There is a book on «Everything, But Even All, Terrain Bicycle»

A book that talks about much more than just mountain biking

It's called «BTMMTT» and says it's «an adventure book», having as authors The Understands. It was launched this Friday at the end of the afternoon, in Jardim da Liberdade, in Aljezur, in a session marked by good humor.

Well, let's explain then. The authors are The Understands, a mountain biking group from Aljezur, created by photographer and local entrepreneur João Mariano. The name plays with the word «percebe», the best known and most appreciated shellfish on the Costa Vicentina, whose difficult catch João Mariano even portrayed in a book, a few years ago.

“Percebe” is also, in Portuguese, a form of the verb “perceber”. When it comes to translating the names of barnacles strangers to foreigners, those who only speak beach English sometimes call them “understands”. But this is also a recurring joke between people who know perfectly well the difference between these words, in both languages, as is the case with cyclists who are part of the The Understands.

Confused? It's just that there's more. With careful editing, as is characteristic of all productions by company 1000 eyes, by João Mariano, the cover of the book is occupied by a photo of a betetista crossing a stream, from which the water seems to jump. And also by the letters, capital letters, big letters, «BTMMTT».

The explanation is simple: «we don't practice mountain biking, but BTMMTT (Totally, But Really All-Terrain Bicycle)». This is, by the way, the first of the 10 Commandments with which the book opens. There are others, such as «Better a firm barnacle than a handful of withered barnacles». See the tone?

At the presentation, in the open air, among friends, with the bicycles at his feet, João Mariano said that this work is the result of «12 years of collecting images», made by himself, but also by other members of the The Understands (Joel Marques, Pedro Lessa Barradas and Sebastian Sennenwald», «in the mountains, but in the mountains, where few go, where some do not want to go, even if we invite them, and others go once but swear never to return».

As Eugénio Arez, president of the Parish Council of Aljezur, said, the book shows «the landscapes and natural heritage» of this area of ​​the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park as few have seen it.

But it also shows the effort, with a certain amount of madness, of these drinkers, whose isotonic drink is arbutus brandy, as they assume, in the 7th Commandment. «A return that we return without blood, is not a return», guaranteed João Mariano.

The captions of the published images are in charge of the photographer, but «BTMMTT» also has the collaboration of Laura Alves, «a friend, a journalist who writes wonderfully, an activist of the bicycle in an urban environment, someone who lives the bicycle very intensely» .

Laura Alves has no doubts that there are differences between cycling in the city and on hills and ravines: «for cyclists, our challenges in cities are cars. You they have the wild boars, the mongoose, the streams to cross…”, he joked.

The journalist highlighted the «incredible places where no man or woman dreamed of reaching», but which can now at least be glimpsed in the photographs that profusely illustrate the work.

With the ease that friendship allows her, Laura Alves was not shy about saying: «João Mariano is crazy!». And all the companions of The Understands, as well as a good part of the audience, replied: «Everybody already knows that!».



Among the many curiosities surrounding the book «BTMMTT», there is also the fact that this is «the first time that a project encompasses the four Parish Councils» of the municipality of Aljezur, as recalled by Eugénio Arez. In fact, all four Board presidents were present at the launch of the work.

It was also the mayor of Aljezur who said that «this is not a simple book about mountain biking». For this reason, it is a work that, due to the quality of the photographs and texts, the cheerful tone, the careful graphics, will interest even those who do not know or like to ride a bicycle.

Furthermore, «BTMMTT» is a bilingual book, in Portuguese and English. This, as highlighted by João Mariano, is a “point of honour” for 1000olhos, his design, image and communication company based in Aljezur. All of his projects are «very careful» and, because they are also bilingual, can «be for sale in Aljezur, Lisbon, New York or Tokyo».

By the way: do you want to know what Ernest Hemingway, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Luiz Vaz de Camões have to do with mountain biking? To discover it, just buy and read/sell the book.


«BTMMTT» is, for now, on sale at the 1000olhos store next to the Aljezur Market, as well as through the company's website, whose contacts are here.


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