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Located just a few hours flight away from Europe -Madeira is a small paradise for mountain biking. Here you can find fantastic trails for mountain biking that take you from beaches to the top of mountains and through lush forests en-route.

Depending on your skill level this may sound intimidating. But don’t worry, for the less technical and experienced riders, there are the famous Madeira “Levadas” some of which are flat. Ideal for a relaxed mountain bike cruise through some gorgeous forest or countryside.

Below we’ve put together a couple tips for beginners, or if you’re more experienced perhaps a refresher.

What to wear

Comfortable clothing is really important. You don’t need to go all out and purchase a full spandex suite, but you will need some basics. A helmet and gloves are good, and padded shorts will make your ride much more comfortable too. Most people just want to go for comfortable and functional and this is the right idea.

Watch other people

The easiest way to learn how to do just about anything is watch someone who is good at it and emulate them.  You can follow a friend or guide who is a better rider or just take some time to observe others out on the trail.

Body position

One of the biggest things to learn about mountain biking when starting out is proper body position. The variable terrain on a mountain biking path and the potential obstacles are all part of the thrill but can be tough for beginners. Being in the right body position helps alleviate this. There are two primary body positions: neutral and ready. Ready is for when you are going around a corner, descending, climbing or otherwise maneuvering around obstacles. Neutral is the relax in-between. Staying in the proper position is critical for beginners to do.

Shift before the hill

When mountain biking it’s important to always keep your eye on the lookout for obstacles and turns or hills. It’s always a good idea to shift into an appropriate gear before you get onto a hill. If you can still pedal comfortably, then it’s ok to shift. If you are struggling to keep the pedals going, don’t try to downshift.

These points just scratch the surface of what there is to know about mountain biking in Madeira, but hopefully it’s enough of a nudge to get you going.

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