MONT VENTOUX BY FOLD-UP BICYCLE
Mont Ventoux has been one of the iconic climbs on the Tour de France since 1951, and with over 1,600 meters of ascent in 22 KMS, it is also one of the toughest. In 1956, a famous British rider, Tommy Simpson collapsed and died close to the summit.
For most cyclists, this is a once in a lifetime challenge with the record ascent being under 1 hour and record speed on the descent of 138 KM/HR! There is even a special award for anyone who can cycle up the mountain 3 times in one day, by different routes! I had no such heroics in mind, but I was considering a different challenge.
You can rent the latest carbon road bike in the village of Bedoin at the foot of the mountain and then cycle up with the crowds, but I wanted something different. My wife and I were travelling in Provence in our VW camper van. We carry 2 fold-up bikes in our van; why not ride one of those up……………and down?
What a fantastic mini-adventure! The whole thing took 4 hours………………3 hours up, 15 minutes at the top and 45 minutes down! What a blast.
You don’t need fancy gear or a lot of time to attempt something outrageous.