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Lousã Bike Trip

October 25, 2010

So we went to rip Lousã trails again. This time we took 4 new AMA crew members and explore new trails.

Here´s a little teaser

This report is about the second time that the All Mountain Addict crew got together in Lousã. This is one of the best places in Portugal for mountain biking. Team Santa Cruz Syndicate made the first rides with their carbon V10 on Lousã tracks! The crew is composed by 7 riders from different geographical places of Portugal that just gather around two or three times a year to explore new trails and have a good time.

Day one “The gathering”

Friday night, packing things, eat something at “Italiano” restaurant and the beer machine drops dead in the middle of dinner. Not a good thing because not all like chocolate milk! And after the meal we start the road trip to the village. One and a half hours to the rented house in Lousã, unpacking things and out for a beer to talk about every kind of crap!

Saturday morning with “Saturday night” wake up!

Took the 4×4 truck stuffed with bikes, gear and riders up the mountain and the first run was divided in three groups to recognize the different trails in the area called “Terreiro das Bruxas”. This is group of singletracks with a lot of roots and a soft compound created by tree leafs. The trails are very fast have small drops and berms and provide a well spend morning.

In the afternoon, after a grilled chicken lunch, we went to a different set of trails that end in a small mountain village called “Gondramaz”. We spend some good time there jumping a small roadgap, but sadly the local vegetation as started to cover the singletracks and it was hard to see the right way, but still a good time.

After this afternoon of joy, we return to the house to get some rest and some food in our bellies because the chicken was long gone!

Sunday “Mondraker bikepark”

We went to explore a project called ”Mondraker bikepark”. It’s a group of trails created by some locals to explore another part of the mountain in a more professional way.

We had some trouble finding the trails at the beginning, because they are all covered in pine needles, but once we find it and get to know the right way to go it was a lot of fun, definitely a  place to return!

The end is in an old mountain guard house, and as I said they are worth of some runs!

It was a great weekend, with great trails and moments! Hope forward to the next trip!

more photos are available on Flickr [Lousã Bike Trip set].

We have done it, again.

July 13, 2010

just arrived from Alp D’ Huez, once more the Megavalanche was simply astonishing. Few words can describe it…

Be prepared

May 12, 2010

The Megavalanche 2010 is almost here and I hope to be part of it again.

Last year it was my first time in this epic event. From day 1 I’ve became addicted and in past January I signed in again for the 2010 edition.

My first experience had good and bad points.

On the good side was the huge amount of trails to ride, the massive concentration of allmountain and DH riders in one event, the professional organization that every year make this happen, the company of Portuguese friends, etc…

The down side was my lack of physical preparation. One week riding an average of 40km per day was painful from mid week till the end, but the need for riding bikes down the mountains was stronger and sometimes adrenaline and happiness took pain apart.

Learning with past experience, i´ve sign up in a local gym to prepare myself for next July.

Some friends told me that physical preparation before the event is essential to handle “one week of skeleton shaking”.

In addition to the gym work I try to hit the local trails at least once a week to upgrade my descent skills on rough terrain. Gather the crew to spend a weekend on the endless trail site in Lousan is a “must do” for many reasons. Put our minds away from work and make as many descents as possible till the pain strike our bodies.

So i´ve already start to get in shape to enjoy a full week of massive descents on high altitude on the most beautiful trails i´ve seen so far. Can´t wait!

Meanwhile check our photos from last year´s Mega Avalanche, here.

What you do when you´re tired to ride the same old trails over and over? You start to build your own or improve an existing one. That´s what we are doing on our favourite spot. Improve it and upgrade it by opening new lines to escape the main trail. But the new ones must be more fun and more difficult to ride for skill improvement. So every Saturday morning we grab our tools and bikes and hit the spot and start to dig and cut bushes. Usually in one morning we can open 50m to 80m of trail. When a new trail or part of a trail is ready we take our friends to do a test ride.

Our building skills don´t contemplate wood working, so we don´t have shores and stuff like that. The only wood used are some fallen trees positioned along the path to sustain gravel and rocks. The main goal is to use the existing terrain shape and take the best out of it.

Drops, steep descents, switchbacks, closed turns, etc… everything that provides a fluid, technical and fun ride.

Bad weather?

March 25, 2010

There´s a bad weather weekend and what are the riding possibilities? Plenty! Just grab your gear, your bike, gather the crew and hit the trails. Rain and mud won´t bite you.
That´s what we did past winter. Four brave riders went to Lousan for a weekend ride. Our
hope was the sun will appear just for two days, but only the rain showed up. But you don´t go out on a weekend to stay at home by the fireplace. Since we were there, the only reasonable thing to do was try out the muddy trails.
A good help was a 4×4 pickup truck (thanks Elio!) to shuttle us uphill taking the shortest gravel road.
I´ve tried those trails in several conditions, but nothing like this time. One of the trails had water running down, so we´ve got our first experience riding down a river on a bike. It was an unforgettable experience.

hungry bike boy

February 28, 2010

…so, what does my Santa Cruz Nomad and the 28th February have in common? nothing, that’s the problem. haven’t ride my bike since last year, shame on me.

but, the 2010 Megavalanche is coming (in 19 weeks time) and I will be there again.

some new parts are arriving for my precious SC any time soon… it’s time to kick the pedals!

having fun

November 14, 2009

The winter is coming, days are shorter and Sunday mornings are colder.

Anyway, some weeks ago I managed to kill some bike hunger: packed the bikes, photo and movie cameras and joined André and Filipe to a little tour around some of our trails from the past century (the hardtail times) looking for some fun.

It went something like this…

The video is too short to exemplify how much we enjoyed the ride.
It’s amazing how easy and simple is to get some great fun. That’s why I love MTB!

Megavalanche

July 15, 2009

Long time no see… why?  first we were busy getting ready for the Mega, then we were riding it!!!  Soon we will post a brief summary and some photos/videos from the unique  Megavalanche Alpe D’ Huez  (race results here).

mega

This is Enduro…

May 21, 2009

AVcup_logoUndoubtedly one of my favourite MTB race concepts, too hard for a XC bike and too soft (?) for a downhill monster. What you need is a All Mountain (or Enduro) trail bike, light enough for the uphill sections but at the same time strong and effective for the downhill sections.

Bike Enduro races are mainly composed of downhill timed stages interconnected by several kilometers of (normally) uphill trails, the winner is the fastest rider in the downhill sections which also completed the interconnection stages within the established limit times.

Have a look at our All Mountain Addict Delicious bookmarks for the video coverage of the Avalanche Cup 2009 / round#2 –  Kielder Enduro (race results here).