Wideopenmag’s Portugal holiday snaps

Wow – we’re just back from a week in Lagos in the Algarve (south Portugal) and I miss it!

We spent a week out there riding, partying and filming and generally checking out the scene for a feature in the magazine.  I’ll be writing a full feature for Issue 17… but in the mean time here’s a quick low down on what we got up to and a few shady snaps!

Milkpro and our new mate Paul work out the Portuguese for "huck to flat". I think it's "hucko de flato por favor".

So a couple of weeks ago I got an email from my mate Brian out in Portugal with an invitation.

I met Brian through riding Foel Gasnach up in North Wales and also have had a blast riding some secret tracks that he built up that way. Brian moved out to the Algarve a few years back and now runs a company that books fun activities for tourists. His vision is to set up a mountain bike holiday company that caters for riders that want to enjoy awesome terrain, party in the evenings and maybe want to spend a couple of days doing some other activities like surfing, wake boarding, enduro MX and the like. Perfect if you want to do more than ‘just ride’ and perfect if you want to take the wife or kids along as well!

The weather in the UK sucked on the day we left Bristol...

Bri’s invitiation came at pretty short notice and with very little details. It basically just said “come out and stay with me, we’ll ride bikes, we’ll party, we’ll do loads of awesome stuff and I’ll give you the guided tour”. We could have not bothered, we could easily have just said “nah, sounds like bullshit” but I got on the blower to video-butty Paul Roberts and photo-chimp Jacob Gibbins and we decided to go for it… Aside from maybe being murdered or being sold into slavery we figured that there probably wasn’t too much that could go wrong.

Why Lagos? Why not? It’s 3 hours by Easyjet/Ryan Air from the UK, it’s half an hour from the mountains, it’s half an hour from some amazing beaches, it’s a well established enduro MX paradise and it’s bang on the coast with its own beach and marina. It’s also a super popular venue for back packers and holiday makers meaning that there’s loads of cheap accommodation and that it’s a great party town for a few post-ride beers.  If you know us you’ll know how big a bonus that is!

Fox Leaderboard 2023

So was it a total fudge up? Did we get kidnapped and sold into slavery? Thankfully not! Brian was true to his word and offered us a frankly unforgettable trip that I’m still recovering from a week later. We rode some fantastic DH and all mountain terrain, we got stuck into MX enduro, surfing (trying to anyway…), wake boarding, the bars of Lagos were seriously heavy and the weather was great.

Here's Bri showing us how it's done...

In terms of a venue for MTB holidays … It’s fair to say that the Algarve is still developing.  There’s great riding at the moment and with 3000ft high mountains with roads to the top there’s a huge amount of potential – it just needs a bit of work to offer the diversity of trails and the quality  that will get people heading out there. What we rode was a lot of fun – long, dusty, technical trails with loads of loose corners and loads of big rock features. Definitely a change from the UK and definitely also a change from Morzine (etc!).

Wideopen's Lagos office for the week

Brian’s plan is to dig hard over the winter and create a number of brand new tracks that’ll appeal to racers looking for pre-season training.  He’ll be building a range of long, technical and demanding tracks that will make use of the awesome terrain he’s got to play with but offer heaps of variety. He’s also working hard to map out some longer ‘enduro’ type rides that will appeal to the all mountain crowd. We sampled one of these and it was a hell of a lot of fun!

Apparently we were all more interested in our various gadgets than the $100,000 speedboat.

That’s all for now – I’ll save the good stuff for the next issue of the magazine. We’ve got a video from the trip in production at the moment and Milky has fired over some stunning images of the riding, the various mad activities we got stuck into and the countryside. I’m looking forward to showing it off to you all… Stay tuned!

If you’re interested in more info on trips to the Algarve drop Brian an email on [email protected] 

Thanks to Brian, Paul, Damo, Fabs and everyone else that got us drunk/wet/scared/covered in dust. Amazing times.

  1. I am looking forward to the article, the bit Brian didn’t mention is that he was taking you on routes that we have spent the last six years developing. We have had a team building as much as possible, we started with nothing at all on any of the mountains or the coast line. Unfortunately it is very easy for someone else to be claiming to be building the tracks after the work has been done. It is also a shame we didn’t have the chance to get to show you the new tracks that have been built. Brian wouldn’t know where they are as they are currently hidden to prevent this type of plagiarism. I wish anyone setting up here all the best and hope they do actually pick up a shovel instead of claiming someone else’s work as their own. We have built a good set of trails from nothing and started the ball rolling in 2005 as the many magazine and newspaper articles show, we have shown that there is more than potential in the Algarve, there are amazing technical xc and All Mountain routes, you just need to know where.

    1. It wasnt you ,Jim, that started on the mauntains and building, it were other guys who builded lots of tracks on these mauntains mate. guys who dont ride anymore.

      Am looking forward in seing the rest of the footage!

  2. hell yeah i know how much joao pirata has been on that tracks and motivating the young people to build and restore the tracks: big THANKS to him…as no one else

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