downhill mountain bike

Have a good descent, with Bike Adventure

Contrary to popular belief, downhill mountain biking is not necessarily a dangerous sport. As for skiing, there are several levels. And the departures of the Maïdo offer such a wide variety of courses, paths and tracks that it is possible to satisfy everyone: from the relative beginner to the daredevil pro of the two wheels. Combining outdoor and fun outing, this must-attend activity is offered by several providers. Focus on one of them: Bike Adventure, with which we did the level 1.

We tested

The pickup is around 7:30 at the west entrance of St-Gilles in front of the Bike Aventure store. From there, we go up to the belvedere of Maïdo by minibus. After a small checking of departure, the exit begins by the descent of the road until the track of 1800 (DFCI, for the intimates and the firemen). We then cross the tamarind forest to a small portion of level 2 which gives, for about 300m, an overview of conditions more "cross" (a plant tunnel with mirrored earth ... in short, it slips).Then it comes easily: forest criptomérias, small concrete roads in the middle of the meadows (for those who know, it looks like the Alps) and funny crosses of fields of canes to the village of Bernica. According to the desires, the finish up to the water level is then either straight through the savannah or through the spur and the mango fields. We took the first option.

During the 3h / 3h30 descent, Stéphane, the Bike Adventure guide, adapts to each participant. Very pedagogue, we feel the graduate of MCF (Moniteur Cycles Français). His explanations for each new portion are also very confident. It embellishes the small, well-felt breaks of observations on fauna and flora. It is beautiful and interesting, especially as the variety of reliefs and the course - lava, dry or wet undergrowth, fields of cane, savannah, etc. - the dispute with the numerous points of views towards the coast.

Finally, besides the enlightened recommendations of our monitor, we benefit from recent equipment (this is not the case everywhere unfortunately).Bicycles, of the reference Commencal brand, are devilishly effective to erase almost all the roughness of the trail thanks to their large wheels. "We are the only ones equipped with 27.5 inches instead of 26, and casually it changes all comfort issues."

We return to our starting point around 12:30 pm / 1pm. During the small glass of debriefing, the opinions are unanimous as to the general difficulty of the exit: "It is not so complicated as that. It's especially fun. If you do not feel it, just put your foot. Moreover, Stéphane has a trick to prevent people from getting excited: "On the first level, I do not over-protect people. An open helmet and gloves simply. So, naturally, we adopt a more serene rhythm. It also makes it easier to talk and exchange smiles during the descent. "

This first approach of downhill mountain biking is largely satisfactory. We leave with just enough of sensations and memories.But it is also an excellent calibration - the overview of the difficulties will save the future pleasure - to decide whether or not to embark on more demanding courses. A good run, it's fine. Plus, it's up to you!


Course tested: Bike Adventure (Level 1, Easy - Discovery / 59 €)
- note that, as part of the Zarlor, we offer a version to 80 € including a breakfast and a restaurant on arrival - Book here

Other courses: Maxi Aventure (Level 2-3, Hard / 80 €); Mega Adventure (Level 3-4 Expert / 90 €)

Adventure Day (Adaptable level / 150 €): a formula certainly a little more expensive (relatively, the exit still lasts all day and the price includes lunch) but completely adaptable. An enduro MTB / downhill à la carte to discover several trails and pedal in places quite new.