Cycling in Belgium

Belgium is a small country in Europe with borders along Germany, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Even with its small size, Belgium still manages to be quite important.  It is the capital of the EU and  NATO, and is known for its world-class beer, waffles, and chocolate.

Belgium has rich history, intricate architecture, and classy art cities like Ghent, Bruges, and Antwerp.

Cycling Tradition

Belgium is also know for the world’s best cyclist, Eddy Merckx. The age-old tradition of cycling is a beloved past-time for the locals, both watching pro racing and participating in the sport. You will see old women in skirts and high heels pedaling an old clunker around town. College students ride to classes and park their bikes with hundreds more. Bringing groceries home from the market in a bike basket is a common sight.

Landscape and Terrain

Belgium is at sea level and is generally flat. It gets a lot of moisture every year so the rolling fields are lush and green. The trees and forests shade the roads in the summer as you ride through the countryside.

The cobbled roads are a great reminder of what streets used to look like. Some are so narrow its hard to believe they are more than just a path into a farmer’s field! Hundreds of small roads turn out to be an essential network of thoroughfares. In the United States, some paved bike trails are wider than what you will find here.

Even though most of the country is flat, there are also many challenging climbs to be found while riding. The famous short, steep climbs up to 20% are found in the Flanders Region. In the Wallonia Region hills tend to be longer and a little less drastic but are a nice change of pace during a ride.