42 kms / 330 mts of elevation / Gravel and some tarmac
Bois de la Cambre and the dream of an open swimming pond
The Ride from Brussels to Leuven starts at Bois de la Cambre a beautiful park on the south side of the Belgian capital. If you are a local, and you like swimming, check out this excellent initiative from the collective pool is cool, they already organized an open swimming day in 2019 !
The Sonian Forest (Fôret de Soignes/Zoniênwoud): UNESCO World Heritage Site
The park Bois de la Cambre connects to the great natural jewelry of Brussels: La Forêt de Soignes. The forest is a large extension of 5000 ha mostly isolated from the noise and the pollution of the city, 270 ha are classified as World Heritage because of its old growth of beech trees. The perfect place to re-fill your lungs with clean air.
Before coming out the woods you will find two large pounds called Etang du Moulin and Etangs Chabots, This is right before crossing the border between Brussels and Flanders.
Royal Museum of Central Africa
After the large area of Fôret de Soigne the ride turns east in direction to The Park of Tervuren already in Flanders. Here we find the Royal Museum of Central Africa surrounded by a very well kept park and a large pond.
Park of Tervuren
From Tervuren's park the ride follows a small canal, crosses some residential area and then go through mostly fields.
Flemish bicycle culture
Before entering the city the ride crosses a small but very nice piece of forest and gets gradually into a university campus, the paths become busy bicycle lanes packed with students, the strong bicycle culture of the Flemish is very present.
The university city of Leuven
Leuven is a nice university city with attractive architecture and, as usual in Belgium, many places to enjoy the best beers the world can offer. After that well deserved beer you can get on one of the regular trains that take you directly back to Brussels, it takes about 30 mins.
Brussels to Leuven is a one day (or half a day) easy ride and can be accomplished with any kind of bicycle (except perhaps with a race bike). The 40 kilometers ride passes through forests, parks and fields with a gentle total elevation of 270 meters. There are plenty of picnic spots like The Park of Tervuren which is half the way. Leuven is a proper city with a wide varity of restaurants, bars and supermarkets.