Christmas Belgian style: Mountain biking in Houffalize

I don’t particularly like Christmas – just to make it clear. However, you can make it a little nicer on yourself by, let’s say, keeping biking in mind while planning the Christmas weekend. I’m spending 10 days in Belgium where the weather is not really sunny – an understatement for -2C and 15 cm of snow – but it’s not as cold as Finland either. I decided to invite the whole family to the Ardennes as to get out of my hometown and enjoy the countryside: enter Houffalize.

Some of you might remember this small city in the Ourthe valley from the fights during the Battle of the Bulge, others because of the La Chouffe brewery, but I know it as the Mecca of mountain biking in Belgium. Well done me. The village has 6 MTB routes, a fourcross track and it hosts a worldcup cross-country race and a MTB marathon every year. A total of over 200 kilometers of tracks should give me something to do in there in between Christmas dinners.

Manuel Fumic during this years Houffalize Worldcup race | Photo by Tom Vander Heyden

A nice idea last week came from the guys at Rapha, introducing the Festive 500 Countdown. Bike 500 kilometers between Christmas and New Year, share your experiences with the biking community, and keep the belly fat under control. My goal is to gather 250 km of mountain bike pedaling on my Epic – seen the weather and terrain a fair deal I would say. I hope the experience will be a bit smoother than my Málaga adventure, check out the report in the weeks to come.

Merry biking!

Related Posts:

By Maarten Patteeuw

Maarten is an avid road and mountain biker who lives and breathes everything rolling on two wheels. You can follow his rantings on Twitter by looking for @maapathel.