Mountain bike adventures in the Sonian Forest

Mountain biking is fun, good for your health and adventurous! However, more and more accidents with mountain bikes have been occurring lately. Why is that? What should you pay attention to as a mountain biker?

It may seem tempting to leave the official, marked routes and explore the forest on routes of your own choice. But sports enthusiasts might want to reconsider doing so. The rules and road signs exist for a reason. Damien Bauwens, director of the Nature and Forest Department: ‘The increasing number of visitors is putting more and more pressure on the forest. We need to protect the animals and the plants, along with the future of the forest.” By taking your mountain bike off-road, you might scare away shy animals and destroy plants.

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© Pascal Mannaerts

Not without risks

‘Most of the cyclists I meet on my rounds have seen the road signs, respect them and understand why they’re here’, says Nicolas Bronchain, forester in the Walloon part of the Sonian Forest. Only a few sports enthusiasts ignore them. Not without risks, unfortunately. Recently, a cyclist ended up in barbed wire and got hurt. Barbed wire is used as a border demarcation. Damien Bauwens: ‘For example, there has been barbed wire between the Solvay estate and the Walloon part of the Sonian Forest for years, to demarcate the properties.’

For more information on the mountain bike network in the forest, click here