Driving down to Provence the white top of Mont Ventoux came into view at sixty miles away it filled me with a little intrepedation. Our base was the pretty town of Bedoin this been the classic route up and also the hardiest! As we drove into town the views towards the mighty Mont framed with pine trees and ripe grapes on the vines, some had just been picked and loaded into trailers and pulled along by old tractors.
We had a perfect sunny day with barely any wind, great conditions for cycling. Mont Ventoux is famous for its diverse weather on the top. The strongiest winds have been recorded at over 200 miles an hour, so I was told as I began the cycle up. Note the top of the mountain in the far distance.
The local people of Bedoin had decided to plant a wealth of Pine, Oak and Fir trees in the late 18th century on the lower slopes. I must say 'thank you' they provided wonderful shade and colours of warm Autumn which helped to take my mind off the miles of steep gradients.
Arriving at the famous cyclists Chalet Reynard, with most of the steep gradients done a very well earned rest and a time to catch my breath before the next un shaded section. Looking around there were many cyclists of all ages enjoying the sun and maybe like me slightly daugnted and thinking about the next famous section. Would I make it to the top!
The bare scree with barely anything growing, lucky for me it was a lovely temperature and no wind
Not many cars or motorbikes just cyclists struggling on. I was now starting to feel emotional, thoughts of the English Olympic cyclist Tom Simpson who died on the slope.This barren but beautiful iconic landscape certainly brings out the passion in cyclists.
The last 500 metres to go and 11% for a final kick
The last bend to the top, and I remember seeing Chris Froome lead the way. This is one of the joys of cycling you too can do the same course!! Mine was much shorter. And may I say slower!!
But with the clouds below, here comes the final bend.
I made it!! What joy and also a very proud moment and a couple of tears!!
Well I am an artist who likes the colour pink!!
Down hill all the way and back to try out some of the local wine!
Also to put a tick in our Mountain High cycle book this was our 13th ride out of 50,
glad I didn't know that before!