MTB track Duinengordel

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 20:13 |  Written by

The expectations of the MTB track Duinengordel are set high with a long singletrack of 1,5km. However, this is a novice MTB track of 36km which is almost completely offroad and is divided in 2 loops. The vast majority of the track consists of wide country roads, forest trails and sandy paths through the heather with minor elevation changes.

THE LOCATION 3 star rating
At a small distance from the start location Sentower Park you pick up the MTB track Duinengordel at the green loop. This is an area around the nature reserve Oudsberg where woods, heaths and farmlands alternate and elevation changes are small. This continues largely unchanged on the blue loop where you ride through the Solterheide which is less hilly and has slightly more heath. Nice sceneries are definitely present in this natural area but don’t expect high vantage points. Although the track is almost entirely offroad you occasionally come across buildings and some traffic but it’s peaceful.

THE TRAILS 2 star rating
MTB track Duinengordel is split into two loops; green (Oudsberg) and blue (Solterheide). Both loops run almost entirely off-road and for most of the trails they are also quite similar. Both loops let you ride on wide country roads, forest trails, sandy heathland paths with a sporadic singletrail. However, the green loop has a somewhat unique feature in the form of a singletrack. It’s a 1,5km long continuous singletrack over narrow sandy trails and slaloming between the trees over a few bumps. Typical Belgian MTB routes (in contrary to Dutch) let you ride the track in opposite directions, this is here also the case in the singletracks.

THE CHALLENGE 2 star rating
The green and blue loop have a combined length of 36km and an elevation gain of 256m, allowing someone with a limited fitness to still ride a single loop. The blue loop (Solterheide) is 18km and the green loop (Oudsberg) is 19km long when you each ride them separately. The cumulative elevation gain of the green and blue loop are not far apart from each other, but the green loop especially has a few very short somewhat steep climbs in it. The climbs are not technical but they do contain the necessary tree roots and small rocks. In the descents you usually come across the same terrain but barely with any steep descent. The ascents and descents also give you the possibility to divert from your line if necessary. On the singletracks you can primarily refine your cornering technique since you won’t come across any technical obstacles like jumps, drops or rock gardens.

35.7 km, 00:00:00


THE FUN FACTOR 2 star rating
The 1,5km of continuous singletrack is a nice feature in this track that finds a good balance between difficulty, speed and flow. The result here is that a sharp contrast arises with the rest of the track and therefore feels to me somewhat disappointing. After this you won’t come across similarly interesting trails for quite some time, the trails are generally wide and offer hardly any challenge. It still remains a novice MTB track and more experienced mountain bikers should enjoy this when the emphasis lies more on the varied natural surroundings. As in Belgium is often the case, you can ride the MTB track in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, this is also the case with the MTB track Duinengordel. Especially in the obscure and narrow single trails I find this not fun to ride.

CONCLUSION 
MTB track Duinengordel consists of two loops that combined amount to 36km and 256hm. The blue loop (Solterheide) is 18km and the green loop (Oudsberg) is 19km long when you ride them separately. The environment is almost identical on these loops with woods, heather and farmlands. The scenery is largely over open fields due to the altitude differences. These are limited resulting in less intense climbs and descents, but there are a few somewhat steep climbs. These are not that technical with just some tree roots and small rocks. The remainder of the MTB track Duinengordel (Solterheide and Oudsberg) is not that technical either. The trails are relatively flat, wide, and under dry conditions fast. The single trails have a pretty good flow and put your cornering skills to the test. Technical features like jumps, drops or rock gardens are certainly not to be expected here. MTB route Duinengordel is therefore more suitable for novice mountain bikers looking for some challenge.

LOCATION 3 star rating
TRAILS 2 star rating
CHALLENGE 2 star rating
FUN 2 star rating
CONCLUSION   2 star rating


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