Our biker lives

Christmas Belgian style: Mountain biking in Houffalize

5 Comments 23 December 2010

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!

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- who has written 30 posts on Coming thru!.

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.

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  • Doug Page

    Funny, I don’t care much for Christmas, either…I’ve always dreamed of spending the ‘holidays’ in Bali, or somewhere they don’t do Christmas. Also another coincidence, the tires on my bike here are named after Houffalize! Enjoy,and as always, keep the rubber side where it belongs!

  • None of us here at our little blog care about Christmas, we’ve learned :) Maybe in a few years we’ll organize a reader trip to Bali or something!

  • Pascal

    Crete (Greece) had a chilly christmas this year at 28 degrees Celsius. Let’s meet there in 2011?!

  • That sounds like a brilliant idea! Freezing cold in here :)

  • Pingback: Trail to Verbier – Ardennes Training Camp | Our biker lives | Coming thru! Bike Blog()


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About Comingthru

Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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