Sintra

MTB and surfing in Portugal – Where would WE be then?

Words: Julian Lemme Photos: João Mourão from WERIDE

Hey there. I’m Julian, Art Director for
ENDURO, GRAN FONDO and E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine.

Although my work is anything but monotonous, I find myself frequently falling into a routine, one that ends with my creativity in a headlock. Habits, it turns out, are probably the most quicksand-like element in the world. For this issue of the magazine, I knew it was time to break free of the shackles and find a new horizon – namely that of the Portuguese coast.

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The words ‘time to shine’ flash luminously on my phone’s lock screen. That’s the alarm, I realise groggily. I’m inside my van, tucked into a sleeping bag and cosily lying between my bike and a surfboard. At home, round about this time is when I switch on the coffee machine and hunch over my laptop, eyes flickering for hours on end between design layouts and cat videos. But today is different; I’ve got a banana and a handful of nuts for breakfast. I’m on the Atlantic coast and from the sliding door of the van, I can see there are just a few metres separating me from the sea.

enduromag_weride_surf
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
— Henry Ford

Want to read MORE?

Full story at ENDURO mag online:

https://enduro-mtb.com/en/mtb-surfing-portugal/


MTB-Urlaub im Winter: Top-Destinationen in Europa

 
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Du sehnst dich nach Sonne? Wir zeigen dir 5 Locations, die nur einen kurzen Flug weit entfernt sind.

Autor: Sissi Pärschvor 4T

Matschige Wintertrails und knusprige Temperaturen können ganz nett sein – aber ehrlich: Wie schön ist es, wenn auch im Winter Sonnenstrahlen unsere Wadeln wärmen?! Deshalb haben wir für Euch 5 Top-Destinationen zusammengetragen, die gut erreichbar sind und auch im Winter wohligen Bike-Spaß bieten.

Finale, Italien

Enduro World Series, Finale Ligure  © SVEN MARTIN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Enduro World Series, Finale Ligure

© SVEN MARTIN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Finale an der italienischen Riviera ist mit seinem dichten Netz an Trails europaweit einer der besten Spots für Mountainbiker und war eine der Stationen der Enduro World Series. Der Bikepark hat einiges zu bieten, um die besten Trails zu erkunden, ist jedoch das Wissen von Locals gefragt. Zum Glück gibt es hier aber eine Menge Guides, die Euch gerne alles zeigen.

Luberon, Frankreich

An der Cote d'Azur kann man im Winter sensationell biken – aber der Geheimtipp in der Provence ist der Luberon, eine Region, die nur eine Autostunde vom Flughafen Marseille entfernt liegt. Hier gibt es die schönsten Dörfer Frankreichs, mit dem Mont Ventoux eine Tour-de-France-Legende und es ist die Wiege des französischen MTB-Sports. Das Trail-Netz ist unglaublich dicht und abwechslungsreich. Wer zwischen all den Lavendelfeldern, Olivenhainen und Mischwäldern nicht verloren gehen will, sollte sich guiden lassen.

Sintra, Portugal

Portugal hat die Vulkaninsel Madeira, 737 Kilometer westlich der marokkanischen Küste im Atlantischen Ozean, die mit mildem Klima und großartigen MTB-Trails aufwartet. ABER Portugal hat auch sein Festland und das mausert sich vom Bike-Geheimtipp zu einer Must-Go-Destination. Wenn die Marken für ihre Katalog-Shootings hinfahren, kann man sich vorstellen, wie sexy es ist. Sintra liegt nah an vielen sexy Sports – Lissabon, Porto, Küste – und ist selbst ungemein attraktiv. Speziell auch für Biker. Das werden Euch die Locals von WERIDE sicher auch in den Wintermonaten beweisen.

Malaga, Spanien

Auch Gee Atherton mag Malaga  © KYLE BLANSHARD

Auch Gee Atherton mag Malaga

© KYLE BLANSHARD

Malaga an der Südküste von Spanien ist bekannt für seine trockenen, staubigen Trails mit jeder Menge steilem Gelände für Downhill-Rider. Das Terrain variiert von Sand bis zu Felsen und hartem Boden, es wird also nie langweilig. Im Winter ist es relativ ruhig und man kann sich richtig genüßlich austoben.


Gran Canaria, Spanien

Sonne, Meer und Mountainbikes  © ISMAEL IBAÑEZ

Sonne, Meer und Mountainbikes

© ISMAEL IBAÑEZ

325 Tage Sonnenschein pro Jahr: Wenn das nicht verlockend klingt! Gran Canaria liegt 210 Kilometer westlich vor der Küste Südmarokkos im Atlantischen Ozean und ist eine der beliebtesten Winterdestinationen für Sonnenhungrige. Wenn du lange Rides vor einer tollen Kulisse magst, dann bietet Gran Canaria jede Menge unerschlossenes Terrain für deine Abenteuer. Einige Abschnitte setzen wirklich gute Fitness voraus, wenn du noch nicht so geübt bist, dann empfehlen wir dir einen Guide. Oder du mietest ein Auto und machst eine Shuttle-Gemeinschaft mit deinen Freunden. Die meiste Sonne kriegst du übrigens im Süden der Insel ab.


Video: Waves & Rocks In Portugal - The Syncronicles

Video: Waves & Rocks In Portugal - The Syncronicles

Instagram feeds are a synonym for living the dream – everybody is always on holiday, always on the road, always riding. No doubt about it, my posts may look the same, and one can be forgiven for thinking that I’m simply living the perfect van and bike life every single day. However, this picture perfect dream is quite often different to reality…

MOUNTAIN BIKING WITH WERIDE IN SINTRA, PORTUGAL

 
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“Fuck look at the rays! This is why we got up so early!” exclaimed João as the sun pushed its way through the clouds on the Atlantic horizon. Half an hour earlier we had been in the WERIDE van, wondering why it was that we were all awake at that time. Now we were no longer regretting the dark, cold and early start.

João’s excitement about the rays was partly because the sun’s arrival meant that things would warm up a bit, but also because we were at the Outerio Dirt Park in Cascais for a sunrise photoshoot, and the sunrise was looking good! Behind the lens was the talented Thomas Brynjulf Svendsen. The subject of the photos were two of WERIDE’s steezy guides, Diogo and Duarte.

João couldn’t have chosen a better location. I was amazed that this small coastal town has these jumps. Not just a set of dirt jumps dug by locals, this spot was voted for by the town and built with machines. The result is perfectly formed jumps ranging from small enough for me to send up to Diogo and Duarte were soon warmed up and sending the biggest double, right in front of the sunrise. One of Thomas’ photos even made as the chosen photo on Pinkbike’s Movies for your Monday.

Woah I am not even going near that”. There is also a wooden wallride and the smoothest pumptrack I have ever ridden.

Photo credit: Thomas Brynjulf Svendsen/ Pinkbike

Once the sun was higher in the sky, we loaded the bikes onto the trailer and set off for the Sintra Mountains. These mountains are a special place. Out on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, they have their own microclimate and the weather can change pretty fast. It is not unusual to find yourself enveloped in mist. Adding to the atmosphere are the round boulders that litter the ground. Ranging in size from small to huge, they give the woods a unique character.

A consequence of Sintra’s atmosphere is that practicers of dark magic like to visit the woods. Watch out for circles of candles or other strange items and definitely do not touch them!

RAD Season by Richard Bailey

We spent the rest of the day sampling the high quality trails and being shuttled back up again. By this point we had been joined by some other riders, including one of Portugal’s finest mountain bikers, Emanuel Pombo.

To put it bluntly, the trails in Sintra are awesome. Tight twisting singletrack, rock gardens, jumps, kickers and drops. Lisbon and Sintra have a lively downhill, enduro and XC scene. On the weekends there are literally hundreds of bikers out and the trails are very well maintained.

We ended the day riding the Donkey Trail, which runs from the heart of the mountains down to the southern tip. Half way down we stopped so that Duarte and Pombo could session some big jumps while Thomas captured the action. Photos of riders sending jumps is one thing, but witnessing Pombo’s smooth style as he got huge airtime was something else!

RAD Season at Torgas

The Donkey trail ends at a beach bar and we enjoyed some hard-earned beers as the sun went down.

WERIDE offer a variety of single and multi-day tours in and around Lisbon, as well as other Portuguese locations. You can choose standard riding, girls only, a training camp or even a day riding with a pro (Pombo). Not only are they highly professional, they are also really nice guys. Lisbon is a perfect location for riding all year round. I was there in winter, which was chilly but by no means too cold to ride.

For more information head to www.weride.pt
Written by Richard Bailey
original URL at RAD Season here

YT Capra 2018 launch in Sintra with WERIDE

Once again the CAPRA is setting new standards.
Confidence, creativity, endurance: this G.O.A.T. will get you and it will turn you into the rider you have always aspired to be. And true to our core, we keep pushing boundaries: the all-new CAPRA is a full-on downhill machine crossed with the uphill performance of a trail bike.

The modern geometry with short chainstays and a slack headtube angle perfectly unites the best of two worlds. The new CAPRA delivers the most advanced combination of trail bike agility and traction at downhill standard. The metric 250mm shock delivers the solid suspension travel of the CAPRA with a low leverage ratio and fully convinces with a performance that's hardly ever seen away from downhill courses.

Fullscreen gallery here

Photography and film are property of YT industries
Photos by Ale di Lullo and film direction by Mark Jenkinson
Riders: Ace Hayden and Bryan Regnier


RED BULL: Mountain biking on Portugal's coast

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Spectacular trails in Sintra National Park, Portugal and through the old town of Lisbon

The Sun refuelling and baking the coast

Original review (german only) at RED BULL Austria here

From Maria Sendlhofer-Schag / bikefex.at on February 16, 2017

One of my - at least for myself - most unpleasant quirks is that overwhelming pleasant anticipation for a new adventure which leaves me sleepless the night before 'it' starts. But as soon as the taxi is waiting in front of my door at 4:00am in the morning and I get seated between bikes and bags, my own body wakes me up. It’s kicking in, better than three double Espressos. Holger and Rene are still sleeping with their eyes open. 

A month ago I packed my skiing bag and walked through the airport; now I’m comfortably carrying my bike bag next to me: destination South! "Land of the "pastel de nata" and Porto wine: for the next week you are mine!"

In shorts and T-shirt

The welcoming sun in Lisbon feels like a warm hug. The short-short season has begun. I finally arrived to Surfcamp owned by Martin Roll and I’m immediately looking for my flip flops to put on. But before we even have a chance to build our bikes together, Holger puts us into a thick wetsuit and hands us a board. Swell, tide and a few other terms that I do not understand would be just great - we have to do that now.

The guys excited to go surfing

Lots of fun with technical trails

Surfboard! = air mattress

Apart from the fact that such a neoprene suit is the most unpleasant pijama one can imagine - a surfboard is not an air mattress for chilling. And if the temperatures look like early summer, the Atlantic ocean is f****** cold in April.  Cold as a mountain lake, definitely not a thermal pool. I've tried, honestly, but after one hundred nasal purges, I decide for myself - fair enough as an inhabitant of an interior land - it is totally ok to prefer to water in a different gaseous state. In addition to that, freeride jerseys conceal female problem areas much better than a whole-body suite. So much for that.

Corners, jumps and single tracks in Sintra...

Yes, we can: WERIDE

I prefer to stay ashore and lead my beautiful bike to its destination. We are not only here for vacation, we want to scout the area to emerge a new bike program. And we meet with locals for biking. These locals call themselves WERIDE and are a sympathetic bunch of guides, with a lot of enthusiasm and joy in the matter - exactly our type. Under the blue WERIDE tricot, a story / an English teacher, an architect and an opera singer are joining us in Portugals trails. Interesting people who know many exciting things to tell. It is amazing to bike through the old town of Lisboa with a local architect! Lonely Planet, Baedeker and consorts can’t keep up with that.

The Donkey Trail in the Sintra National Park

Sintra

We have our first Meet & Greet & Ride in Sintra. This region is situated west of Lisbon on the coast and marks the westernmost point of continental Europe. The cultural landscape of Sintra has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1995.
"WE prefer to go uphill comfortably and rock downhill," we are briefly informed about the personal preferences of our guides. Hugos sparkling eyes and his 34 teeth chain ring make me smile too and also suspicious. His brand new carbon Enduro is shining in the sun and I am packing one more layer of suncream on my legs. Let’s hope for a magic effect during the next days. At least I smell good. 
Shortly afterwards we are standing in a dense, damp forest, the trails are fast and also steep, partly with built jumps and berms, in between mossy stones and wet roots. Places for fiddling, tree slalom, small wooden bridges and fords. Strangely, it is foggy even though it is actually a wonderful sunny day.

warning: try not to enjoy too much the panorama

The last meters to the beach.

Braking is a sign of fear

The guys give gas and let it crash. Holger and Rene just stick to Hugo's and Miguel's rear wheel. I lack this kind of primal trust, and I prefer to find my own line, but if I get too far away, I have a hard time to find the right path. It's the 34 teeth time now: as soon as it gets a little flatter, there is no relaxing cruising and looking into the area but stand-up pedalling to burn the thighs. Well ok, training mode ON. With my 30 teeth chain ring and the lack of resistance in the last gear, I feel like a mixer.

Time goes by and after seven hours and some epic descents we can totally feel our legs. But the best part of the day lies still in front of us and it is called 'Donkey Trail': a seemingly endless path in the coastal area that just ends at a secluded beach - just in time for sunset. We are overwhelmed. And we are as hungry as a bear. Fortunately, Hugo knows the right place to go and I can taste my first Bacalhau, it was great.

Lisbon and Monsanto

João takes over in Lisbon. We start in the Parque Florestal de Monsanto. No, this is not about pesticides. It is the 900 ha large recreational area of the "Lisboetas". A park planned and built around 1938 by the architect Francisco Keil do Amaral. A rather hilly area, which has been completely reforested and planted for the purpose of recreation. There are riding paths, climbing spots, sports facilities... And of course trails, trails, trails for bikers! Because of the diversity of the terrain I’m struggling not to loose the guys - and myself. But it happened and it increased my mobile phone roaming charges: "At the beehive left?" - "There was no turn at all and what beehive?" You cannot rely on tire tracks - they lead in all directions, Monsanto houses the hometrails of the Lisbon biker scene. Accordingly, they are also cherished and cared for and above all: they are used by many bikers.

On the coastal road near Ericeira

Dead end on the coast

We enjoy this huge playground all day long until João leads us into the city late in the afternoon. A city tour with a MTB flavour. It is great to see all of those old streets and buildings, but riding there with my own bike is marvellous. Memories of previous visits are popping up. But now I can cruise through the old town, relax on my bike and enjoy the beautiful scenery without having a look on a city map every five minutes.

Rapunzel listening to Fado

At 8:00pm we are invited to a small family restaurant in Bairro Alto. The bikes are just left outside of the bar and nearly block the whole alley. João knows the owners and they not only offer excellent traditional food but also great Fado music. 

We learn quickly that once the show is started and musicians are playing and singing, we have to chew gently and be quiet - no gossip talk allowed here. Unfortunately, I do not understand a single word, but it is definitely very dramatic. Probably someone knows someone who knows someone who once won the lottery and the receipt has been burned down with the house? Or the good-looking boy must leave the country for political reasons, the fiancée promises to wait until she can finally forget him with progressive dementia, a gray streak flashes in the light of the sunset, fade out, aperture, change of scene. My imagination is going wild and I am very entertained.

A fado restaurant in the old town of Lisbon, Alfama

Rapunzel listening to Fado

Every small musical break, the waitress is running from table to table to fill up the glasses. The appearance may be deceptive, but our table is more often visited than others. And every time she moves closer to me, caressing my cheek, sometimes my hair. It’s no solution, not to drink and order. She keeps on coming to our table. Damn it, what’s going on here?

I could have guessed: the reason is my red hair. Shortly afterwards I’m officially called Rapunzel and we are asked to sign a thick guestbook. What's closer to cutting a single curl? A Leatherman has many features and can help in so many situations - it cuts hair quite well. Now they stick beside our names in the guestbook and I got a big kiss in addition to an even bigger hug.

Nightride and Soulmates

João warned us not to eat too much… didn’t help. The uphill to the castle with our full stomach was challenging and the muscles in our legs are complaining about the uneven blood distribution in our bodies. Those who don’t know the old town of Lisboa: the streets are partly very steep and the alleys are more like staircases and footpaths.

Nightride through the narrow streets of Bairro Alto

The famous streets of Lisbon

The castle has been locked just before we arrived, so we continue to the "miradouro" and enjoy a fantastic view over Bairro Alto and the lights of the city. The last downhill of the day starts here: over the many stairs and through narrow lanes, past strolling tourists with their cell phones. We also ride parts of the city downhill circuit. Sometimes I have fortune favours, that my unusually wide handlebars do not get stuck with a handrail or wall. At the bottom, in the middle of the city, endorphins rush in and we are totally awake again. 

So what to do with the night? Correct. Biking from the Baixa Pombalina to Bairro Alto. The Bohemian corner and all the pubs of the city - João knows the best place for ice cream - Santini in Baixa Chiado. Afterwards, we walk through the crowd of party people and enjoy the nightlife. And somehow, we reached the subway station for the last train back to Monsanto and Martin's van. A fast ride to the ticket counter, but after the barrier we have to push the bikes. 12 hours of riding and intense life are over.

Ericeira and coastal flowers

The rest of the trip we are exploring the surrounding area of Martin's Surfcamp in Ericeira on our own. We also take a closer look at the coastal walk. At this time of the year the otherwise rather sparse vegetation shows a colourful flower dress. Climbs can quickly become hikes but the view to the sea is amazing. Holger is getting nervous when beautiful big waves are rolling in. I believe that those are the moments when his surfer heart is trying to fight the MTB heart. Landlubbers like me don’t have such problems - right?

Right on the beach at portugalsurfcamp.com

Rene had a lesson to learn: it’s not a good idea to hand me his credit card to buy some stuff from the "pastelaria" without precise orders. Hungry and with his money, I probably exaggerated a little bit. I returned with the two tablets of Pastel de Nata in all different kinds. And from my point of view it was definitely worth it! 

We enjoy our time and collect impressions, moments of happiness and sunny days. In the camp, where  wetsuits and surfboards are normally put to be cleaned from salt water, we shower the dust from our bikes. At least the colours of our bikes fit to the rather colourful surfing equipment in the garage.

We will be back!

There is no trail on the surfboard

But towards the end of the week, Martin insists that we try surfing one more time. He asked Flávio, his main surf-trainer, to show us some basic skills. We have run up and down the beach in those wetsuits, dry paddling in the sand and jumping up to the board on command. Have I already mentioned that these neoprene suits are not quite breathable? In a short time, it gets very hot and I’m looking forward to the icy Atlantic. 
The current is much stronger than at the beginning of the week. I have to fight my way through the white water to Flávio. The waves determine the rhythm. There’s no time for waiting and thinking. And they come in very short intervals. I cannot wait for the moment when I feel ready, I have to adjust myself and be ready when the moment comes. This is new to me and probably my biggest challenge. 
And at some point, after the most frequent dive, I manage not to tip forward or tilt backwards or sideways, but just get up and stand still. And very briefly I have a slight idea of how it could feel. And soon the water is only mouse-knee deep and the fun is over. 

Who knows, maybe I am not such a huge landlubber as I thought and there’s room for improvement. But there’s enough time to find out. And until then, my bike is my best friend - and "pastel de nata", and port wine, and Portugal…


ENDURO MAG: SPOT CHECK PORTUGAL - THE BEST BIKE SPOTS BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN

WERIDE Enduro mag
Original review at ENDURO Mag here
ENG: Hard-core shredding meets pleasure biking: Portugal offers everything you could want from a mountain bike holiday, plus picture-postcard beaches, eucalyptus forests and incredible fruit brandy. Where can you find all this? Read on…
DE: Hard-Core-Shredden meets Genussbiken: Portugal bietet alles, was man sich von einem Bikeurlaub nur wünschen kann. Und legt dann noch Postkartenstrände, Eukalytpuswälder und fantastischen Obstschnaps obendrauf. Wo ihr was findet, lest ihr hier...

ENG: Sun, sea and amazing trails. Portugal has much to offer
DE: Sonne, Meer und feinste Trails: Portugal hat einiges zu bieten

ENG: “Tranquilo, tranquilo” – take it easy. This statement, often combined with a charming grin is a life philosophy in Portugal. The mixture of the Southern European lust for life, combined with a laid-back atmosphere can be found everywhere in the Atlantic air, enchanting most visitors from their first day of vacation. For mountain bikers, Portugal is a very serene country; and because hiking (unlike surfing) is not a national sport, you’ll hardly find any walking nature lovers in most mountain regions.

DE: „Tranquilo, tranquilo“ – immer mit der Ruhe. Dieser Ausspruch, meist mit einem charmanten Grinsen kombiniert, ist in Portugal Lebensmotto. Die Mischung aus südländischer Lebensfreude und einer großen Portion entspannter Lässigkeit liegt hier überall in der Atlantikluft und erfasst auch die meisten Besucher gleich am ersten Urlaubstag. Für Mountainbiker ist Portugal aber auch in anderem Sinne ein sehr gelassenes Land. Weil Wandern (im Gegensatz zu Surfen) hier kein Nationalsport ist, gibt es in den meisten Bergregionen kaum fußläufige Naturliebhaber.

ENG: Conflict between hikers and mountain bikers? The Portuguese don’t know what you are talking about! There is a lot of freedom in the hills and the small but extremely enthusiastic mountain bike scene knows how to use it. Especially the hot-blooded enduro, freeride and downhill-community who have created a varied network of trails in the mountains, hills and forests: from flowy to demanding, all with a high fun factor! The guys (female bikers are a rarity in Portugal unfortunately) fulfill their own trail dreams with a lot of zeal and Portuguese passion; and although the trails are more tolerated by the municipalities than legal, with almost no signposts, the trails are waiting to be discovered. Therefore, it is worth letting the local guides (such as Hugo, João and Luis Pedro from the guiding company WERIDE) show you the highlights, especially because they put together the ideal trail package for each guest or group based on personal riding style, experience, and trail preferences. No matter whether you have one day or two weeks to ride, WERIDE can design a trip to take in one or multiple areas of Portugal.

DE: Wegerecht-Konflikte zwischen Wanderern und Mountainbikern? Kennen die Portugiesen nicht. Diese Freiheit weiß die kleine, aber extrem enthusiastische Mountainbike-Szene zu nutzen. Vor allem eine heißblütige Enduro-, Freeride- und Downhill-Community zaubert allerorts flowige bis anspruchsvolle Trails mit hohem Spaßfaktor in Berge, Hügel und Wälder. Und das mit viel Eifer und portugiesischer Leidenschaft, wenn auch von den Gemeinden eher geduldet als legal. Ausgeschildert sind die Trails allerdings fast nie. Deshalb lohnt es, sich von Local Guides wie Hugo, João und Luis Pedro von WERIDE die Highlights zeigen zu lassen. Zumal die Jungs für jeden Gast das optimale Trailpaket zusammenstellen – nach persönlichen Vorlieben und egal, ob für einen Tag oder zwei Wochen, in nur einem Gebiet oder mehreren nacheinander.

ENG: We tested three of the best Portuguese mountain biking spots for you. Read below to find out more about their character: 

Text: Mila Hanke
Guided bike tours and shuttles: WERIDE.pt

DE: Wir haben drei der besten Bikespots in Portugal für euch getestet. Was den jeweiligen Spot auszeichnet, erfahrt ihr auf den nächsten Seiten:

Text: Mila Hanke
Guides, Shuttles und sehr gute Leihbikes über: WERIDE.pt


ENDURO MAG: SPOT CHECK PORTUGAL - SINTRA

WERIDE Enduro mag

Original review at ENDURO Mag here

1. SINTRA

ENG: The Sintra-Cascais Natural Park featuring the small mountain range of Serra de Sintra lies approximately 25 km northwest of Lisbon and is a relatively unknown biking paradise with a special mystic charm. Firstly, medieval castles and ostentatious cathedrals and palaces are scattered in the jungle-like hilly forest – no wonder the region was honoured with a UNESCO World Heritage title; the colourful and ornate buildings certainly add a magical atmosphere to each bike tour. Secondly, very committed local enduro and downhill riders have built around 25 trails into the forest of Sintra, uncovering overgrown farm tracks in the process to add to the growing network.

DE: Der Naturpark Sintra-Cascais mit der kleinen Gebirgskette Serra de Sintra liegt ca. 25 km nordwestlich von Lissabon und ist ein noch wenig bekanntes Bikeparadies mit besonderem Charme. Denn erstens sind in den dschungelhaften Hügelwald mittelalterliche Burgen und prunkvolle Kathedralen und Paläste verstreut, die der Region einen UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe-Titel eingebracht haben und jeder Biketour etwas Märchenhaftes verleihen. Zweitens haben hier engagierte Enduro- und Downhill-Fahrer rund 25 Trails in den Wald gebaut oder zugewucherte Bauernpfade freigeschnitten.

ENG: The result is a playful mix of natural trails with roots, switchbacks and rocks, garnished with drops, jumps, berms and even some North Shore elements. In Sintra you feel like you are in a big freeride park for all skill levels – but without chairlifts and in the midst of lush nature. Here renowned Colombian downhiller Marcelo Gutiérrez baptised the crisp descent “11th level”, creating a famous “Strava challenge” where downhillers from all over the world can come and try to beat Marcelo’s fastest time.

DE: Das Ergebnis ist eine verspielte Mischung aus natürlichen Trails mit Wurzeln, Kehren und Felsen, garniert mit Drops, Sprüngen, Anliegern und sogar dem einen oder anderen North-Shore-Element. In Sintra fühlt man sich wie in einem großen Freeride-Park für alle Könnerstufen – aber ohne Lifte, mitten in üppiger Natur. Der kolumbianische Downhill-Profi Marcelo Gutiérrez hat hier die knackige Abfahrt „11th Level“ bekannt gemacht, weil er mit einer Strava-Challenge dazu aufrief, seine eigene Zeit zu schlagen.

ENG: The region also offers less adrenalin-pumped biking experiences, including endless flow trails with panoramic views over the entire coast, finishing directly at the sea and beaches. Sintra also has other trump cards up its sleeve distinguishing the region from other European mountain biking spots – most notably the never-sleeping metropolis of Lisbon, just 38 minutes away by regional train from Sintra Railway Station.

DE: Die Region bietet aber auch weniger Adrenalinvollgepumptes: etwa endlos lange Flowtrails mit Weitblick über die gesamte Küste direkt bis ans Meer. Zudem hat Sintra noch weitere Trümpfe im Ärmel, die die Gegend von anderen europäischen Bikespots unterscheidet: Nur gut 35 Regionalzug-Minuten vom Bahnhof Sintra entfernt liegt die nimmermüde Metropole Lissabon.

ENG: Whether in daytime by foot, or on a night ride by bike, you can spend hours drifting through the narrow streets with charming faded facades to eventually stand in one of the many famous Fado bars, where you can look forward to typical dishes (for example one of the many variations of “Bacalhau”, Portuguese codfish), regional wines and of course some live Fado singers, the traditional melancholic Portuguese music. If you want to stay longer in Sintra and not just go biking, the Natural Park Sintra-Cascais also offers a large collection of rock faces for bouldering and rock climbing and beaches for surfing, all within a one-hour drive.

DE: Egal ob tagsüber zu Fuß oder bei einem Night-Ride per Bike – hier kann man sich stundenlang durch die Gassen mit den charmant heruntergekommenen Hausfassaden treiben lassen, um schließlich in einer der vielen Fado-Bars zu stranden: für typische Gerichte (etwa eine der zig Varianten des Bacalhau, des portugiesischen Stockfischs), Wein und den traditionellen, melancholischen Live-Gesang. Und: Wer länger bleiben und nicht nur biken möchte, findet im Naturpark Sintra-Cascais auch noch eine riesige Auswahl an Felsen und Stränden zum Bouldern, Klettern und Surfen, alles im Umkreis von maximal einer Stunde.

ENG: Helpful information at a glance

Best time to visit: Sintra is a year-round biking destination, but the most pleasant times for riding are spring and autumn. In September and October, the Atlantic is also warmer than in spring for those wanting to enjoy the ocean.

Good to have: Tubeless tires or many spare tubes, thorns and spines are commonplace on the trails. Good to know: Even in Lisbon you can find bike trails, just head to the city park Monsanto. To help you chat with the mountain biking locals: the Portuguese abbreviation for “MTB” is “BTT”: “Bicicleta Todo Terreno”.

Accommodation: “The Lodge” located a 10 minute walk from the beach “Praia Grande” has a large garden with cozy hammock spots, sauna, Jacuzzi, a great breakfast buffet and a self-catering kitchen. “The Lodge” is run by manager Ralph, a German immigrant and passionate surfer. Female bike travellers and couples will especially like “The Lodge” for its spacious garden, relaxed atmosphere and daily yoga classes (thelodgeportugal.com). Next door, also run by Ralph, is the slightly cheaper and just recently opened: Starpine Lodge (starpinelodge.com). For both accommodation options you can book weekly packages with climbing courses, surf lessons or bike tours. If you want to stay closer to the bike trails and the train station and go to the beach by bus or car, you will be better accommodated directly in Sintra town (located roughly halfway between the main beaches and Lisbon.) where there are plenty of cheap guesthouses and hostels to choose from.

Bars in Lisbon: “Marcelino Pão e Vinho” (Rua do Salvador, 62, Lisbon): A cute little restaurant in the Alfama district serving very good food on old records. Live music can also be enjoyed here on some evenings. Drink Tip: Try Ginjinha, a cherry liqueur, served in a wine glass, with a taste similar to Port wine. “A Tasca do Chico” (Rua do Diário de Notícias 39, Lisbon): Small cozy Fado bar in Bairro Alto district. Arrive early, it gets crowded quickly!

Guides, Shuttles and excellent rental bikes via: WERIDE.pt


DE: Alle Informationen im Überblick

Beste Reisezeit: Ganzjährig, am angenehmsten aber im Frühjahr und Herbst. Im September und Oktober ist der Atlantik wärmer als im Frühling.

Gut zu haben: Tubeless-Reifen oder viele Ersatzschläuche. Dornen und Nadeln gehören auf den Trails dazu.

Gut zu wissen: Auch mitten in Lissabon gibt es Biketrails, nämlich im Stadtpark Monsanto. Und zum Mitreden: Die portugiesische Abkürzung für „MTB“ lautet „BTT“, bicicleta todo terreno.

Unterkunft: Etwa 10 min Fußweg vom Strand Praia Grande entfernt liegt die schicke Outdoorsport-Lodge „The Lodge“ mit großem Garten, Sauna, Jacuzzi und Selbstversorger-Küche, betrieben von Ralph, einem deutschen Auswanderer (thelodgeportugal.com). Diese Anlage gefällt vor allem weiblichen Bikeurlaubern und Paaren. Nebenan, etwas preiswerter und erst vor Kurzem ebenfalls von Ralph neu eröffnet: starpinelodge.com. Bei beiden kann man Wochenpakete mit Kletterkursen, Surfkursen oder Biketouren buchen. Wer näher an Biketrails und Bahnhof wohnen will und zum Strand den Bus oder das Auto nimmt, übernachtet besser direkt im Ort Sintra (liegt etwa in der Mitte zwischen Stränden und Lissabon.) Hier gibt es jede Menge günstige Pensionen und Hostels.

Bars in Lissabon: Nettes kleines Lokal im Stadtteil Alfama: „Marcelino Pao e Vinho“. Sehr leckeres Essen, auf alten Schallplatten serviert. Drink-Tipp: Ginjinha, ein Kirschlikör, der im Weinglas serviert wird und wie Portwein schmeckt. Ab und zu abends Live-Musik (Rua do Salvador, 62, Lissabon). Kleine gemütliche Fado-Bar im Stadtteil Barro Alto: „A Tasca do Chico“ (R. do Diário de Notícias 39, Lissabon). Früh da sein, ist schnell voll.

Guides, Shuttles und sehr gute Leihbikes über: WERIDE.pt


DIRT MOUNTAIN BIKE: SWEET PROTECTION - DIE BEARSUIT KNEE PADS

Original review (german only) at DIRT Mountain Bike Magazine here

SWEET PROTECTION: DIE BEARSUIT KNEE PADS
Sweet Protection im Frühling/Sommer 2016

Knie-Protektoren für Trail-Erkundungen und anspruchsvolle Feierabend- Ausfahrten sind aus dem Ausrüstungs-Repertoire der meisten Mountainbiker nicht mehr weg zu denken. Leicht sollten sie allerdings sein, und bereits nach den ersten Pedalumrundungen in Vergessenheit geraten.

Sascha Matthies @ WERIDE

BEARSUIT LIGHT KNEE PADS

Die Bearsuit Light Knee Pads, sind wie der Name schon sagt mit ihren 330 Gramm sehr leicht und dank ihrer 3D-optimierten Slimfit-Anatomie mit kleinem Volumen, die speziell für Pedalierbewegungen konzipiert wurde, auch bequem am Knie zu tragen.

Der viskoelastische SAS-TEC-Schaum verhärtet sich bei einem Aufprall und absorbiert so einen Großteil der Energie. Ein weiterer Vorteil des Schaums ist, er muss nach einem Sturz nicht ausgetauscht werden. Um auch den Rest der Schoner so robust wie möglich zu machen, sind die Protektorelemente mit einem aramidverstärkten Stretch-Material bespannt.

Das elastische und für eine bessere Belüftung perforierte Yamamoto-Neopren stellt sicher, dass die Pads selbst bei Stürzen nicht verrutschen oder verdrehen. Auf der Rückseite sorgt Lycra nicht nur für einen angenehm luftigen Sitz, sondern auch dafür, dass der Schmodder da bleibt, wo er hin gehört, nämlich im Wald und nicht in der Kniekehle. Die Bearsuit Light Knee Pads sind die beste Wahl für Mountainbiker, die auf Nummer sicher gehen wollen, ohne dabei an Beweglichkeit einzubüßen.

Bearsuit Light Knee Pads / true_black

UVP BEARSUIT LIGHT KNEE PADS: 99 EURO

BEARSUIT PRO KNEE PADS

Für alle gravity-betonteren Spielarten des Mountainbikes hat Sweet Protection die Bearsuit Pro Knee Pads entwickelt. Sie kommen mit dem Absorptions-Material SAS-TEC SC-1/42 PRESTIGE, dessen maximale Werte bei der Dämpfung von Stößen die Anforderungen (Protection Level 2) nochmals um 50 bis 60 Prozent übertreffen. Pads seitlich und oberhalb des Knies bieten zusätzlichen Schutz.

Außerdem ermöglichen Zipper ein schnelles und unkompliziertes An- und Ablegen der Protektoren.

FAZIT: DIESE PADS SIND ETWAS FÜR FLEISSIG STRAMPELNDE BIKE-ROWDYS, DIE AUF NUMMER SICHER GEHEN WOLLEN.

Bearsuit Pro Knee Pads / true black

UVP BEARSUIT PRO KNEE PADS: 139 EURO

 

ÜBER SWEET PROTECTION:

Mitten in der norwegischen Wildnis am Fuße der Berge, entwickelt Sweet Protection seit dem Jahr 2000 Protektoren, Funktionsbekleidung und Helme.

Die Firma wurde von ein paar Freunden gegründet, die im Winter jede freie Minute auf Snowboard und Skiern verbringen und im Sommer die Bretter gegen Wildwasser-Kajak und Mountainbike eintauschen. Das preisgekrönte Team besteht aus innovativen Designern, Technikern, die ihr Handwerk verstehen, und großartigen Athleten, deren Mission es ist, die Produkte jeden Tag auf das Äußerste zu testen. Dabei sind sie unerlässlich auf der Jagd nach Perfektion bis ins kleinste Detail.

WEITERE PRODUKTE VON SWEET PROTECTION:

MEHR ÜBER SWEET PROTECTION UND IHRE NEUE KOLLEKTION FÜR 2016 FINDET IHR UNTER: WWW.SWEETPROTECTION.COM

WERIDE, Portugal


RED BULL: dig&shred photo challenge winners!

Last month, WERIDE launched a photographic challenge from the Dig & Shred project, a partnership between Marcelo Gutierrez and Red Bull. The Colombian rider challenged all riders to hit his mark on the descent of a blistering new track in Sintra, the "11th Level", built by the Sintra Freeride Militia team.

Now, the best photograph taken at "Level 11" during the challenge will take the photographer and the photographed rider to Lousã for a whole day with a professional downhill athlete.

The first, second and third place will receive a Dig & Shred t-shirt autographed by the guest rider and a pack of Red Bull.

Here are the winners chosen by Hugo Silva, Red Bull´s official photographer:
 

1st PLACE, photo by RODRIGO SILVA
rider DIOGO SILVA

Photo by Rodrigo Silva | rider Diogo Silva

2nd PLACE, photo by JAH GUIDE
rider ANDRÉ EGREJA

Photo by Jah Guide | rider André Egreja

3rd PLACE, photo by BERNARDO MIRANDA
rider FRANCISCO ROCHA

Photo by Bernardo Miranda | rider Francisco Rocha


BIKESPORT: Sintras Trailrituale

weride Sintra bikesport
Flowige Trails gibt es viele in Portugal. Dieses mal sogar mit Meerblick.

Flowige Trails gibt es viele in Portugal. Dieses mal sogar mit Meerblick.

Hawaii-Feeling in Portugal?

Für Wellenreiter nichts Neues. Unweit der Atlantikküste gibt es aber auch ein nahezu unbekanntes Juwel. Die Trails der Serra de Sintra mit Regenwald-Flair.

Vor der ehemaligen Stalltür unserer Unterkunft stehend, blicken wir nach Süden. Von flauschigen Wolkenfäden bedeckt, liegt das hügelige Waldgebiet Serra de Sintra vor uns. Mit den Worten „Einfach nur mystisch, dieser Anblick!“ werden wir von unserem portugiesischen Guide Hugo Oliveira (WERIDE) zur heutigen Mountainbiketour abgeholt. Über Nebenstraßen und Forstwege geht es erstmal eine gute halbe Stunde bergauf. Der immer stärker werdende salzige Schweißgeschmack auf den Lippen erinnert mich an das erfrischende Bad, das wir gestern im kühlen Atlantik genommen haben. Der Nebel wird dichter. Regenwaldstimmung. „Jetzt nur noch zwei Kehren und dann sind wir da“, motiviert Hugo. Am Traileinstieg auf gut 300 Höhenmeter steht kein Wegschild. Keine Markierung. Nur ein Hinweis von Hugo: „Hier lag vor ein paar Tagen noch eine tote Katze. Das war eine Opfergabe von Voodookultanhängern, die gerade bei Nebel ihre Opferrituale in der Serra feiern.“ Jetzt sind wir gespannt, was heute noch alles Unerwartetes auf dem Trail geschehen wird. Ich zurre den Rucksack fest. Und ab geht es in einen mit Moos und Farnen durchzogenen Märchenwald. Und genauso fühlt sich der Trail an. Weich. Griffig. Ungewohnt anders.

Mehr als nur Surfen

weride bikesport Pena palace

Wellen reiten? Ja. Aber Mountainbiken in Portugal? Diese Frage haben wir uns vor dem Reisestart in das südwestlichste Land Europas mehrmals gestellt. Die Antwort wollen wir in der Serra de Sintra mit einer Erhebung von gerade mal 530 Metern finden. Die Region, gut 30 Kilometer westlich von Lissabon, ist bei der deutschen Geländeradzunft kaum bekannt. Internationale Touristen gibt es hier aber viele, denn die Serra de Sintra ist seit 1995 Weltkulturerbe der UNESCO. An märchenhaften Schlössern, Parkanlagen, Herrenhäusern und Villen vorbei fahren wir mit dem Mietwagen bis zum farbenfrohen Nationalpalast, dem Palácio Nacional da Pena. Er thront über der Serra und wird auch als das Neuschwanstein Portugals bezeichnet.

weride bikesport hiting berm

Von Mountainbikern bis jetzt keine Spur. Wenige Kilometer von der Touristenhochburg entfernt tauchen wir in das Sintra für Naturliebhaber ein. Immer wieder queren Trails die kleine Nebenstraße. Hugo, der uns auf dieses Gebiet aufmerksam gemacht hat, ist begeistert von dem einzigartigen Mikroklima, in dem man 365 Tage im Jahr biken kann. Die Landschaft wechselt ständig zwischen Dschungel, Regenwald und Farnfeldern. Hawaii-Feeling pur.

Die komplette Reisegeschichte findet ihr im bikesport Reisespezial 2015.

Unter folgenden Link könnt ihr das Heft bestellen:
www.bikesport-magazin.de/heft/heftnachbestellung

Gewinnspiel: Mountainbike Reise im Wert von 1149 Euro zu gewinnen

weride bikesport highfive

In Kooperation mit der MTB-Fahrtechnikschule und Reiseagentur HappyTrails.de aus dem Chiemgau verlost das bikesport Magazin eine Reise nach Portugal. Beim „Surfing HappyTrails Mountainbike Trailcamp“, das am 27. Februar 2016 startet, kann sich der Gewinner auf eine Woche Trailspaß in einem Gesamtwert von 1149,- Euro freuen. Geschlafen wird in der Multisport-Unterkunft The Lodge (www.thelodgeportugal.com). Unter www. happytrails.de/gewinnspiel-portugal kann man bis zum 23. 12. 2015 an der Verlosung teilnehmen. Mehr über das Trailparadies Sintra erfahrt ihr im bikesport Reisespezial 2015.

Hier gehts zum Gewinnspiel:
www. happytrails.de/gewinnspiel-portugal

Unter folgenden Link könnt ihr das Heft bestellen:
www.bikesport-magazin.de/heft/heftnachbestellung

Viel Glück!

Die Trails der Serra de Sintra mit Regenwald-Flair


ENDURO MAG: RidingStyle in Serra de Sintra

weride enduro mag

Original review at ENDURO Mag here

Fabian Arzberger of Ridingstyle is traveling a lot! This time, he went to Portugal. This is his report!

While searching for a new riding destination in the southern climes, I stumbled across Portugals Serra de Sintra. Just a few kilometres east of the capital Lisbon, this mountainous forest area is a protected natural park that promises incredible trails spread across a breathtaking landscape, with sea views to top it all off. The host of other sporting options and its broad cultural offerings rendered the region even more appealing to me. So, flight and accommodation duly booked, the fun could begin.

weride sintra ridingstyle

On the edge of the national park and directly by the coast stands The Lodge, where I’d call home for the next six days. I’d decided that the ultimate way to explore the region would be a B&B with a beautiful garden, chill-out room and self-catering option. Here, I’d be provided with plenty of information on the local bike trails and could book both a local guide and a shuttle service.

weride lodge ridingstyle

What’s more The Lodge offers a yoga and fitness pavilion, swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool – decide between a complete workout or total relaxation. Your choice entirely. The surrounding area boasts over 50 surfing locations within a short drive, so you’ll always hit the perfect swell. For fans of bouldering, there are tons of opportunities in the immediate proximity. The Lodge’s reception is a mine of information with maps and details on local guides.

weride sintra lodge

But first I head off on my mountain bike to get to know the area a little. At just 16 km wide, the Serra de Sintra isn’t particularly big, but its highest summit of 529 m can be seen from every direction. Reasoning that there had to be some adventure to be enjoyed, I pedaled off in search of it.

weride sintra Pena palace

As I pedal up I find the odd trail or two. The open and friendly local riders that I encounter let me tag along and show me just what the Sintra Mountains have to offer.
You gradually pick up on the fact that the locals are pretty proud of their trails. Carefully laid, and furnished with berms, drops and jumps, there’s something to suit every taste. Flat, steep, flowing, techy, jumps, drops, berms – it’s all here. And despite the descents all being rather brief, they’re easy to link into each other and you’ll soon find yourself back up high.

The descents down to the coast have the same incredible views but are a little less trodden.

The descents down to the coast have the same incredible views but are a little less trodden.

weride shoreline ridingstyle

By the end of the day I’m shattered, having seen and ridden quite a few kilometres. In fact, too many kilometres probably, as my navigational skills kept failing me and I wasted time looking for trails. If you want to have a more worthwhile day of riding, turn to WERIDE and get a local guide to accompany you. After appealing to the reception at The Lodge that evening, they arrange a guide for the next day.

weride colares ridingstyle

Our guide Hugo guides us through the forests of Sintra the following day. WE’re riding trails that I’d never have found on my own. Super diverse, we get down to business and repeatedly climb and descend. It’s the ideal terrain for enduro riders.

weride team ridingstyle

For those who aren’t so keen on climbing – or would just prefer to ride downhill as much as possible – you can book a shuttle guide. I decided to do this for a day as the conclusion to my trip and headed out again with the guys from WERIDE.

We rode trail after trail virtually non-stop, some of them multiple times.

We rode trail after trail virtually non-stop, some of them multiple times.

weride torgas ridingstyle

Unfortunately my riding came to a premature end after destroying my front wheel and one of my ribs on a hard landing. However, this allowed me to check out the hospital in nearby Colares – my verdict: not bad.

weride widow ridingstyle

The schedule of the last two days took on a slightly more cultural theme, with a visit to the beach, a shopping trip to Lisbon and a good look at the fish in the Oceanarium.

Conclusion: Given the great value flights and accommodation, a week of riding in Serra de Sintra is definitely worth recommending. Diverse trails and Mediterranean flair are a winning combination. For those who want to stay longer, there are more than enough activities and attractions to keep you busy. In my opinion it’s the blend of surfing, bouldering and yoga that render the region and The Lodge so appealing too. They also offer airport transfers so rental car hassle can be avoided. The guys from WERIDE will guarantee that you find every single trail and there are more areas to be discovered on your bike too, such as closer to Lisbon or north of Sintra. 

Accommodation: The Lodge
Trail Guides: WERIDE
MTB technique and camps: Ridingstyle

Words: Fabian Arzberger | Pictures: Ridingstyle / WERIDE / The Lodge
URL: http://enduro-mtb.com/en/travel-portugal-enduro-style-in-the-serra-de-sintra