Freeride Madeira – Biking on an Atlantic Island

Enduro Biking with a great Crew

Freeride Madeira, Jungle Biking and Island Atmosphere. Eight days of shuttling, one day pedaling and never ending trails. From smooth lines with berms and jumps over wet rock gardens with lots of speed to very technical and exposed vertride sections everything was present. The quality of the trails varied from amazing to totally insane! The terrain: Wide open ridges, deepest jungle and steep cliffs straight into the sea. Our Crew consisted of:

  • Axel: Male Vertriders Superstar, German roots, Tyrolean of choice for more than ten years.
  • Gordon: Unofficial Austrian Masters Downhill Champion, German roots, Tyrolean of choice for more than ten years.
  • Martin: Fast and nearly undestructable (Angie excluded), German roots, accepted as Tyrolean since the Discovery of America.
  • Sylvia: Female Vertriders Superstar, real (South)tyrolean, which actually means Italian
  • Irene: Austrias future Enduro hope, Upperaustrian, maybe Tyrolean of choice soon.
  • and me: Blond, blue eyed, trailaddicted, Upperaustrian, Tyrolean of choice for less than ten years.

We were sleeping in Villa “O Lugarinho” with, as a major feature, a quite cold, but by our water rats frequently visited, outdoor pool.

From Summit to Sea – Endless Riding

Starting from here the Guides of Freeride Madeira (John, Roberto, Filipe and Nulo) showed us trails on the whole Island. Yes, exactly, on the WHOLE Island! Day one was the first of in total 8 Trailfireworks. The initial diffidence, because of more than three months bike abstinence was gone quite fast, and we soon started flying (note: without crashing) over several gaps (keyword: AxelAir). After four runs and lots of ‘Juchezer’ we rode Axel’s Madeirian Signature Trail, which he checked out two months ago. A steep, slippery, quite exposed vertride path leading directly into the roaring waves of the ocean. What a day!! The following days weren’t less amazing!

Here is a short summary: typical Madeirian jungle trails, descents through five vegetations zones, endless riding, ridge riding, stunning sunsets, incredibile downhills starting from the highest peaks, MEGATRAIL, slippery stairs :-), talking bullshit, drinking beer, eating Espetada and Tuna Steaks. Did I mention the insane trails??

Madeira – More than just Biking

The days were long, we only once reached our Villa before sunset. Our guides did a really good job, sometimes until the middle of the night! Except from the trails they introduced us to Espetada and Poncha. The first one, Espetada, is a typical Madeirian dish usually made of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, skewered onto a bay leaf stick cooked over hot coals or wood chips. In our ten days on the island, it was our main dish for sure. The second one, Poncha, is a traditional alcoholic drink made with Aguardente de cana, honey, sugar, lemon and orange juice. Maybe the Poncha was the reason that we all lost against a women in table soccer one evening in a small bar in the middle of nowhere. The other explanation could be, that she was the eight best female table soccer player in the world…

I say thanks to our guides from Freeride Madeira, thanks to the crew for making breakfast (getting out of the bed is definitely not my strength) and thanks to Axel and Sylvia for organizing this rememberable holiday. It was a really nice winter break and calls for a repeat! I recommend Madeira to every biker out there, just pure fun trail riding! With this in mind my last two words, which in my opinion describe our feelings on the Madeirian trails quite well: BADA BING!!!!

A few Impressions: