MTB in Madeira?
So … went to Madeira back in 2012 and spent a day with Jon Hernandez at Freeride Madeira while there. Since then, his business has gone mental and “rad”. I’m heading back there at the end of March with the missus for our first bit of warm since September 2019 and was wondering whether Freeride Madeira would be the folks of choice or whether anyone has any other recommendations.
Looking for 4 hours or so of uplifted biking with some chilled out downhill (can I use the term downcountry?). I’m fat and old with proper tech fear nowadays after two years of being feartie of going to hospital and catching “the vid”.
I think your man Jon was disappointed in me all those years ago when I wasn’t keen on doing gap jumps 😉
Any recommendations ?Posted 2 weeks ago
Yes freeride are amazing. There are some more chilled trails, I’m led to believe! If you’re on an uplift it’s usually a full day affair. They’ll start you off on something not too mental to gauge the level of the group and go from there. Much, much easier in the dry, so I’d avoid a wet day.Posted 2 weeks ago
I was over in October and did a couple of days riding with them.
Great trails, plenty to suit all levels and they have several vans going out everyday so they put you with a group that suits the level/fitness/trail type that you want.
I found the pace extremely slow and we didn’t get much riding in.Posted 2 weeks ago
The rental bikes are Scott Ransoms and are awful – take your own bike!
On a practical note: keep a close eye on the COVID requirements. They’ll probably change by the end of March, but you’re currently required to show your NHS COVID pass or a negative rapid antigen test taken within the last seven days (and sometimes both) to enter public indoor spaces, including supermarkets, restaurants, cafebars etc. Mask wearing is also required in busy outdoor spaces.Posted 2 weeks ago
Cheers for the COVID advice. All good as the NHS pass is on my phone and I’m triple jabbed. The mask stuff is the same as Scotland so no worries there.Posted 2 weeks ago
I’m hoping to get across in May for a week with the wife and It would seem daft not to do a day with Freeride Madeira. What was wrong with the Scotts .? For 130 Euro It seems a good price for collection , uplift , Bike hire and food.Posted 1 week ago
I’m no downhill god but can get down most things just not great at Jumps .
A wee question for anyone thats been .? Im booked to go in March with the wife, contacted Freeride who were helpful but I’d have to get to Funchal for 8.50 but Im staying Calheta . Other than hiring a car I cant see any other way of getting there .Posted 5 days ago
If this is a no starter would it be worth hiring a couple of E bikes and just going up some hills with the wife ,I’d love to ride the EWS trails but If its going to be logistically difficult I’d be just as happy going off road on a big XC ride.
A wee question for anyone thats been .? Im booked to go in March with the wife, contacted Freeride who were helpful but I’d have to get to Funchal for 8.50 but Im staying Calheta . Other than hiring a car I cant see any other way of getting there .
Calheta to Funchal is pretty much one road through Ponta Do Sol, Ribiera Brava and bit more and you’re there. It should take less than an hour but to really explore Madeira I would recommend a car (diesel and manual) anyway.
But ‘just. going up the hills’ is not that simple in Madeira. You’ll need a guide or a very friendly local. For a start, there’s little in the way of marked paths and trails. The hills don’t stop and the weather changes quickly at every corner and altitude and riding the levadas are not recommended – walking them is dangerous enough in some places. But if you manage it, the scenery is breath taking. We’re in the process of looking to buy a place there after falling in love with it a few years back.
My recommendation, get up early and ride with Freeride Madeira first.Posted 5 days ago
I’m also off to Madeira with the wife in March, staying just outside Funchal. Do you need to pre book well in advance/bring your on helmet ect? Packing can be tight with us as we like to go hand luggage only usually.Posted 5 days ago
Sent them a message about my ridiculously specific wants for a guided bike ride. Here’s hoping they come back positively.
Re the above post, I’d always take me own helmet, shoes, body armour and gloves. Then again, I normally take my own bike (6’4″ means that you frequently can’t get a hire bike), so luggage space isn’t a concern.Posted 4 days ago
Thanks for the info Elliot , Wish I had booked to stay in Funchal now . I think Ill need to hire a car for sure.Posted 4 days ago
I rode with freeride in September for 6 days straight. There were two days where there was a pick up of a rider at Calheta when we were riding the north of the island. I would ask the question.Posted 4 days ago
I got a message back from freeride and they said they may be up my side of the island but wouldn’t no until the day before (weather dependant presumably). I also got an email back from another company who could do a trip in either Paul da Serra or Fonte do bispo which both look excellent . Maybe more sight seeing but 50 km through the hills with food stops. I’ll probably head back again next year so could always stay in Funchal and do something with freeride. In all honesty some spring sun and a decent long descent to the coast sounds fantastic right now and Im not overly fussed if its a gnarfest . The Island looks absolutely stunning , a bit like the north of Tenerife which makes sense.Posted 3 days ago
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