills!
The VINCE is taken deadly seriously by a crowd who frankly, don’t care about winning…
The trails are all old farm tracks – nothing too difficult.
Study those maps in advance! It’s all about preparation.
It CAN be done on big trailies but is far easier on a small bike.