Brussels: Cycling - Mountain Biking
The Smallest World-City
If you are feeling brave, bicycling in Brussels can be a thrilling experience. Cycling in Brussels is an efficient and low budget transportation option; although it can take some getting used to the traffic (Belgian drivers are notoriously bad). Bicycles in Brussels do not follow rules, you can weave between traffic jams and lanes, as well as disregard sidewalk barriers. Cycling is also the national sport of Belgium and it is common to wear a helmet, a bright vest, and/or leg stickers. If you want to rent a bicycle in Brussels there are rental stands throughout the main tourist sites such as train stations. Try La Maison de Cyclistes. Bikes can be rented for a day (15€), weekend even up to a year for a small fee. Try to avoid buying a bike from Midi Market as many are stolen and not high quality. Bike repairs can be done at a surprisingly small number of bike shops in Brussels. Note that late May- September is the busiest time and you might need to make an appointment. Bicycles are permitted on the metro, but you must buy a ticket. From April to October you can book bike tours such as a half day tour which costs 9€ and 8€ for the bike rental. Brussels also has many green park areas which are nice to cycle.
As cycling is Belgium's national sport it makes sense that there are many opportunities for getting out of the city and cycling around Brussels. Mountain biking is popular around the the Foret de Soigne, a 1,654-hectare forest. The forest provides good mountain biking even in winter as it stays mostly dry. It is best to buy a good map of the area. Brussels is home to the International Group of Mountain bikers, a social club that brings together all levels of mountain bikers. The club organizes rides just outside Brussels's city centre as well as trips further a field and the members speak English. For mountain biking information head to a Brussels tourist office for large-scale maps of mountain bike trails around Brussels and throughout the rest of Belgium.