At the official opening of the mountain bike route the Flemish Sport Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist), who is a keen cyclist himself, told journalists that “We are investing in easily accessible sport infrastructure so as to make Flanders more exercise-friendly”.
In recent years numerous mountain bike routes have either been opened or renovated in the area at or near to the coast. The Flemish sport agency Sport Vlaanderen, Westtoer and the coastal municipalities have now linked the existing routes to form a 425-kilometre network. This is just about the distance by road between Brussels and Strasbourg.
Cyclists of all abilities are welcome. The more experienced cyclist might consider riding the 107-kilometre Mountain Bike Marathon Route through De Panne, Koksijde, Nieuwpoort and Middelkerke. 178 kilometres of the 445 kilometres that make up the network are “off road”.
In Flanders as a whole there are a total of 7,000 kilometres of mountain bike routes.