Mont Ventoux

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  • Awsome. Very jealous.

  • I got your postcard to the bikehaüs today Nessy! Sounds like you're having a wonderful time!

    Pictures look wicked too.

  • did have...back to the grey fact i'm in my office at work (surrounded by rubber)

  • pictures look epic! well done!

  • I'm going to do the Mont Ventoux on 9th June, with ascent from Bedoin. In terms of descent and circling back to Bedoin what is best - down to Sault, Malaucene, or same route back to Bedoin?

  • Your probably as well to head straight back down to Bedoin, possibly stopping off at Chalet Reynard for a Ventoux Omelette and chips.

    Never done Sault, but it's the easiest ascent and probably a not so exhilarating descent. I've climbed the Malaucene side and that'd be good to go down as there'd be fewer cars and people wobbling around bends. It's a nice run back to Bedoin from there too.

  • The descent down to Malaucene is superb, probably better than the descent down to Bedoin, and, as Ronnie says, the run back to Bedoin is a good road for riding.

  • Your probably as well to head straight back down to Bedoin, possibly stopping off at Chalet Reynard for a Ventoux Omelette and chips.

    Never done Sault, but it's the easiest ascent and probably a not so exhilarating descent. I've climbed the Malaucene side and that'd be good to go down as there'd be fewer cars and people wobbling around bends. It's a nice run back to Bedoin from there too.

    Strawberry tart at the Chalet Reynard.

    That descent to Malaucene is epic. Would stay in Carpentras maybe?­7#237963951

  • So here is my little Ventoux tale. Firstly, I am not a climber and so if you want to read about heroics from Bedouin then I'm afraid this is the wrong post. Having arrived in Provence, tackling Ventoux was an ambition. A quick scout on the Sunday (I arrived Saturday) demonstrated to me what a ferocious beast the mountain is - and this was on a day that the weather was good. Kayaking with a Dutch couple on the Tuesday revealed that they had been there on the Saturday and had watched cyclist being blown from one side of the road to the other, and were it not for a momentary gap in the clouds, hadn't realised they were next to the weather station on top!

    Before embarking on this adventure I thought I'd put in a couple of preparatory runs. A ride to Gordes on a hot day left me taking a drink, adjusting the brakes and feigning mechanical difficulties just to avoid the ignominy of having to stop in the same place as an elderly cyclo-tourist who was having an equally tough time climbing a hill. I knew I wasn't in the best of shapes, but this was a real worry if I wanted to climb Ventoux.

    Two days later and I repeated the run, but this time had set my ambition to get as far as Sault. Starting earlier and in less oppressive heat, I paced myself and found the climbing if not enjoyable, certainly tolerable. I arrived in Sault feeling good and continued on the road through the Gorge de la Nesque. The route was exceptionally beautiful and although the maximum height was 'only' 800 metres or so, it gave me a real sense of what it is to cycle up something akin to a 'real' climb. Arriving back in Sorgue I was elated and being of a fairer disposition - sunburned!

    During my stay the BBC weather app had proved to be reasonably reliable and a week after arriving, it showed that on the Monday the weather would be less hot and windy than in previous days. Moreover, the days that followed would be as hot and windier. So Monday was established as being D-Day. The problem was that on the Sunday, a trip to Arles and a tourist hating restaurant had given both my wife and I dodgy stomachs. Waking up on Monday and a few visits to the campsites toilet blocks later, my big adventure was very much in jeopardy. A combo of Orangina, water, Coke and a ham sandwich settled my stomach a little. However, the preparation left a lot to be desired...

    So why the ascent from Sault? Well, as mentioned I'm no climber and both Bedouin and Malaucene ascents seemed beyond me, having had no experience of climbs such as this before. The route from Sault is a little strange, as the climbybike website calculates it from the centre of the village. This is a little misleading, as you immediately descend. It would be more accurate to measure the climb from the bottom of this descent, which in real terms probably makes the actual ascent 2km shorter and 120 metres or so higher. This is where I left from, and almost immediately found myself short of breath. I can only think that the idea of cycling up Ventoux had created an almost over anxious state, and within 5 minutes I thought of giving up. I stopped twice in 10 minutes to regain my breath and to focus on the climb. This did the trick and I felt composed enough to continue without reaching this state again. I would like to say that I recall the next 20km's in detail, but I don't (with one or two exceptions). Having suffered from diarrhoea earlier in the day, I stopped on three of four occasions to take a drink and to consume a delightfully flavoured Decathlon energy gel. I didn't necessarily feel the need to stop, but felt that a couple of minutes recuperation would be beneficial. On one occasion I came to a corner (the picture is attached (I hope)) and I suddenly realised that I could hear nothing aside from my breathing. It seemed, at that moment, to be the most tranquil place on earth. The silence was only broken by another cyclist rounding the corner a few moments later. I eventually arrived at Chalet Reynard, but not before the weather had changed markedly. For the majority of the ride, I had climbed in a light breeze and low cloud. By now the wind had picked up and darker clouds scudded over the treeline above me. At Chalet Reynard the rain fell and the wind left me wondering if I should continue. It was at this point that I saw the cyclist who had passed me earlier. He continued his journey and a couple of minutes later I followed. Rounding the corner from the Chalet and I could see him ahead of me, although he looked knackered by then. This was hardly surprising; it was cold, wet and if not blowing a gale, getting close to it. A few minutes later he returned in the opposite direction and I assumed that he had reached the summit. I now realise that he hadn't (the time simply wasn't enough), and had simply turned around. With 4km to go, so did my legs! I now had to face the fact that a ham sandwich and two energy gels wasn't going to see me to the top, especially in the changeable conditions - a mixture of walking and cycling ensued. At Tom Simpson's memorial I stopped and left a bottle. It was a strangely emotional moment, especially to see the little dedication from his daughters. It was a very public death, in an environment that remains essentially lonely for the majority of the year, and for that matter was extremely poignant. And then I arrived at the summit, no fanfare, no photographers plying their trade, no sweet sellers and denuded of the tourists that were there a few days previously. Me, my bike and four other like minded cyclists. A photograph or two and the descent...

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    • Tom.jpg
  • This April @HoKe and I will be attempting the 3 ascent challenge.­ntoux-all-three-sides/

    We estimate that with 68km of climbing, we should be able to do it in about 9 hours in the saddle. I this wildly ambitious? Any advice form those who have ridden it?

  • Leave the Sault route til last.

  • yeah i hear that sault is the 'easier' one

    other tips i have heard are "lay off the mayo" "get a motor" and my favourite (from my dad no less) "you are too old to be a sportsman, give up"

  • Holy thread resurrection Batman. Did you ever ride this @TheArchitect ?

  • Does anyone have a gps route from Bédoin I can have a look at?

    Looking for car parking specifically.

  • Errr… Bédoin is basically the foot of the climb. You want car parking on the climb?

  • No want to see where most people start to find parking close…

    Having to drive up to do it and like preparation.

  • There's car parking in the centre of Bedoin, roughly around where the D974 turns right in the village, but it tends to be popular. Just south of the village, on the left hand side, there is a much larger car park., basically here.

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Mont Ventoux

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