Pedro Carvalho is a 56 year old professional bicycle guide, running daily mountain biketours in Sintra National Park, just outside Lisbon, and road bike tripsin the Alentejo area, south of the city. Bikevibe caught up with Pedro in the stunning coastal cliffs and forest trails on Sintra.
Text: Nick Chapman
Photos: Andy Donohoe & Mari Oshaug
The past 28 years of my life have been dedicated to bicycles. I have never really planned my life, but instead have been guided by passion and feeling, searching for different experiences that bring me hapiness. Before I started riding bikes as an adult, I raced cars which was my childhood passion. I got into mountain biking when I stopped racing, still looking for an adrenaline fix.
Again without planning it, cycling became my job. In 1994 I started the first ever mountain biking magazine in Portugal, which was crazy, but mostly a lot of fun. After seven years running the magazine, I needed a change and decided to live in Canada for a while.
Moving back to Portugal two years later with nothing, was somewhat scary, but also exciting. I believe that good things happen to good people, and I found a job back home. I started a career as a bike guide, something I didn’t know existed before I found a tiny little advert in a cycling magazine saying “Looking for Bike Tour Guide in Portugal”.
I had no clue what it meant but I went for it, and here I am, living a great life through an amazing job. I meet extraordinary people, I get paid to ride a bicycle, and above all, I have time to stop and enjoy life. That is priceless. I love what I do, I love sharing all the beauty of where I live, right in the middle of Sintra’s National Park.
Cycling has brought me closer to Nature, it has changed the way I live and the way I look at the world. It’s like I’ve have lived two very different lives. The car racing life, and the cycling life. I like the second one more, much more.