Actually, I also had the pleasure to climb Mont Ventoux last year, on a tour from Barcelona to Venice. A really hard climb, and I certainly would prefer the Gatorade considering the descent
. It is quite popular to go on shorter tours in Sweden, like one week biking up to 300 kms, and also longer tours. Many have Gibraltar as a goal.
Biking as a sport is not a mainstream interest, and is only reported about in Swedish press during the Tour and events like the San Remo raid during the Giro. Those interested are therefore often more interested in the the sport than those only following mainstream sports.
Many people use bikes for short transports (< 10kms), and I don't think commuting longer distances than that is common. It is common with companies and organisations running campaigns to increase bike commuting among their employees, mostly with environmental arguments. A big event in Sweden is the Vätternrunda, a 300 km event around the second largest lake in Sweden. It usually attracts 17000 cyclists.