MAD IN MADEIRA

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - - AN­TO­NIO ABREU

A small is­land trapped in the At­lantic, Madeira is de­vel­op­ing a rep­u­ta­tion for ex­treme sports – and An­to­nio Abreu and his Mad Pro­duc­tions crew have played a big role.

Igo up the path with my heavy back­pack. I take a shovel, my cam­era, some lenses, a tri­pod and a meal for the whole day. The sun is still ris­ing but I’m al­ready up here, in the mid­dle of nowhere, hear­ing the pure si­lence of na­ture. Last month I said “no” to a nine-to-five job in a cu­bi­cle, and that split sec­ond makes me un­der­stand that I de­cided wisely. “Photography is a danger­ous job my friend!” says Rui laugh­ing, while push­ing his bike up the trail, with his hel­met bal­anc­ing on his han­dle­bars. I take a mo­ment to breathe, look­ing around the land­scape, fram­ing and cap­tur­ing ev­ery sec­ond with my eyes, try­ing to un­der­stand how can I pre­serve this mo­ment for the years to come. It al­ways starts with the same prin­ci­ples any­where in the world: a group of kids that have a need for speed, an ob­ses­sion for adren­a­line. Some of them were born to ride bikes. They have a spe­cial tal­ent, a nat­u­ral skill, some­thing ir­re­place­able. One of them, and in this case, me, I was never brave as they were. I was al­ways the slow­est guy, but I re­ally didn’t mind about fin­ish­ing last or not win­ning races. I had to find my place in­side that group and that’s why I grew a pas­sion and love for moun­tain bik­ing photography and film­mak­ing. Since the first mo­ment I held a cam­era in my hands, I knew that would be my course. I found some­thing that truly makes me happy and that also doesn’t let me sleep at night. Af­ter my whole life search­ing and cre­at­ing unique con­tent in Madeira, a small is­land in the mid­dle of the At­lantic Ocean, I feel that I don’t be­long here any­more. Ac­tu­ally... I don’t be­long any­where. I’ll just let the bi­cy­cle and the cam­era take me wher­ever they want, in search of those unique mo­ments.

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