Photos by Phil Young
We’ve teamed up with Nikon, who’ve just released the brand new KeyMission 360 Degree action camera, to create a series which focusses on the missions that drive those at the cutting edge of action sports. Here, Mpora’s bikes editor Stuart Kenny interviews the founders of Freeride Madeira about their mission to turn their home – previously best-known as holiday hotspot for retirees – into a world-class mountain biking destination.
“I never thought that something could actually happen on this scale,” admits John Fernandez, one of the founding members of Freeride Madeira.
“Mountain biking has been my favourite sport since I was 13 years old and guys like Brendan Fairclough and Steve Peat were my idols. Suddenly they’re here and I’m showing them the trails I’ve been riding for years and organising film shoots with them. It’s incredible.”
“Madeira has been transformed from a retirement home for pensioners into a Mecca for mountain biking.”
John founded Freeride Madeira, a company specialising in the development of mountain biking on the eponymous Portuguese island, back in 2009, with friends Roberto and Nulo. It’s always been a labour of love, born from a passion for mountain biking and for pushing the boundaries of the sport.
In the years since it was founded, the guys’ company has come a long way and they’re beginning to accomplish their mission of putting Madeira firmly on the mountain biking map – a mission that Nikon is documenting with their new action camera range.