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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-10-12, 06:50 AM   #1
1855Cru
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Ventoux has been remounted!!

As part of my training for a go at qualifying for the Clube des Cinglès later this month, I thought I'd try to climb Mont Ventoux again. This time I chose the route from Bedoin which is regarded as the hardest of the three routes up the mountain and is the one that they use on the Tour de France. Many regard it as the hardest on the Tour itself. All I know is it's BLOODY hard!!!

The gory details: 5,807ft climbing in 13.74 miles which is an average of 8%. I did it in 2hrs 30mins ride time. Total time for the ascent was about 3hrs 15mins which included a stop on the way up at Chalet Renard for some food and water refills. Like an idiot I had forgotten to bring any food with me so it was water only on the ride up.

It is a heck of a climb even on a benign weather day like this one which had hardly any wind and only modestly hot temps. The entrance to Bedoin is really cool, at the main roundabout before town there is a statue of a cyclist climbing the mountain and you can see the actual summit right behind it, it really gets you going and also tells you this town knows how to treat roadies Here's the view. https://picasaweb.google.com/1176139...24105974080450

The parking lots were all full of cyclists getting ready to climb, I must say it was a cool feeling to be one of them. I got underway and the first 3 or 4 miles were pretty smooth sailing with modest grades of 4-5% max. Then the fun started. The next 6 miles were brutal with grades averaging 9-10% for the entire way. Grades never dipped below 7% and there were quite a few 12-18% kickers. It was relentless with very few places to stop lest you couldn't get underway again. It was a slooooooow grind, I was averaging 4.5-5mph the whole way and had to stop about 4 times. I finally got to Chalet Renard which is about 10 miles into the climb and stopped for about 30 mins to eat, drink and rest. When I got underway again the last 3-4 miles were also brutal. Although the grades were not quite as steep they still averaged 7-11% but the road is completely exposed to the elements and though it wasn't very windy that day it was getting quite warm. I had to stop twice on this last part but finally made it to the top.

Here I am at the summit https://picasaweb.google.com/1176139...23998019709522

Here's the total ascent readout on my Garmin https://picasaweb.google.com/1176139...24045588295234

After spending some time at the summit chatting with other cyclists and taking pictures I was off on the descent. This was a lot of fun!! Unlike the descent from the Sault side I did a few weeks ago this road was in very good condition and I cautiously bombed down in about 25 mins, now that I know the road better, next time will be a lot faster I'm sure

It was great riding back into Bedoin, people smiling and nodding at you because they know where you've been and what you have done. It was a priceless feeling. A really great but tough day. I'm not at all sure I'll be able to do the three ascents in one day but I'm going to give it my best shot!!

Here's my Garmin data from the ride. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/220846290
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Old 09-10-12, 06:57 AM   #2
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Great ride report! Congrats on conquering the beast.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:26 AM   #3
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Awesome ride report and congrats on raching the top. This is one of my bucket list items. Great pictures as well. Did you ride back down or did someone pick you up? The descent must be crazy scary.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:47 AM   #4
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Well done!

Clube des Cinglès later this month? Good luck, sounds like a worthy challenge.
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Old 09-10-12, 11:25 AM   #5
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Awesome ride report and congrats on raching the top. This is one of my bucket list items. Great pictures as well. Did you ride back down or did someone pick you up? The descent must be crazy scary.
Oh yeah I rode back down, that was the fun part. I was a bit cautious because I didn't really know the road and it was very twisty. When I do it again I'll be able to go much faster. There are sections that I know I'll comfortably be able to hit 50mph +
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Old 09-10-12, 11:27 AM   #6
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Well done!

Clube des Cinglès later this month? Good luck, sounds like a worthy challenge.
That's the plan, I have a skinny friend coming down from London who will probably do it in under 9 hrs, I'm hoping to finish in 12 :0
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Old 09-10-12, 12:03 PM   #7
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What's the total mileage & elevation for that combo climb? I assume you'll drive to the base for that one.
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Old 09-10-12, 03:06 PM   #8
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What's the total mileage & elevation for that combo climb? I assume you'll drive to the base for that one.
It's about 15,000 ft of climbing in 42 miles plus another 42 miles of downhill but they don't really count

I'm doubtful that I'll make it.
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Old 09-10-12, 03:10 PM   #9
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The gory details: 5,807ft climbing in 13.74 miles which is an average of 8%. I did it in 2hrs 30mins ride time.


You, sir, are an animal. Well done.
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Old 09-10-12, 03:20 PM   #10
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I'm doubtful that I'll make it.
A little humility is a good thing but don't sell yourself short. There's a reason most professional athletes are arrogant and cocky beyond reason, and it's got less to do with whether or not they actually "have" it, they just think they have it.

Good luck, plan wisely and make it happen!
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Old 09-10-12, 04:21 PM   #11
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story.

And, I'm sure you can do the triple!
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Old 09-10-12, 04:28 PM   #12
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Awesome climbing and good luck with the next one!
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Old 09-11-12, 06:56 AM   #13
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A little humility is a good thing but don't sell yourself short. There's a reason most professional athletes are arrogant and cocky beyond reason, and it's got less to do with whether or not they actually "have" it, they just think they have it.

Good luck, plan wisely and make it happen!
Thanks Trojan, I'm certainly going to give it my best shot. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll have enough daylight to finish. The planning is the tough part because there is really nowhere to buy some of the typical things I take on a long ride like GU or gel blocks, so I'm going to have to find something else. Also on each climb there is nowhere to buy or get water or food except for the Chalet Renard which is 3 miles from the summit on the Bedoin and Sault routes, the Malaucene route has zip. So you have to expect 3 hrs climbing in hot conditions with just the fuel you are carrying. Apart from the physical aspect, I know that it will be a big mental challenge too. Your body is always telling you to just turn around and coast downhill And there is no let up mentally once you reach the summit, the descents are dangerous and require you to really concentrate, much more so than the ascent, so all in all a gruelling day.

I have to say that I have been inspired by all the Clyde centuries of late and your group that has been slaying GMR, each of those achievements gives me a little confidence to tackle this mother!!
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Old 09-13-12, 02:30 PM   #14
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A little humility is a good thing but don't sell yourself short. There's a reason most professional athletes are arrogant and cocky beyond reason, and it's got less to do with whether or not they actually "have" it, they just think they have it.

Good luck, plan wisely and make it happen!
Thinking you "have it" helps you do it. Congrats, 1855Cru!
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Old 10-14-12, 11:02 AM   #15
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Allan, I enjoyed your blog very much in August and have been hoping to read more! I hope your trip was successful. I hope to make it over there for a few months some year. Merci Beaucoup! ��
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Old 10-14-12, 07:17 PM   #16
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I'm really hoping you make it!

Well, did you?
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