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Archive for October, 2011

Finally Mont Ventoux

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

We have wanted to ride up Mont Ventoux for a while now and after 3 unsuccessful attempts to get there we finally made it.

We booked a b&b which had been recommended to us in the village of Rasteau about 30km from Bedoin. The forecast was sunny but windy!

As ever I wanted to ride up the moment we got there, luckily Alan wouldn’t let me as the wind was so strong. We drove up instead. The climb was as everyone had described sheltered but relentless through the woods and then out into the lunar landscape to the top. The wind at the top was so strong we nearly got blown over, it was quite scarey. We offered a lone cyclist a lift down, he said no even though he had been blown off his bike 3 times on his way up!

We planned our next couple of days cycling, a route round the base of Mont Ventoux and then the climb up on the least windiest day. The scenery is so different in Provence unbroken horizons, fields of vine yards and Olive trees.

The route round the base of Mont Ventoux  was beautiful and it was great to ride on undulating roads rather than mountains only 1200m of climbing in 100km. The route took in the beautiful gorges de la Nesque as well as the towns of Bedoin, Sault and Malaucene, I can certainly recommend it.

So to the climb up Mont Ventoux from Bedoin, it was as all our guests have described relentless then barren. The climb through the woods seemed to go on forever and it was a constant ‘steep’ once out in the open I found it easier, more to focus on, it wasn’t too windy or too hot, I can imagine in summer the heat is horrendous coming off the shale. It was a lovely temperature, mid 20’s! Once at the top the views were magnificent, down to the med and across to the Alpes. To top it all a fab descent!

On our final day, I did a loop which included some more undulating roads and an ascent of Mont Ventoux from Malaucene, that was as hard as the climb from Bedoin. Alan did a mtb rode with a friend of ours, I think they ended up walking as much as riding although they did get to the top of Ventoux!

Mont Ventoux certainly lived up to expectations and more. It was a great break in a lovely b&b where we were joined by some friends from Bourg, Guy & Helyn so plenty of eating and drinking to go with the cycling!