January 1st on Ventoux: A Little Effort

A few years ago in the middle of January it got warm and most of the snow melted on top of Ventoux. I had good intentions of climbing it one day, didn’t, then it snowed the next. I was not going to let the heat wave we’re having right now pass me by!

Rare photo of Ventoux’s famous cherry trees, naked

I didn’t actually know if the mountain was climbable today, but I had no plans and wasn’t even hung over, so I drove through the fog to Bedoin and slooowly pedalled up the mountain. When I reached the barrier, a couple of km after Chalet Reynard, things were looking promising. I even got those boys there to open it for me so I wouldn’t need to duck under.

If you’ve ever climbed Mont Ventoux you’ll remember the series of huge ins and outs that you do between Chalet Reynard and the top. There was no snow on the ‘ins’, but it collected in banks on the ‘outs’. I had to get off the bike a few times to practice my ‘cross skills.

When I stopped at the place the last photo was taken I thought I’d just turn around. I didn’t really see the point in walking the last 400 meters and my feet were getting soaked. Then 3 men walked by and, seeing that I was turning around, one of them said to me ‘in life you need to make a little effort’. I had just climbed 1500 meters straight up, but saw their point and trudged on. Luckily the snow ended a hundred meters or so up the road and I could (after pounding the ice out of my cleats) finish in style…or at least on my bike.

Not many cyclists, but lots of people walking up from the barrier. It seems to be ‘a thing’
That’s the fog down below. It made the bottom about 10C colder than the summit

Happy New Year, Dear Reader!

18 thoughts on “January 1st on Ventoux: A Little Effort

    • Other than the speed, you might be right. I’ve now climbed Ventoux in 10 out of 12 months. With a little help from Climate Change I might be able to do them all someday.

      • No HR this year. Looking to do more bikepacking and gravel. I have entered the 3 day Gravel Epic in Switzerland in September – another HR brand I believe. Hoping COVID rules are far more
        limited or gone by the autumn.

        • A friend in the US was thinking about that one. I think it’ll be a little too soon for me this year (I might be getting my gravel bike in the spring), but am looking forward to hearing all about it for the future.

      • In Nice at moment. Did a New Years ‘swim’ sort of. Stood waist deep till all went numb -about a minute- then quickly squatted to neck. Freezing!!! Walking along prom 2 days ago I am sure I saw Froome cycle by incognito. No team insignia on. Or not.

        • Good on ya, Luc. After growing up in Gaspe, I don’t ever need to go into water that cold again. Probably good for the blood circulation, though! You’d think there’s no mistaking Froome’s style on the bike. I’ll bet it was him.

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