At about 15km east of Utrecht lies the MTB route Leersum and starts on the edge of the village Leersum. The Bergseweg in Amerongen is also an excellent starting point for combining the adjacent MTB routes Hoge Ginkel and Amerongen. In both cases your first pedal turns on the trails are (and remain) in the forest. This nature reserve, the Utrecht Hill Ridge, offers not only dense afforestation but also heathlands and small hills. Providing views extending over the area is very limited on the route, giving you the feeling that you are in the middle of nature. In some places the view extends to an extensive forest-surrounded region of the nature reserve Hoge Ginkel, which lends itself perfectly for a place to take a break.
The MTB route runs almost completely off-road over a mix of gravel and mainly sandy trails. The varied single tracks are alternated less often so that they can feel somewhat long-winded. You mainly ride over narrow winding single tracks with good flow, which sometimes pass close to the trees. The ground is somewhat rougher because of the exposed tree roots, but also the braking bumps play (despite fine maintenance) certainly a role. You can see clearly that the route is popular back in the trails in dry and wet periods, but the MTB route Leersum remains good to ride anyway.
The 18km length of the MTB route Leersum is around the average for Dutch MTB routes, but the gain of 310m is certainly not. The narrow trails with exposed tree roots are usually absent on the short wider climbs and you can pace yourself well on the climbs due to the gradual climbs. Another large part of the accumulative elevation gain is also gained by the many small up and downs of the single tracks that winds closely in between the trees. Your skills are somewhat tested due to some unfavorable tree roots and loose sand (summer) where the unclear turns can be quite treacherous if you don’t know the route yet. Average skilled mountain bikers will find it somewhat challenging while experienced mountain bikers will need a bit more pace and find it fun to nail the corners and avoid the trees.
17.7 km, 23:59:58
The MTB route Leersum feels for me like a complete route for this area, which is very varied and combines fun aspects of other adjacent routes. This way you will encounter a few fast flowing trails as you encounter on the almost smoothed out route Rhenen. challenging climbs like Kwintelooijen, winding trails with exposed roots such as Hoge Ginkel, but on the other hand less moments of rest as Amerongen. You are sometimes so deep in the forest that the inhabited world feels far away, even when it’s not. The many turns also play with your sense of direction so that your focus shifts more towards the trails and the environment, where it should be. For me, however, the single tracks could be alternated more often in order to shift the attention and emphasize appreciation for the single trails.
The MTB route Leersum with 18km and a gain of 310m an average MTB route for in terms of length with an above-average amount of gain for Dutch standards. What also clearly is above average, is the quality of the built trails. The natural environment of the Utrecht Hill Ridge is perfectly suited for this, where the forested area is interspersed with heathlands. On the route itself you see the surroundings fly by as you ride over the narrow single tracks that wind in between the trees. You will hardly encounter paved roads here, just like moments of rest. The trails have a good flow but you can not escape to stand on the pedals after the turns (or for the bumps), and this taps energy. The climbs are spread evenly over the route, are generally wide and not too steep. The MTB route Leersum offers some technical challenge due to the rougher trails with exposed tree roots, fast successive and sometimes blind turns. The route is not suitable for the real novice, but with some experience and fitness you should be able to ride it. Like most other routes on the Utrecht Hill Ridge, experienced mountain bikers can also find a challenge here when they increase the pace.