The Visibly Intricate Navigation Challenge Event

(The V.I.N.C.E.) a Trail Riding Pyrenees Adventure

The V.I.N.C.E is NOT a rally. If you want

to ride a bike FAST off-road, do NOT

attend the V.I.N.C.E.


.T.h.e. V.I.N.C.E. is run by Big Scale Adventures Limited • Registered in England and Wales • Registered number 11234298 • Registered office 27 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3BL


This event has no umbrella insurance that is covering you or your family.


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Watch these two YouTube films about the event:

First film: Explanation of The V.I.N.C.E.

Second film: This is how you prepare for the V.I.N.C.E.


15/16 Sep 2021 – remember, you must ‘report’ by 2000hrs on the 14th Sep


Berga, Catalunya, Spain


2, 3 or 4 riders only – no solo.


Special offer! £230 if paid up before 30 Nov 20.

Then, £270 per rider until midnight on Jan 31st 2021. 

after 31st Jan 2021 the entry fee will be £290.

This includes one map, set of notes and checkpoint booklet per team. Does not include food and accomodation.   

Refunds and Cancellations during Covid Era

a) You CAN cancel at anytime 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 Covid 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. 


Here's how it works at the VINCE: We block book 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. This year, because we are in a hotel there is a £30 per person accom deposit to pay. You get this returned to you, in sterling, when you arrive.

There are 100 bed-spaces booked in the hotel. This INCLUDES bunk beds.

If you cancel your bed space after 01 June 21 you will NOT get the £30 back. If you cancel before 01 June 20 you WILL get it back.

Accomodation Venue

We have booked  100 bed spaces in the spectacular 3 star paradise of the El Jou 100 miles north of  Barcelona (  The venue will charge everyone a flat fee for the venue of 180 euros per person for three nights at half board (regardless of room configuration) . Your first meal is supper on the night of the 14th and your last will be breakfast on the morning of the 17th.

This will include half-board and will be the same whether you are in a twin, double or triple room. Every human on site pays the same regardless of whether they are a competitor or simply a camp follower.  If you do not want this then simply make your own accom arrangements elsewhere.


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 facility for camper vans to park in the grounds but the expectation is that you join us for meals. If you are DETERMINED to not engage with the venue simply make your own arrangements and enter as a 'camping' person when you sign up.


Institute Cartografica de Catalunya (1:50,000) sheet no.14 'Bergueda'   buy extras from  Stanfords  if you so desire. 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.

Attitude and Clothing

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.

Urge to Win

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, the VINCE 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.

Roadbooks, GPS and aide-memoires

In 2021 there will be TWO classes in the V.I.N.C.E.

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 2019, 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. 

These people specialise in off-road exped insurance:

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.

  1. There is no recovery vehicle, rescue or first aid provision. Get a tow-rope.
  2. You WILL be sent the maps and booklets 8 weeks in advance – do your homework
  3. No GPS, no unchivalrous behaviour and no cheating.
  4. This event is for people who want to make friends, enjoy the challenge of map-reading and the self-reliance inherent in ‘Adventure Motorcycling’.
  5. Let’s be serious, this is an orienteering event in a First World country. The VINCE is NOT ‘adventure motorcycling’.
  6. Your bike must have a number plate, a GB sticker and in Spain, at least ONE wing mirror.

Rules of the event:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
vince 1

In a few weeks this will be you – self-navigating your way across some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, by dirt-bike.

vince 2

These metal plaques are what you are looking for up in them hills!

vince 3


The VINCE is taken deadly seriously by a crowd who frankly, don’t care about winning...

vince 3

The trails are all old farm tracks – nothing too difficult.

vince 3

Study those maps in advance! It’s all about preparation.

vince 3

It CAN be done on big trailies but is far easier on a small bike.