I had been inviting Mike Emde to come and visit my home town in Portugal for so long … so it was with great pleasure that I received a mail from him asking me if they could do it in 2 weeks time … my answer was obviously “sure man, no problem”
For a non Professional rider like me having 3 of the most influential riders in the world at my place and get that coverage from a photographer and a film maker that I admire a lot, sounded like a dream come true.
Portugal is a small country, not really known for its bmx culture, but the truth is that I think it is one of the best options you can find if you want to have a nice bmx trip.
Good weather, lots of parks, street spots, ocean, nice food, and Super Bock.
In a 40min trip by car you can reach a skate park north to south of Portugal, and that was perfect for Carhartt to visit my town.
This time it should not be called “the visit to my town” but instead “the visit to my country”; in 3 days we hit 9 different spots and did 900km in a 100km area !
My plan is to put Portugal on the map again, And I guess it was worth it !
So, wellcome to my country!
During this trip I tried to show some different spots, trying to reach each type of riding.
From an abandoned photo studio, going through the typical skate parks, the best street spots around, and ending in the oldest park in Portugal, I guess everyone had fun and a lot of good memories from Portugal !
First stop, Expo 98 Skate Park, “the under the bridge one”, that came popular from the Joe Rich part in the Etnies Forward Movie.
Every one was a bit tired but Zunda was in heaven “hey man so good to ride outdoors, look at this weather!!!” (and the weather wasn´t that good for Portugal) !
It was a chill session but everyone had some fun and some coverage !
The first spot of day 2 was the Light factory, an abandoned photo studio with transitions to the walls all around, you could go higher and higher, but not higher than Perico, he put his Evil? Knievel suit, came pedaling from the outside of the warehouse and almost hit the roof… it was crazy !
For a 3 day trip, street riding could be a waste of time, so I decided to go straight to a spot that got a gap to a bank and a couple of architecture bumps that we could ride.
One or two shots and we were done.
A 40min drive and we were in one of the oldest skate parks in Portugal, Baixa da Banheira, six pack bowls that you could ride like trails in many different lines, and a giant one that almost no one had ridden till this day !!!
When we got there it was full of kids, because mister Miller and Stefan had put on their face book that they are coming to Portugal so my phone didn´t stop ringing whole day and I had to tell the kids where we were going.
Lots of lines and tricks for everyone on the six pack until Miller decided to try the big one, the scary thing about this boul? Ou bowls (nao sei o que é) is that all transitions are different really bumpy and the concrete is really hardcore.
Miller found a way to go higher on the bowl but the most incredible was that he got to push one meter lower than the copping because of some bump. So imagine if it had been on the copping.
Everyone was tired from ridding all day so we decided to go to Ericeira again; a 40min trip and we were home for the carhartt dinner.
Bought some stuff at the market and we went back to my place to make dinner: Italian starts with some Portuguese shrimps, some tuna and veggie pasta, with the company of super bock again and we were ready for some party.
The weather at Ericeira was freezing, so no one was on the streets. We decided to go to a bar were we had a couple more of super bocks, took some pictures with the ladies (without their permition) and went back home again …
Last complete day riding !!!
The plan was to ride 3 parks, the last one got some good night light and it is probably one of the best in Portugal these days!
Hit the road again to north 40min drive and we were at Torres Vedras, another concrete park really slippery but with some cool lines !!! Perico going high again, Miller did some giant icepick grind over a ledge, a couple of moves from Zunda and we were ready to go again.
40 min drive and we got to Lourinha, really funny park, got some skate stuff and 2 bowls united by the spine … Perico was there a couple of months ago and tried a really long jump from a really small trany, but this time the Triple Wooper didn´t let him try.
Zunda had some fun in the skate stuff with some grinds and some gaps, Stefan and Miller found some lines and we were done … Rolled for the last park of the day… 40min drive and we got to Caldas da Rainha.
The park is really good with a skate area and a transitions area with some kind of bowl at the end, but the light wasn´t that good to shoot and film, so we decided to wait for the lights to be turned on.
An hour latter Miller was having a really good session with some high 360 over the spine and hitting the hip really high ! However, because of the bad weather which had destroyed the lightning system a couple of days before, we had no light to shoot, it was too dark.. bhaaa no coverage from one of the best parks in Portugal…
But at the city entrance there is a roundabout with some crazy monument which is perfect to ride. Although there was a lot of traffic and the light wasn´t that good either. So Perico and a couple of Portuguese friends took care of the traffic, and I switched on my van lights aiming to the spot, we ended up getting the moment of the trip, an amazing flair of zunda in a really strange spot. This kind of stuff makes bmx such an interesting sport: Where everyone else sees a monument we see a trick.
Last half day riding, everyone was really tired so we tried to keep it soft, just went to the new indoor park at Amadora for a chill session.
The park is closed on Mondays but Paulo Pereita open it just for us, (tanks again for the opportunity). Everyone was really motivated to ride but there was no more power (strength? Força??) . Perico Stefan and Miller were flying really high and creating some lines, but it was time to go to the airport and finish the visit to my town.
In my opinion this was a really good trip, I hope everyone out there got excited about Portugal and hope to see you guys here soon.
Tks to carhartt for all the support and great vibe around this Project.