I had to deliver a client’s bike across the Rhone today, so took advantage of the trip to do a little loop around Mont Ventoux. Thank goodness I was sensible and didn’t climb the thing – I actually started 2/3 of the way up, at Chalet Reynard, and my first 30km was basically all downhill.
Once I arrived in the village of Montbrun-les-Bains at the bottom of my freewheel, it was more or less up for the last 40 km back to the car. I had actually thought to do this loop then climb to the summit and back, but after this beautiful little climb from Montbrun I knew it wasn’t going to be one of those days.
That’s Ventoux in the distance, by the way. Always there, always taunting you.
The 20 km from Sault to Chalet Reynard was a one-man funeral procession, but there’s nothing very steep on this one and it wasn’t actually ‘hard’. I just didn’t have any legs. It made me think of one of my favorite Ventoux quotes, by French philosopher and writer, Paul Fournel.
“The Ventoux has no in-itself. It’s the greatest revelation of your-self. It simply feeds back your fatigue and fear. It has total knowledge of the shape you’re in, your capacity for cycling happiness, and for happiness in general. It’s yourself you’re climbing. If you don’t want to know, stay at the bottom.”Need for the Bike (pg. 98)
One bonus about taking a couple of breaks on a climb is that you can take photos, so here’s one warning us not to collect mushrooms. The owner wants them all to himself.