Glad I just found out for myself that there are some road-bike rental options in Provence.
Some reasons to rent a bike for multiple days in Provence:
* lots of pretty villages and farmland around Mont Ventoux.
* Grand Canyon du Verdon south rim.
(probably some road route ideas on like www.Bikely.com
, which you could load into your GPS -- also can be worthwhile to purchase digital Euro road map compatible with your GPS)
One of the Euro road-bike websites rated it off the scale for prettiness, and it's included as one of the worthy routes out of all of France in the Lonely Planet Cycling France guidebook.* Route des Cretes along the coast between Cassis + la Ciotat.
Riding the north rim of the biggest canyon in Europe fits with setting up a car shuttle for doing the great one-way (long-ish) Sentier Martel hike down in the gorge. South rim doesn't fit so obviously, but if you're fast + strong you could ride a loop with both (but not the same day you do the hike)
Short but spectacular seaside road. Nothing like it in North America. So short it needs to combined with something else in the area. Most obvious is to use it to set up a car-shuttle for the also spectacular one-way hike around Cap Canaille. Or hiking into the Calanques.* Alps southern high climbs
The problem with the high passes of the southern French Alps is the surrounding peaks lose their snow in the summer, but the roads are much more spectacular when they've still got some snow in view. So riding the southern passes in June (or May) is a special opportunity. Not sure which pass or loop to recommend ... If you value "numerical" achievements then Bonette is the obvious choice, but that's a long ways from Mont Ventoux.Two nice things about climbing Mont Ventoux:
(a) It's not over-hyped. Unlike Alpe d'Huez it really deserves its great reputation.
(b) If you climb it from the south side from Bedoin, it's harder than Alpe d'Huez, so then you're free from the normal visiting-American obligation to climb Alpe d'Huez.