Going to madiera on a family holiday in August and looking to cycle for a day or two. A Google has yielded a few clues but does anyone have recommendations?
I've never been, so I can't offer any help.
I like Madeira cake though.
Enjoy your holiday
Compact chainset and a big cassette, 28-32t unless you are a flyweight climber. Was disappointed a lot of the coast road has been upgraded and some of the nicest roads closed although you can still go down many on a bike. The thing you'll find difficult now is navigating away from the main roads. Off the main drags some of the gradients are brutal. I'm convinced steeper than anything we have in England and I've been up most of the steepest stuff in this country.
If climbing is your thing and spectacular views. Then there's a couple of mountain view points in the east that are a good workout and quiet roads, Pico do Juncal and Pico Ruivo I think. Heading to the west of Funchal again if climbing is your thing take any right turn apart from the main road across the Island and enjoy the suffering. If you can get as far along as Calheta and turn uphill, you can link up with the main moutain road and then loop back down the main road that cuts the island in half. It can get busy wth coaches, but some of the back roads are pretty hard to descend at any speed and the road edges are unforgiving with concrete/ stone drainage ditches the norm, so this allows you to enjoy the quiet roads and then get back to base quickly. The mountain roads are narrow and if you meet a car on a descent, you may well fill your shorts as there's not a lot of room and drivers don't appear used to encountering bikes at speed!
Its quite easy to get lost navigating the back roads out of Funchal, but just stick with it. Spare brake pads may be required, the gradients are brutal....
Thanks for that. Climbing is my thing and I have a 32 on the back...but what can I hire there?
...or do I have take my own?
Just have a Google. Most of these warm island destinations have loads of cycle hire available. When I went to Lanzarote recently there were loads of companies to choose from.
A man walks into the Pound Bakery to get a piece of cake. He has a look at the selection and notices one piece is marked £3. He asks the assistant "Why is this cake £3, when everything else is a pound?". The assistant replies "Ah, that's madeira cake".
.........I'll get my coat.
From my username you can make an educated guess what I do for a living....;-)
I often operate into and out of Madeira, but don’t spend much time there. However, I do know that it is NOT a great road cycling destination. Do not be fooled by others claiming that because Lanzarote has loads of bike hire places Madeira must be similar. It is not.
There are few quiet roads and those that there are go up and over the volcanic island with some severe gradients. The main ones are pretty fast, carry most of the traffic, and are dotted with narrow, dark tunnels where drivers will not be expecting to come across cyclists.
I reckon you should go mountain biking or not bother. But if you do, be very very careful...
Away from the Aeroporto road then, it seems some good riding gen on Youtube, Wikiloc etc. Including a nice 1800m climb up to Pico Do Arieiro.