Zarlor « Maïdo mountain bike downhill »
Fill up on adrenaline with the descent of Maïdo by mountain bike
Whether you are on holiday in Reunion or not, if you are looking for an outdoor, sporting activity, with superb landscapes, while getting your fill of adrenaline, do not hesitate and book your Maïdo mountain bike downhill!
What is a Zarlor ?
Zarlor is a creol word that means « treasure » !
But here, ” Zarlor ” are activities, recommendations (guided tours, sport or cutltural activities…) highlighted by the Tourist Office to discover or re discover the West part of the island.
Rendez-vous at Bike Aventure
We join Fred at 7am in front of the local Bike Aventure Réunion, in the heart of Saint-Gilles. The whole team is there, so Fred gives us the equipment (helmet and gloves). Once ready, we board the van that will take us to the top of Maïdo for the start of the adventure.
It takes a good hour’s drive to get to the Maïdo viewpoint. We take the opportunity to continue our night! Once there, Fred invites us to go and admire the magnificent view of Mafate. During this time, he prepares the bikes, securely harnessed to the special mountain bike trailer.
Mafate point of view!!!
If you’ve never been there, the view from Maïdo over the Cirque de Mafate is a highlight of our Caillou! So we kill 1 stone 2 birds this morning (well, it’s not our first sunrise at Maïdo, but we NEVER get tired of it!). Moreover when we arrive it is all covered, but in 5 mins, the wind sweeps all that away and we have the right to a superb view for a few minutes before the clouds settle again.
Let’s try our mountain bikes!
Come on, it’s time to join Fred to test our mounts before embarking on the descent of Maïdo on a mountain bike! Last small adjustments once on the saddle in relation to our sizes / weights and we are ready.
Romain does a lot of mountain biking so for him, no apprehension, which is not my case. And yet, I do a lot of cycling… but almost only road cycling. We have both already done the descent of Maïdo by mountain bike… But me almost 20 years ago and Romain 3 or 4 times, including once a few months ago (and the slightly harder version, he will still have the Mégavalanche ).
Start of Mégavalanche Réunion???
All on our mounts, Fred explains to us that we will start by doing a bit of driving before taking the start of the megavalanche qualification path (a little bit, don’t panic). It is possible to start on the path from the beginning, but it is a more technical part with rocky plates. With the Zarlor it is a level 1 outing, more than enough for me! Especially since it rained a lot yesterday, so it’s a bit slippery and muddy this morning.
We therefore start by getting our legs on the road, before arriving at the level of the path that we will take to continue this Maïdo mountain bike downhill in Reunion.
From there, we will mostly ride on paths. First with a few pebbles, that’s good it has the merit of getting the leg up. And, as I suspected, I am regularly at the back of the pack, a little tense on my little arms and wrists.
Maïdo mountain bike downhill, super fun !
As I am less and less tense, I take full advantage. Good at bottom … must be said quickly! I’m still a little behind, but I’m having fun and that’s the main thing!
So I often have Fred with me who checks that everything is going well.
So everyone goes at their own pace and we meet regularly at points that Fred gives us.
The most comfortable, including Romain, take “well-bred shortcuts”, the others follow the initial path.
We go from stony paths, to the forest of tamarinds, the countryside, a bit of town, cane fields…
We also come across a herd of cows which seem to be living their best life.
The landscapes are great, even if after a while the bad weather sets in. We have the right to a little rain and a few clouds, but nothing too bad.
Already the end…
Of course there were a few bowls… but Romain and I stayed clean… Well, we’d rather say that we didn’t fall, because with the rain and the puddles, the word “clean” is not not appropriate! But it is the full rainy season, because in the west, it does not rain very often the rest of the year.
We end up with small paths behind the theater nursery and finally the Summer road which leads straight to Bike Aventure!
Clearly, I was not the fastest on this descent of Maïdo by mountain bike, but since we are rather sporty, we were still in good shape when we arrived and with a big smile. We meet around a little well-deserved refreshment to end in style with the group and Fred. We take the opportunity to recover the photos he took during the descent!
If you are a fan of outdoor sports activities, we recommend this outing 200%. On the other hand, you must of course be comfortable on a bike and have a good physical condition. Because even if it is accessible to beginners, it is still nearly 3 hours of descent by bike on paths that are sometimes a little slippery (rainy days) and on the road.
Practical info about Maïdo mountain bike downhill:
This Zarlor « Maïdo mountain bike downhill » starts on the west coast, at Bike Aventure Shop. Adress : 40 rue du Général de Gaulle, Saint-Gilles-les-Bains.
The activity includes:
- Equipment (mountain bike, helmet, gloves).
- Way to the Maïdo top.
- Downhill level 1(beginners) with a state-certified instructor.
- Lunch in Saint-Gilles-les-Bains (differents caris or fish of the day + dessert of the day).
To know more or book your mountain bike downhill, visit West Coast Tourism Office website (in french).
Don’t forget: water, solar cream, sunglasses and a raincoat.
And to find all our activities in Reunion, it’s here !