Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking - The real feel

Mountain biking is a great sport to practice in Macedonia, with more than thousands of off-road and dirt tracks. Each mountain club rents out bicycles and organizes regional mountain-bike tour and smaller local tours. As a clubs they also promote developing biking trails in Macedonia as well as local sustainable tourism to historical and natural sites of interest.

Exploring Macedonia was the host of a French group of bikers that enjoyed the mountains of Macedonia for several days. This is the story.

French mountain bikers in Macedonia

From 18th to 25th September, French reporters (Nathalie Cuche - reporter, Eric Beallet - photograher, Bruno Laval - bike tester and Olivier Durbec - doctor) paid Macedonia a visit in order to explore and test all mountain bike routes. They are freelance reporters whose specialty is extreme sports.

Their route was: Mavrovo– Galichnik – Vodno - Markov Manastir – Matka -Solunska Glava - Skopje – Krushevo - Pelister.  They made a contact with ExploringMacedonia.com after the portal launched the web presentation by Yahoo! adventurer and researcher Richard Bangs in July last year. ExploringMacedonia.com organized all the details of their trip to make their journey unforgettably adventurous. They left Macedonia impressed not only by the mountain bike routes they found here but also of the culture and tradition, and the Macedonians themselves.  They say Macedonia is one hidden treasure in Europe; a country with such an incredible charm just because of its little imperfections.

They have been working almost 6 years in the special magazine for mountain biking “Velo Tout Terrain” and their main job is to discover new amazing terrains in the world. And here is their story of how they heard about our country Macedonia:

“When we were climbing the highest peak of the highest mountain in Iran, at a height of 5.600m our expedition encountered a guy from Macedonia. The situation wouldn’t have been so ordinary if he didn’t have a bottle of Macedonian beer in his one hand - “Skopsko”-, and a Macedonian flag in the other. When we saw him with the beer in his hand we were very surprised how he managed to carry this bottle during the entire climbing which was very hard, plus, it is forbidden to have alcohol with you in Iran!!! We kept that picture in our mind the entire time and couldn’t wait to come and see this country where people could be as adventurous as that guy with the beer on 5.600m above sea level “.

They have already discovered all possible routes in France and decided to explore out of the borders. They wanted to see everything the world has to offer. These reporters were mountain bikers in Africa, Morocco, Georgia, Chile, Russia, Germany, Argentina and Siberia. Before doing mountain biking, they travelled the world with motor bikes.

Their views on Macedonian routes are very positive. They say: “Macedonian mountain bike routes are very good. Bearing in mind that 50% of your country is mountainous, you can consider it perfect for this sport. The routes in Mavrovo are very good and those from Vodno to Matka are perfect! The real excitement in mountain biking is the fact that there are ups and downs from the starting till the ending point, and the very narrow paths so that only one biker can ride through it. And when you add all the curves, then you have real fun. We also rode up the peak Solunska Glava and that was a real experience as well. In France we have a saying: If your jaw hurts from too much pressure while riding, then the route is good. And to tell you the truth our jaws hurt in Macedonian mountain bike routes“.

Our guests were very impressed by Macedonian people and Macedonian food. They say: “If I want to spend my holiday on my mountain bike and I don’t want to go to any European country where everything is in order and commercialized, I can come to Macedonia. You can still meet ordinary people making their own cheese in the mountain villages! Macedonia is too exciting to explore in only 10 days. We know that there is a very exciting kayak route in Matka but we will leave that to explore next time we come“.

Story by: Tea Moderna