The best part of studying bikes is that I actually truly enjoy all the conferences and summits I have to take part in. IMBA Europe Summit wasn’t an exception here. Here’s the story of our first day in Águeda.
Our day begun with the short biking trip along the river Vouga. We did not take our bikes all the way from Norway, hoping for some demo options. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case this time, so we had to try renting. Although there are a lot of bike factories in Águeda, finding a place to rent a bike was not an easy task. We were incredibly lucky to came across one guy who knew another guy who picked us up to the only rental on the suburbs of the city and then introduced to his friend – André from GoingBike. All the bikes there were reserved for Sunday’s Epic Ride, but André did his best and… long story short I got ColuerTrailhit 273 which belong to Maaris Meier, last year’s Portuguese and Spanish Enduro champion. More about Maaris and her achievements you can read here, and if you’re interested in riding with her and André, check out their camps here.
Maaris was also super kind to help us find the trails and show us around – huge thank you for that! 🙂 And here are just a few pictures from our trip (sorry for the quality).
After our trip we rushed to the venue and the bus leaving to Laboratório de Ensaios da Abimota (LEA). In the laboratory we learned about tests that are performed on the bicycles, bike components and helmets in order to determine their functional performance and safety. It was very enlightening experience, clearly showing why it’s wise to invest a little bit more in your bike. According to the people working in various LEA laboratories, most of the cheep bikes (in Portugal that would be below € 100) do not meet almost any of the safety criterias. Watching the tests of the helmets was quite disturbing, but I’m glad that it’s mannequins, not me who have to perform it.
Visit to the construction site of the Águeda urban bike park was something I was really looking forward to. Mark and Gary from IMBA Trails Solutions are absolutely fantastic guys and I’m always impressed by their knowledge, skills and creativity. This time they are working together with Duane Butcher from Tråkk ‘n’ Roll, Iannis Partafyllas from TTL and last but not least Super Trails Brothers (Marcin Gmerek, Wiktor Zemanek and Bartłomiej Polak). Really cool stuff is going to be build in Águeda, not only for advanced riders, but also for kids (even on push-bikes) and cyclists with disabilities using hand bikes. Mark told us a bit about their plans for upcoming weeks, some issues they are struggling with and the the beginnings of the project. I really like how much consideration they gave to the community living around the area, making sure that the project will stay in good hands after the construction. I’m hoping to come back there soon!
Since the day started early, and was quite intense, official opening ceremony and delicious dinner was very welcome. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 🙂