Face the Elements, Madeira's Finest

Mar 19, 2017
by IONbike  


Madeira is a lush, green forest-covered paradise. Head there to ride and you’ll expect to find (and will find) a massive variety of trails through thick vegetation. This typically involves ankle-high grass, double overhead bushes, and cloud-scraping trees (depending if it’s foggy or not). Plants pretty much seam the descents on this small island, 700 km off the Moroccan coast. It’s like riding through a botanical garden!

But while a botanical garden might be interesting for its plants, it’s the man-made trails that make Madeira damn sure interesting from a mountain biker’s point of view. And there are trails all over the island. What’s more, Madeira’s mountainous nature creates a number of microclimates which means you’ll find spots with bright sunny skies while it could be pouring down on the other side of the island. But, as always, it makes sense to get the lowdown from local riders to hit the right spot at the right time.

In May 2016, ION team riders; Julia Hofmann, David Cachon, and Rob Heran plus FastFokus filmer, Damien Vergez and photographer, Bartek Wolinski went shooting all over the island for a week. Thanks to guiding support from Jeremy at Bikulture, they brought home tons and tons of amazing footage. Including some really spectacular shots that you might not have expected from the island of flowers…

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Portuguese trail paradise.

bigquotesWe found this stunning location on the very last day of our ION shooting trip in May 2016. We were totally blown away by the spot, so we decided to stay two more days on the island to make it happen. After checking the weather forecast, we re-booked the flights and came back to get the photos and footage. It's a gnarly and very steep line down towards a vertical cliff. I had to be very careful to not miss the braking point. Priceless shot by Bartek Wolinski and definitely my favorite of the whole year. Rob Heran, ION team rider since day one

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest

bigquotesThere was not much room for error. This shot gives you a good idea of how exposed it was. The line runs all the way down to a vertical cliff. Rob Heran

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
Good Morning!

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
Right time, right place!

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Surfing Elements.

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
"I've seen a red dress and I want to paint it black!"

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
Line choice with a view.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Rob Heran.

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
Next step: Atlantic Ocean!

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
In-between.

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
Seasideways.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Julia Hofmann.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Red line. Green fern. Blue socks.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Tunnel vision by David C.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Braap!

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
In some parts of the island it might rain.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
Or it gets foggy.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
But further down...

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
...there are always spots where one can escape from bad weather.

Face the Elements Madeira s Finest. Ion Bike
And no matter what the weather, there's a way to a poncha bar.

Face the Elements - Madeira s Finest
Adeus Madeira! You treated us well! We'll be back.

ion-products.com



MENTIONS: @IONbike / @wolisphoto / @FASTFOKUS / @bikulture / @sunnyrideoflife


Must Read This Week

37 Comments

  • + 42
 calling it now, there will be a few photo of the year entries from this article
  • + 3
 i agree. amazing stuff.
  • + 2
 @lyophilization: and amazing spot!
  • + 1
 As long as it's not a roost it's all good.
  • + 8
 The writer of this press release seems to have gotten his noises mixed up.
"Braaap' is the noise made when an MX bike's throttle spins up the rear tire.
The noise he was looking for here was 'SHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!!!!!!' as that's the noise from the on-coming riders as they hit the spot where the rider pictured dragged his/her rear brake to the point of scraping away all the top soil(shown in the pic).
  • - 1
 We came, we saw, and we destroyed, Madeira's a pretty boring place unless you like Laverda's and Jurassic landscapes, so fuck it , let's smash it up !
  • + 7
 Totally nailed it bro, roosting, skidding, sliding or whatever you want to call it is what is really f'ing the planet up.
  • + 5
 i also love bitching about someone roosting a trail that i didnt build, never maintained and will never ride!
  • + 1
 Someone a little butthurt?
  • + 1
 @thejake: I tend to think burning fossil fuels and dumping waste and plastic into our water is what is really f'ing the planet up. And of course, Trump, too.
  • + 1
 @vtbert: Trumps doing a grand job, he's looking out for his family and making himself considerably richer at the same time, it's called capitalism, or exploitation, depending which way you look at it.
  • + 9
 Beautiful! Anyone notices that Rob's Bike is without the Canyon logo?
  • + 3
 It's there, it's just stealthed out. You can see it in the shot third from the bottom.
  • + 1
 Stealth models have black ("stealth") decals.
  • + 8
 Stunning island - I'd move there inside half a heartbeat.
  • + 1
 In going in a few weeks for a mountain biking weekend - it's really quite cheap with some of the flight deals at the moment so you might want to check it out... I've never been before, but it looks amazing!
  • + 1
 I got a chance to ride there two years ago. I highly recommend it! Easy to get to from the UK too (compared to coming from BC, Canada!)... @freeridemadeira took really good care of all our mountain bike needs! Pedro, our guide is fast as f%#k and is nicer than he is fast!
  • + 1
 @ridestuff: Good info, I am in Spain now. Hoping to sample Madeira's finest on a budget.. any suggestions ?
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: I was there this time last year. Managed to get a really cheap holiday through Easyjet! You will absolutely love it. I cannot compare it to anywhere I've ever been before! Smile
  • + 1
 @Grealdo: Can't wait - just a couple of days riding but both guided with Freeride Madeira who seem to have a VERY good reputation. Just hoping my fitness holds up and it's not too hot (compared to UK - I'm not expecting 30C!)...
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: I did a week guided there last year, it's by far one of the best places i've ever ridden a bike!
  • + 1
 @denomerdano: I would recommend at least one guided day if you can afford it. But even if you can't go talk to the people at Freeride. They can give you the low down on what to ride. They have a had a big forest fire since I was there, and I don't know what trails may have been effected!
  • + 1
 @ridestuff: thanks for the heads up. Looks like i may have to fork up for a couple of days of guided tours. Excited none the less
  • + 1
 @denomerdano: I only had one free day to ride, so a guide was essential. My wife and I had a great day of riding. Top to bottom of the island. There are so many different climates and terrain changes! Lunch at a local gem of a restaurant. Finished at the beach... I miss that place.
  • + 2
 I've been there riding last year. Steep rocky, scary cliffs! Purely amazing place. Highly recommend!

It's a place to ride with local knowledge so a guide/guiding company is essential. Trying to find trails will be a frustrating waste of time, more so even if you find them after 10-15 descend you'll have 800m climb.

The landscape is truly amazing!
  • + 3
 The last photo is my favorite. I just have to say it, mountain biking is awesome.
  • + 4
 Fantastic pictures!
  • + 3
 Madeira top world spot!!
  • + 2
 Awesome location with beautiful pictures thanks guys
  • + 2
 4 weeks from now and i´ll be there ;D
  • + 1
 Brings back so many memories of when i went to visit Madeira!! Hopefully gonna go back soon! Great place and amazing riding.
  • + 2
 EPIC!
  • + 2
 yeeeww
  • + 2
 Amazing photos!
  • + 2
 WOW. Excellent
  • + 0
 Having lived through the 90's, I can't do skin wall tires again.
  • + 1
 great photos!!!

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