OK I’m back home. I have hundreds of photos but as they are mainly on my camera- not too many related to me going up Ventoux.
Travelled down from Calais in one hit- about 650 miles and arrived in the area where you would pull off the Motorway and turn East for Ventoux at the same time as the Mechanics vans were arriving for the Dauphin Libere Race that was going up Ventoux that day. Think I got the complete set of teams on sightings and with the Bike strapped on the back of the car- Got a lot of Responses from the team trucks as I passed them. Eventually We got into the region of my Camp site that was 30 miles west and realised that I was going to have some good training for the ride up the hill. Lots of Rivers running very low down between the High peaks and with the roads at the bottom following the Course of the river. Next Morning and I was out checking the bike out to see if it would go up hills. Luckily it could as all the roads- unless you went along the valley- went upwards at about 8% for around 6 kms. That first ride was on Friday morning and I found a nice little route to a café in Lussan that was about 11 miles away and had 1500 ft of climbing. All the climbing came at 8% then a corresponding downhill so there was probably about 5 or 6 miles of climbing stiffly on each leg out. The area itself is not that well visited and the roads over the hills had diabolical surfaces on them. Down in the valley though were perfectly smooth well made roads and they were FLAT. Possibly a couple of rises in them to get over a bridge over the river but they were like a billiard Table. The hill roads though—Forget about them. More like Tar and grit thrown over Farm Tracks. At least I could get a back massage with the vibration- and that was going up hill. On my trip over to Lussan though there was one bit of road that seemed to climb more than it looked. It felt like a 15% but it wasn’t. The tar and stone were so deep it was like riding in pudding. Only found out when I came downhill later and had to pedal hard to get to 10 mph. Mind you- the town of Lussan was well worth getting out to- Even if they did overcharge for the Drinks.
This first ride was done in around 85 deg F and I had made the mistake of only taking one bottle with me- hence the having to find a Café in the town- and the pic of the Bike at the café back at the campsite- with the Amstell glass there aswell. Lussan is a town set up on a hill, and I have a pic attached of it. Only thing is that between the bike and Lussan- the road drops about 300 ft and the climb up to the town is about 400 ft. The bulk of the climb being in the last 1 km so I had found a slope of the severity that all of Ventoux would be- Even if it was a lot shorter.
So that was the first ride over with. Not too exerting and to be honest- I was not going to be happy on going up Ventoux. These were not the length of the uphills I would find on the Mountain- and were not the severity either. I had to find some way of pushing myself harder and luckily met a cyclist on site that had been there a week or so. He put me onto a steeper hill but still not a long one. That afternoon I decided to go out in the heat and try his steeper hill. Temp of just under 100 and a 10% for about 5 kms. Must be a difference in the Humidity or something because the heat did not affect me. As to the hill- decided to try it in middle ring- just to see if I could hack it. Boy was that hard. Legs were just about to give out and the top of the hill came. At least the lungs were OK so quite happy to go to Ventoux with a hardish ride behind me. All I had to do now was get some food inside me to build myself up so The evening meal was a selection of my favourite French Bar-B-Que. sausage- Merguez. That along with plenty of Salad and chips would just about set me up on the carb front. Then there was the pre- hydration and I can assure you that with me being in my most favourite wine producing region- that was well taken care off.
This is getting a bit too long so I'll write about my Trip up the hill later- When I might have some better photos.