Video: Brad Simms Hits Creative Gaps in 'Good Times in Madeira'

Jan 6, 2023 at 8:13
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesI ended 2022 by taking one of my favorite BMX videographers, Raphe Valdez, to Madeira to give him a glimpse into the mountain biking world and explore the island's extensive network of trails. Madiera's diversity of riding and micro-climates made for a fun and easy-going trip. Looking forward to returning soon. Brad Simms


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Member since Mar 16, 2017
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79 Comments
  • 47 2
 Great video. Watched it a few days ago. The trails out there are better than any video can show. I live there for half the year and the riding is simply epic (just take a long travel bike and a full face helmet).

Mountain bike related tourism has become a big component of the island attraction and the government support this. Almost all of the land is public accessible so companies like Freeride Madeira have free reign to create and maintain the most awesome trails all over the island.
  • 4 0
 Agreed the trails are amazing.
  • 4 1
 It’s paradise! FR Madeira do a superb job.
  • 3 1
 I rode with Freeride Madeira last year, they were great and the trails were excellent. Only bummer was the rain that turned the Liam to mud.

I'd definitely go back, but with a bigger bike. 150/130mm wasn't enough.
  • 2 0
 How does one manage to live there for half the year? Looking for ideas on this! Thanks
  • 2 0
 How bad is the exposure on the trails in Madeira? Looks like a great place to ride, and to hike, but I am not good with heights/exposure!

(I genuinely used to get a bit wobbly on the bridge in Morzine...)
  • 6 0
 @Woody25: A lot of different trails on different places, no need to worry about that.
  • 15 34
flag MTBthoroughbred (Jan 8, 2023 at 15:51) (Below Threshold)
 Great bmx rider. Below average mountain bike athlete..
  • 2 0
 @gaffney92: Option 1: save enough money to bridge the time, Option 2: full remote worker, Option 3: self-employed, Option 4: have a "flexible" life and constantly find/quit jobs depending on where you wanna go, Option 5: be rich
  • 15 0
 @MTBthoroughbred: send me a video of you doing this and then i will respect your opinion
  • 8 0
 @MTBthoroughbred:
Still more airtime and paid for his riding, jealous anyone? Just ride and let ride
  • 4 0
 @gaffney92:

Have two passports (UK and EU), two houses, a company I can run from anywhere and a VERY understanding wife who lets me hide on a sub-tropical island for the winter provided I do lots of exercise and return home without the beer belly.
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: exposure is a real non-issue. Almost all of the time you are in amongst the trees (even if there is a 500ft drop on the other side of them). The last few seconds of that video are most definitely NOT a riding trail. That is the hiking trail from Pico Aieiro.

You will often see vloggers post videos of riding along a cliff edge. This is on the Boca do Risco trail,bit again, it's not really on the trail itself, but a splinter off it where you can push up an enscarpment and ride back down. It looks amazing on the videos. In reality, if you ride the trail, you whizz pass the side of the cliff with a tree or two between you and then dart back into the woods.
  • 1 0
 @campfreddie @pedrujo really appreciate the info, thank you.
  • 1 0
 @campfreddie [answer to original post]
If only...! We wish the government would support this..
Unfortunately, 80% of the trails are still illegal/unofficial. And although many are tolerated, forest police regularly create stress for mountainbikers and trail builders/maintainers.
But there is an ongoing dialogue to legalize all existing trails, and update an outdated law requiring every person going offroad with a vehicle (motorized or not, i.e. bikes included) to ask for special permission (that day, during those hours, with that many people, on that route..), which is just not feasible.
  • 1 0
 @campfreddie: Thats an honest answer :L Cheers!
  • 29 5
 Fun little edit but if I’m honest I much rather watch Brad on a BMX. His raw strength makes for some unique and jaw dropping riding.
  • 26 2
 Brad's writing his own playbook for his career. The guy is a beast. This is worth a watch youtu.be/2zHuN3g_X50
  • 1 0
 That was really cool to see a quick history of Brad’s life and now he’s riding a MTB! Look forward to future videos and to see him keep progressing with MTB. Thanks for sharing
  • 1 0
 "he carved his own Nietzsche on BMX and in life..."
  • 11 1
 Are those Eucalyptus trees? Those Australian Blue Gums are a plague. Some of those shots could have been in Pacifica near me. Invasive weeds, I tells ya. Farmers thought they would make good windbreaks or be a fast growing source of lumber but they're good for neither and burn like mad. /TreeRant
  • 3 0
 Yes, the highest trails are open bush and rocks, then the mid-height are a mix of eucalyptus plantations, very old laurel woods and taller pine woods.
  • 12 2
 When Brad puts on a helmet, you know it's about to get real.
  • 2 0
 His street riding looks bigger and more dangerous to me than his MTB riding, but no helmet on the street. Seems odd to me, but ya know, it's a BMX thing...
  • 1 0
 @krka73: I think it's also probably a sponsor requirement from canyon. Otherwise he probably wouldn't wear it.
  • 1 0
 @danielfloyd: I thought the same....
  • 6 0
 Loved Brad when I rode BMX but let's be honest. I'm far from impressed with this bunny hop video and reading the comments make me feel sad about the sport. A big name takes the glory for nothing and all those underrated riders out there get no recognition for years and years of ripping. Brad is still far from his potential at MTB or even at an average ripper level. Being good at BMX street doesn't automatically turn you a pro MTB rider, that's why his riding still look a bit too stiff when he lands in transition like a sack of potatoes.. Definatelly helps a lot but you can't skip the years in the mountain...Glad he's had his opportunity in MTB and i'm sure he'll make it worth.
  • 11 7
 how about researching the career of someone in their space of expertice before you put them on blast brad has a long list of jaw dropping clips and video parts spanning a long career x games gold medals nora cups dew tour wins
  • 7 0
 Brad is truly one of the most interesting people with a BMX background. Take some time to read his interviews, his travel experiences are really good reads.
  • 9 1
 Have I missed something.
  • 10 1
 What are you upset about exactly?
  • 2 0
 I’m so confused.
  • 2 0
 I think a lot of people forget he hasn't had a lot of time on the big bike... Look how along it took Ryan Nyquist to get some good placings at big contests.. Brad is a great rider, and it will be interesting to see how he progresses...
  • 1 0
 @audeo03:
Look up at captain thoroughbreads post, he seemed upset at brads success. Haters gonna hate , i guess
  • 5 0
 Those stairs at the end = sketchy!
  • 1 0
 I think that’s at the top of Pico Arriero, it’s a hiking trail so cheeky to ride but not as exposed as it looks! The views are stunning and there’s a trail that goes from there (at 1900m) basically all the way down to Funchal and the sea.
  • 1 0
 @geebee: that'll be the Santo Antonio trail then? The one with the super dodgy left hand turn where most riders end up in the bush and which you do not want to ride in the wet (or snow as I did last year). Fortunately, due to the trees and the bush, you don't realise that on the other side of that little prickly bush is a shear drop of a few hundred feet. After that it is berm-heaven all the way down to Sao Roque and on into town.

The last time we rode it (a few weeks ago in the p@#£ing wet) only one of us made it down without breaking themselves or their bike. Hopefully it will be drier when I get back there this weekend.
  • 4 0
 Madeira looks so insane. Love to go ride there.
  • 1 0
 Do it!!
  • 4 0
 Good to see that aggressive style on big wheels, awesome.
  • 4 0
 Thats what you get when you put a super good 20" guy on a mtb
  • 2 0
 Super cool seeing Brad start to get used to the feel of a MTB and start applying his bmx style to bigger bikes... excited to see what's to come
  • 4 5
 @mior: im just stating a fact here. Is he on the level of other professional freeriders with the same level of support? I think not. There are kids with no support that a far better mountain bike riders. Could he hold his own in competition or a fest type event? I think not. Just another influencer.
  • 3 1
 Amazing to see him progress from BMX to mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 continental Portugal very sweet too Wink
  • 2 0
 Soooo good to see him on a mountain bike!
  • 2 1
 Soo good.. Really nice clip, the whole composition.. The music, the angles, the style.. prime!!
  • 3 1
 BMX background apparently doesn't apply to videography as much.
  • 1 0
 Cool but I wanna see this with some licensed hip hop or raw, I hate the free youtube songs for anything other than an intro.
  • 1 0
 Was that Reggae? I'm not much for Reggae but those jams were groove-n and the shred-n was bitch-n! Liked it, sik!
  • 1 0
 I'd love to see a collab between Brad Simms, Kriss Kyle, Dylan Stark on mtbs. I'd expect road gap to pedal grind.
  • 2 1
 Not bad for someone who's main gig is BMX and who only recently started riding MTB.
  • 1 0
 Super fun video! I want to go ride after seeing it.
  • 7 5
 Had he a BMX background?
  • 3 3
 Yes. He's been a BMX pro for a very long time.
  • 1 0
 He still shreds BMX.
  • 1 0
 So many ways to have died if I tried any of those
  • 1 0
 That wall ride was pretty dope
  • 1 1
 Big step up from his specialized riding down stairs videos
  • 1 0
 fuck yeah
  • 1 1
 Hopefully him and Pils will do something in the future.
  • 1 0
 Sweet edit!
  • 2 2
 bmx background
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