June 2021 was a busy month. Borders opened, racing started again at the MET Helmets EWS Val di Fassa Trentino and, outside of the tapes, our much-awaited EWS Travel adventures recommenced in Madeira and Finale Ligure.
EWS Travel is a partnership between Enduro World Series and mountain bike travel experts, H+I Adventures, with the aim of bringing the EWS experience to more riders and to give the mountain bike communities that invest so much in the event a lasting tourism legacy, beyond the race calendar.
Finale Ligure and Madeira are two of the most iconic EWS destinations, so it made sense to start our collection of EWS Travel adventures here and, from the response we’ve received from riders these past few weeks, it was a good decision.
Vee, who travelled from the US to Madeira, had a lot to say of his first EWS Travel experience!
“First off, let me tell you how helpful the group and H+I were. You’ve got to get there before you can enjoy the fun and getting home is nice too. They (Victoria) helped with all Covid travel logistics even though that is not part of their job. They texted and emailed promptly with advice and possible solutions. With the ever-changing regulations I wasn’t sure I’d be allowed to travel to Portugal from the USA and back. This by far was worth every single cent. The airlines were not helpful at all. Very glad H+I were there to help.
“As far as the trip went it was amazing! Besides some Covid regulations, I literally did not have anything else to worry about except riding. Wake up and ride some of the world’s best trails! The guides were incredibly friendly and helpful. Easy going and where just stoked to ride with us every day. To be honest I enjoyed the non-EWS trails more than the EWS trails by a long shot.
“The variety of riding you get is on another level. Nowhere else in the world have I been able to ride through high alpine rocky trails to tree line rooty, steep, loam and finish off in dusty jungle landscape all in one run! It was truly unique. You’ll ride all climates in one day almost every day! The weather can change in an hour easily.
“Bring you’re ‘A’ game, fitness, a proper long travel Enduro bike, fresh bleed brakes and pads! You will definitely need it! Tons of high-speed road traversing that you won’t want to miss out on. The VIEWS ARE AMAZING everywhere! These trails will test your mountain bike skills and fitness in every way, everyday!
“Huge thanks to everyone who helped organize the adventure and create a truly unique MTB experience. Put this on your bucket list. It’s worth every penny!"
It’s clear that Madeira is a mountain biking destination that really gets under your skin and makes a big impression, as does the tremendous local guide team, headed up by John Fernandes, who are lucky enough to call this spectacular island their home.
Not to be outdone, our EWS Travel guide in Finale Ligure, Louise Paulin, had some very happy riders enjoying her home trails in June too. With a mix of Finale classics from past EWS races, and more wild, backcountry riding with big Mediterranean views, Louise used her experience as an EWS champion and mountain bike guide to enhance the group’s MTB skills whilst at the same time giving them an unforgettable holiday.
Romy, from Luxembourg, was especially inspired by Louise’s guidance on the trail,
“Normally I prefer touring as a mountain biker but accepted the challenge to ride in Finale Ligure, the home of downhill biking. Now, I'm so happy I did!
“Louise, our guide, helped me leave my comfort zone and become a more confident rider. What an inspiration she is!
“Also we got to enjoy delicious local food and some after ride beers in Finalborgo, a beautiful place. A quick jump in the ocean right in front of our hotel was the perfect finish to another great trail day. Pure Joy!”
Madeira boasts an almost unmatched array of trails with everything from beginner friendly right up to EWS stages available across the island. Pic: Duncan Philpott/Enduro World Series
You don’t have to be a pro mountain biker to be part of the EWS scene. EWS Travel gives you the opportunity to experience the thrill of mountain biking in these exceptional destinations for yourself, and to connect with the local riders who put so much love into building and maintaining their trails for us all to enjoy. You’re also investing in and giving back to these communities, like Madeira and Finale, by choosing an EWS Travel adventure.
There’s one more date in the 2021 calendar for EWS Travel Madeira, 2 - 9 October, and dates for both adventures scheduled for 2022. We’re also working behind-the-scenes on new EWS Travel experiences, so watch this space!