Mountain biking as you like it near by Brussels. A tour in the Tubize - Clabecq region to re-discover the nature on a dismantled industrial background. MORE ABOUT...
Inspired and converted (in both word's assumptions) from BvanHaute (www.bvanhaute.com) website, this mountain biking will impress you by the terrain and landscape marvels of the Western Walloon Brabant it reveals. For sure, before hitting the road, the trace conversion into a tulip symbol road book for Tripy has supplied the necessary simplification for a precise off-road riding without fearing loosing interest for the route nor keeping the nose (and a few teeth) on the steering. For that, the Tripy Topomap has also allowed the insertion of a few relevant landmarks greatly assisting the decision making or simply increasing the route pleasure. Finally, as this itinerary crosses several densely wooded areas (specially during this month of July when foilage is at its lushiest), the Off-Road version of the RoadMaster, with its high sensitivity GPS receiver, moreover its backlighting, represents a wise choice!
The starting point is at the Tubize football field (just outside of the closed Parking B ); one shall take care to investigate if the local team recently promoted to the first division is not playing at home. Parking in the street may become tricky if not expensive (alternated parking signs).
This road book is exclusively aimed at the mountain bike riders. Indeed, even if here and there, you may come accross a quad or tourism bike, some portions of the route are strictly unaccessible to anything else than a mountain bike.
Going out of Tubize, an immediate jewel is exposed as you come along the shy Coeurq creek, that seems to meander only for you. We leave it quickly however, the road book following the rail road. Careless or raving riders will pay a special attention as there is no fence between the flowers scattered trail and the rails that sing upon a train coming!! This is the opportunity to remember all the grasses and flowers of the herbs collections of our youth: they all seem to be here ... Further, the emotionless cows, accompanied by their calves in this season , will curiously look at you like a strange train. A true time travel, when the roads were used by horse carts, even if the one seen parked in a field seems to combine ancient traction and modern comfort... A few wooded portions alternating with the path along the Brussels-Charleroi canal and its skippers all absorbed by their mooring. The next wood is the opportunity to verify the GPS sensitivity of the « Off-Road » RoadMaster : full gage in a wood that leaves howeveer very little blue sky above our heads. Impressive! Coming out of it, I admire a quad rider skillfully negotiating a down slope. He will then luckily « maintain » the following trail that otherwise invaded by the blackberry thorns would have collected from me some form of DNA sample.
After this dense intermission, the great open is there. Here, coming accross the canal locks: almost 20 m water height difference between the two sides. Later, along the fields. Sometime, going accross them through an ancestral right-of-way which you shall strictfully follow by respect for the labour of the farmer who provide you with bread and sugar. One shall refrain from leaving the path that the ribbon screen would quickly bring you back to. Finally, from the hill first, alongside thereafter, the industrial site of the Clabecq Forges announced by its old towers and stacks, and their skeleton like structures being dismantled. If you plan to be as vigilant as me, you may see here an edgehog, there a flock of quails in an agronomy class, some birds of prey in the waiting... A leisurely downward return is welcome, until the short uphill bringing us back to the parking B. One regrets a moment not having departed from the parking A.