Thursday 30 July 2015

Ventoux, etc.

So, yes, I have been riding. Not everyday, but close. Today (July 30) I rode the 20 or so kms from "our" place in La Roque to Bedoin and started right in on the mountain. Bedoin was just packed with people, mostly riders, today because it was overcast and only got to a high of 23'C. A good day to ride it, rather than waiting for the usual 30-40'C heat.

So up I went. I am a goal-oriented guy, but I don't much like the goal-oriented sort of language. That is, I have expectations, but I don't like to be too loud about it, at least when it's about something I'm uncertain about. Like how the legs will feel on any given day, and whether or not the expectations are realistic in the first place.

I had expectations. They were: to ride my bike up to the summit of Mt. Ventoux from Bedoin; to ride my bike up to the summit of Mt. Ventoux from Bedoin without stopping; to ride my bike up to the summit of Mt. Ventoux from Bedoin without stopping in less time than I did in 2011, when I rode up with several stops for pics along the way, achieving a "rest enhanced" ride time of 1:45.

I met my expectations. And there was much rejoicing in the land. I got to the top without stopping (without touching either foot to the ground) ride time 1:35. It was hard, but whatever. Of course. There was a north wind that made the open stretch after Chalet Reynard a bit more painful than I remembered it. The times when you turned right into the wind, the road pitched up to 8, 9, even 10%. Ooof. (It's remarkable how genteel and restful 6 and 7% feel after a steady run of 9 or 10.) And there were A LOT of people riding it today. Lots of people on mountain bikes and hybrids. Hmmm. Maybe next time. The granny!

One funny moment. I'm about 3 kms from the top and it's about as hard as it's been, and then I hear these two female voices coming up behind me, and they sound fresh and they're not breathless, and so I'm thinking, Wow, this is kind of awesome, until one of them passes me hardly pedalling an electric drive cruiser bike, and then the next one comes up along side me, but her battery starts to die, or something, anyway, suddenly she had to pedal, so she fell back complaining. It's weird how many people will drive their cars up to Chalet Reynard and then rent a bike to ride up from there, and some of those bikes are electric. Huh.

Anyway, when I got to the top I pulled out my handy-dandy flip phone to take a selfie, but found that the battery had completely crapped out. Fortunately, Mike and Carolyn (from Australia) were standing around enjoying the view (Mike liked my CAAD 7) and offered to take a picture of me in front of the sign. Then I went into the shop at the top to get some gatorade, and noticed that you could get the clerk to stamp something with her cool stamp, so I got that too, in my little moleskine (of course) notebook in which I write the names of the places and roads I'm passing through and riding on.

So there it is. Another day well ridden. The descent was fun and edgy too. It was cool and with the wind it felt less stable until after the Chalet. Then, in the forest, it was much smoother sailing. 65 km/h was not unusual.

Here are my notebook entries from my other rides, if you're interested. If not, carry on. (If it seems like there aren't enough pics, it's because my flip phone camera isn't the easiest thing to use while riding a bike. Suffice it to say, it's awesome out here, and you'd all love it!)

July 24 & 25

July 27

July 29

Bonne nuit!

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