The 2018 DHI (Downhill Mountain Biking) Portugal Cup was help in the Algarve (second round) and earlier this year, we went along to take a look.
International Mountain Biking Competition
The mountain biking event was held in “Arimbo” just northwest of São Bras de Alportel. Somewhere around here: https://goo.gl/maps/qvZmnZX1JH52 Check out a riders eye view of the downhill course from Silas Grandy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXdLp…
Thankfully there were tons of signs pointing us to the area because it really is just a barren set of incredible hills and the course snakes down into a deep valley lined with brush and dotted with little lakes, know by the locals as “barragems”.
Mountain Biking in the Algarve
Mountain biking itself is super popular in the Algarve and you’ll often see kit-laden grey bearded men crossing the by-ways as they hop from dirt track to dirt track. Personally I enjoy mountain biking a whole lot more (than cycling on the road) as there are literally thousands of secret tracks all over the back country. It’s peaceful, calm and on top of a great workout you can experience unbelievable scenery, panoramic views and hidden villages.
Occasionally on rounding a corner and after being greeted by the yapping of nasty little dogs an old person’s head will swivel on a stick and stare at you as you glide through their village. It often feels like modern civilization hasn’t reached these people and they’re only a kilometer off the highway! More often than not, their Mercedes Benz is parked in the garage and they’ve just returned from a day out at the brand new Mar shopping center to adopt the appearance of mad hillbillys.
Anything is possible in this amazing region. I love the Algarve!
Algarve Bike Companies
There are quite a few companies who do mountain bike tours and rent out bicycles around the Algarve. These two spring to mind right now, and hopefully in the future I will get to experience these companies first hand and to be able to tell the story of their businesses.
- http://www.algarvebikeholidays.com/ run by the enigmatic Paul Beesley who has been promoting the sport for well over a decade. He’s locally famous for running weekly bike outings during the year.
- https://megasportravel.com are very visible around the Loulé area.
How about you, have you ever used a mountain bike touring company in the Algarve? How was it?