Duarte Medeiros is a downhill & enduro racer with some serious bike handling skills.
Duarte invited me to join him on a ride, and the result was amazing. He has an unique flow, visible in his attitude and confidence. He can be as soft as crude but, above all, consistent.
It felt like we were kids on the playground, happily ever after. But instead of slides and swings, we were transported to a forest with endless trails to explore, trees and roots to jump, curves everywhere, large declines, a lot of dust and some bunnies running around.
As a focused athlete and nature lover, all he wants is to search for new lines with his friends, improve himself and, above all, have some fun doing it.
A MONTRA / THE WINDOW: As an athlete, do you have a dream? What is it?
DUARTE MEDEIROS: I don’t know if I have an answer for that, it’s a very open question…
MW: A dream in a sense of a goal, something that you want to achieve. You have been riding for many years already, why keep on doing it? What moves you? Regardless of what is expected and what others say, when you wake up in the morning and only think about bikes, what do you want for yourself?
DM: I know it’s something I love to do, it gives me immense joy. Especially with the level of practice that I have, it allows me to take much pleasure of it. The bike is not an object that I use, it’s an extension of my body. When I bend, jump, or even roll over a rock garden, I’m not even thinking, I’m just going for it. I want to go through somewhere, my body moves, the bike moves and if I want to do it, regardless of speed, terrain or anything else, it happens. I want to be better than the day before, that’s what gets me out of bed.
“I want to be better than the day before, that’s what gets me out of bed.”
MW: And how do you make it all happen?
DM: By training! How do you become better at something? By training hard, practicing. I want to increase my training time, spend as much time with her [his bike] as I can. It’s like in a relationship, you need to invest in it, and that’s what I do. Downhill, enduro, tricks… for all of this you need to devote a lot of time! And to complete the training with other stuff, like going to the gym or trying new terrains and learning to read other lines in order to be more efficient, stronger.
MW: Even when this process is boring or painful, can you still keep in mind that it is for a ‘greater good’?
DM: If you feel that is a great effort to train every day, you’re most likely doing the wrong sport. I am more willing now to wake up early and get caught in a downpour in the mountains or to go cycling in the mud than when I had to go to work every day. It is a sport that fulfils me and makes me want to continue and do it every day. What’s difficult is to manage planning a day off training, because if I could, I would ride every day.
“If you feel that is a great effort to train every day, you’re most likely doing the wrong sport.”
BONUS: Check this video of Duarte Medeiros riding with Fábio Silva by Dock6 Films.