High-light, middle-light and low-light of my Mont Ventoux Cycling trip
Last week was our long-awaited cycle trip to the south of France. I started training for this trip in March and even bought a new race bike that would be more suitable for climbing. I ended up getting the flu and not training the last three weeks. Luckily I could recover just enough to get on the bike during the trip.
Here is a short summary my highlight, middle-light and low-light of the experience.
Middle-light: The Mont Ventoux
We climbed Mont Ventoux from Bédoin and descended to Malaucène. It was a beautiful day and there were loads of other cyclists. I only stopped once during the whole ascent, at Le Chalet Reynard, the restaurant 6km from the summit.
While I am really proud of doing the climb without stopping, falling over or pushing my bike, I am a bit indifferent about the experience. I still had flu symptoms and couldn’t breathe through my nose. Because I missed the last weeks of training I couldn’t keep up with the group and ended up doing most of the climb on my own. The scenery was pretty mediocre compared to the rest of the area. Also, it wasn’t really what I would call ‘fun’. It was a constant battle to keep peddling to not fall over!
Nether the less, I’m glad I did it.
Low-light: My bike fell over
My bike was only 7 weeks old when it helped me conquer Mont Ventoux. After the descent, I propped it up against a pole and while I went for a shower. A guy in the group accidentally knocked it over and as the frame hit the pole it scratched the top tube. Since it’s aluminum, Canyon assured me the frame is fine. I shouldn’t have left it outside. It was just an accident, but it did cast a dark cloud over the week.
My bike after the fall. The scratch is covered with a Mont Ventoux memorabilia sticker.
High-light: Cycling in the Provence
While cycling up the Mont Ventoux was a bit of an underwhelming experience, the rest of the cycling in the Vaucluse was absolutely breathtaking.
We cycled between Malaucène, Bédoin, Sault, Savoillan, and Eygaliers. We saw lavender fields, picturesque French towns, vineyards, and the Gorges de la Nesque. My elevation gain for the week was more than 4 000 m. That’s 4000 m of climbing leading to amazing views!