A Day in Provence
Following his JOGLE ride earlier this year (http://www.putneychiropractic.co.uk/lands-end-john-o-groats/), Putney Chiropractic was delighted to hear from Mark Field that he had been to Provence to tick off one of his ‘to do’ rides. Mark reported that he had a weekend based in Bédoin which sits at the base of the iconic Mont Ventoux and which has featured regularly in the Tour de France – most recently in 2013 when Chris Froome won the stage to its summit and went on to win the Tour.
An early rise and a quick but sensible breakfast and it was time to hit the road shortly after 7.00. A few kilometres roll down from the hotel and the day could properly begin with the climb from Bédoin to the top of Ventoux. After a couple of hours the top was reached, some photos taken and then it was downhill at 50 mph to Malaucène. From there the ride to the top again took about a couple of hours albeit there were now many more riders out on the road offering the chance to have a chat as one was passed, or occasionally passed, other cyclists. Ventoux has a reputation for weather extremes ranging from 150 mph winds, to summer hail and scorching sun but the weather gods were being extremely generous with perfect conditions – warm at the bottom and cool but not cold at the top, with unbroken sun and almost no wind. On hitting the summit a pasta carbonara helped to recharge the batteries and then it was time to head down to Sault and ride the third route up the mountain. This is a gentler route until the last 6 kilometres, and has less climbing in total, but again took a couple of hours.
Finally it was time to dive down to Bédoin, the day’s starting point, and obtain a final stamp on my route card to qualify for the Club Des Cinglés Du Mont-Ventoux – those who have climbed each of the three climbs to the summit of Mont Ventoux in one day. After the climb back to the hotel the days totals were 4,700m of climbing in 146 kms and it was time for a beer. And if you think that is nuts there are 99 people who have done each of the three climbs twice in one day …..