The electric MTB, an effortless way to discover the Ardennes

VTT electrique

The electric MTB, an effortless way to discover the Ardennes

I tested an electric mountain bike for you in Redu. Thanks to Vélo Haute Lesse, I discovered an original activity to be experienced among friends or family with teenagers. Several activities packages are possible according to your wishes; with refreshment point, picnic or combined with a horse ride. Marie will see to it that your electric MTB experience in the Ardennes is a success.

Rendez-vous in Redu for the start.

Today, I am heading to Redu in the Ardennes region in order to test an electric mountain bike for the first time. I am meeting Marie, manager of Vélo Haute Lesse, in front of the village church of Redu at 10.30 am. Once there, I meet her brother, Joachim, and her sister-in-law, Marta. The three of them will accompany our photographer, Martin, and myself for a 25 km walk through the region of Redu and Daverdisse.

An electric mountain bike is very easy to use.

After putting on a helmet which was freely put at our disposal, we listen carefully to Marie’s explanations about how the electric MTB works. There is a small screen on the handlebars indicating the covered distance, the travel time, the average speed as well as the power level of the electric assistance. The power level of the electric battery may be increased or reduced via different modes according to your assistance need: Eco, Normal, Sport or Turbo. For example, on a flat path, you will ask the low assistance mode, Eco, while you will opt for the Sport or Turbo mode on a slope. But no worries, it is quite easy, all you have to do is to take the leap! And as the saying goes: it is like riding a bicycle!

As far as I am concerned, I have not ridden a bicycle for at least 12 years, but the idea of trying out an electric MTB really delights me. I, therefore, immediately get on my electric mountain bike and let us roll!

After a while, we get to our first slope. I then set out to try the different power levels and manage to ride up the slope very easily, how great!

A perfect warm-up session, so to speak

Once at the top, we get to see a lovely unobstructed view with the ESA (European Space Agency) down the hill. Marie gives u some information about it. It is always interesting to learn more about this beautiful region!

We keep going and now go through a forest path. Ruts have been dug by forest machines, which makes it more difficult to go down the path. A little bit further, we notice wild boar paw prints that somewhat damaged the path too. Fortunately, these hazards do not put us off and somehow get us ready for what is coming next ! Since I have not ridden for a while, I indeed need some time to get used to it again. The same goes for Marta who comes from Spain and thus has never ridden a MTB in the Ardennes! A major first for her too, so !

Afterwards, we cross the Pont des Barbouillons delineating the border between the villages of Redu and Daverdisse. Our route goes further and runs along the Lesse river. A little bit further, we embark upon the RAVeL path running along the Almache river. The place is so idyllic I immediately feel plunged into nature. The freshness of the brook is pleasant and the weather is perfect for an electric mountain bike outing. Thanks to the electric assistance, I can enjoy the walk without making too much effort. And Marta tells me that she does not hesitate to use the different power levels available!

We cross a small wooden bridge over the Almache river in order to get to the top of Daverdisse. From up there, we get to see a superb view over the surrounding forests. And then, after a few intersections, we get back to the Lesse valley via a path running down the hill. Facing south, this path is steep and the temperature is high. I am totally in a new world! We then get back into the natural freshness of the forest.

The surprises of the day

Much to our surprise, we came face to face with a herd of wild boars. There were about twenty of them, mothers and babies, crossing the path just a few meters from us. Too bad Martin, our photographer, did not have the time to draw its camera to capture the sight! We then keep going down the path running along a brook before crossing a footbridge, la passerelle des Cochettes, over the Lesse river.

A little bit further, in the village of Lesse, Marie shows us a picnic area where we stop by. She has prepared a delicious picnic with local products for us to enjoy on the river bank: Ham of the Ardennes region (the well-known jambon d’Ardennes), Orval cheese, saffron cake crafted by a local craftswoman and even the traditional Rulles Etivale beer ! And all this on the traditional red and white squared napkin: Marie sure has a keen eye for detail! The five of us are delighted by this picnic break and give a toast to our successful day!

Tested and approved despite the fall

After our feast, we resumed our journey to Redu. A few kilometres further, we get by a narrow slope with many tree roots. I try to avoid falling in nettles and accidentally hurt my leg with the pedal… resulting in a bruise and a couple of scratches! Fortunately, I am not a soft person and just get back on my bicycle and set off again to finish my ride until the village of Redu. And 300 meters before the finish, Martin falls too, but without a scratch!

After these emotions and this 25 km ride organised by Marie, we may now enjoy a well-deserved drink outside! We then finish our day off in the sun. As far as I am concerned, the electric mountain bike is “tested and approved”. I could remember how it feels to mount a MTB, but without too much effort thanks to the electric assistance!

Now it is your turn!

Find out more about our partner Vélo Haute Lesse

Vélo Haute Lesse rents out electric MTBs and has them directly delivered at your holiday rental or at the start of your outing in the region of Redu. The electric mountain bike is fit for everybody, sporty or not. You may practice it among family with teenagers (children must be taller than 1.50m) or friends.

Marie also offers accompanied tours. She plans a route according to your wishes and takes you through the typical paths of the Ardennes region. Different packages are possible, do not hesitate to take contact for customised services.

For the seasoned cyclists, she proposes a route and gives maps and data for your GPS or smartphone.

Experience an electric mountain bike outing, too! Book a holiday cottage in the Ardennes now!

In Libin, Daverdisse or Paliseul, Ardennes-Etape has a large offer of holiday houses that may serve as departure points for MTB outings among family or friends.