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Thread: Mont Ventoux

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    Default Mont Ventoux

    Anyone do this? I think its turning 50 has me really thinking about doing it. Flying out for a weekend of climbing 11,500 miles would just about have to be the craziest idea I've ever had.
    Is it really that good?
    -Mike G
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    I've done it a few times and It's a hard climb from either side. I found the climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees to be more satisfying climbs. And if it's a windy or cloudy day it can be miserable. But if you have a bucket list of climbs then it has to be included.
    martin
    Martin Tweedy

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    i did it once as a part of the etape du tour.

    they closed the mt and sent us back down when it started to snow above chalet reynault... there was prob 3-4" and still falling.
    this was july 14th.

    i agree with martin.
    lot of more beautiful climbs in the alps especially imo.
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    It's a benchmark climb, it is very tough and as others said can be brutal is the mistral is blowing hard. A truly hard day is to climb it from the 3 different sides back to back.
     

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    I got the incredible opportunity to knock off a few monument climbs in the alps two years ago. Yes it was spectacular climbing, spectacular descending, and spectacularly beautiful. And we were also shut out, lost one day of five because of weather on the Madeleine.

    The Alps are awesome. But all that travel and flying with your bike sucks. Essentially four days of travel (cancelled flights there and back) for four days of riding.

    Riding with your buds is awesome.

    I'll try to stick closer to home and pick epic and challenging rides that I can do with friends. And more of them.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    [I]Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin T View Post
    I've done it a few times and It's a hard climb from either side. I found the climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees to be more satisfying climbs. And if it's a windy or cloudy day it can be miserable. But if you have a bucket list of climbs then it has to be included.
    martin
    +1 there is a lot of climbs more interesting and with better view, even not too far from Ventoux, but it's Ventoux !

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Yes, an epic climb. We climbed all 3 sides in a single day a few years ago. I've done many of the climbs through Italy and France. I enjoyed this as much as any.
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    I rode it last June with my wife and son. Here is my ride data so you can see how badly I sucked:

    Rode Provence - Mt. Ventoux - Bédoin, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

    If you do the ascent from Bedoin, which is the side that gets featured in the Tour a lot, you have a 6 mile stretch through the forest that is just a bear, with an average grade of 9%+ the whole way. It just goes up, no switchbacks or little false flats where you can recover. Getting to Chalet Reynard is both a blessing and a curse - it's the end of the slog through the woods, but you have about 5 or 6 really tough ramps to get up with no protection from the wind. We were lucky on the day we rode it that it was a nice breeze and not a gusty wind.

    A couple of thoughts about the ride - stop at the Tom Simpson memorial on the way down. Stopping on the way up and then having to clip in and start climbing again is not so much fun. I got that tip from some buddies who had done Ventoux before and it is good advice. When you get to the top, be careful making the last sharp right turn on the summit. There are a ton of cyclists, tourists, candy stands and cars just swarming around. You are going to be tired and excited about reaching the top and it is easy to bang into someone or something. My son bumped into a car and went down (softly, no injury). Lunch at Chalet Reyand is fun, so coast down to the restaurant, eat and then tear down the mountain. The professional photographers just past the Chalet can get some good pics of you. They will slide a business card in your shirt pocket after the click your pic - don't worry, you will not be going so fast that they can't jog up on you and safely slip the card into your pocket. The pic of my son and me below is from one of those companies. I did not think it was too expensive to get the .jpg from their website. Load up on food and liquids as it is a long climb. I went through 3 bottles of Heed pretty fast, a couple of gels and a couple of bars (I like to stay hydrated and eat). I paced myself and we took a couple of breaks along the way, just to get a little recovery. I kept an eye on my power output and tried to keep in ranges that I knew I could hold for a couple of hours.

    It was really exciting to ride Ventoux, especially with my wife and son – it’s pretty f*ing hard, so be prepared and pace yourself.



    resize george & ben ventoux.jpgresize jgb ventoux.jpgventoux lunch.jpg
    Lunch at Chalet Reynard
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    My training this year is SPECIFICALLY for Ventoux, L'Alpe d'Huez, and some other climbs in 2016. I've even been doing the Ergvideo version of Ventoux to familiarize myself with the terrain from Bedoin, though I must say the constant head-bobbing of their cameraman will drive you NUTS.

    If anyone on here is considering some riding in France in 2016, I'd love to talk about a trip. I've considered a touring company, but have had no experience with any and the Hampstens don't go there. Recommendations and advice are appreciated.
    Michael Maddox
    Tallahassee, FL
    http://oldfartcycling.org/

    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder. (Mr. Tom, BikeForums 2008)

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    One cool thing they do on Ventoux is organize some climbs that coincide with sunrise. I think they do this when there is a full moon because of the lunar association but supposedly you guesstimate your climbing time to arrive at the summit just before sunrise so you climb under a full moon. I've driven by the Giant of Provence four times going to and returning from La Marmotte twice and I'm thinking about trying the triple whammy that Lionel mentioned this summer.



    ^ ps this is pretty funny if you haven't seen it
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    I love the idea of climbing that awful rock in the dark.

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Quote Originally Posted by oopfoo View Post
    My training this year is SPECIFICALLY for Ventoux, L'Alpe d'Huez, and some other climbs in 2016. I've even been doing the Ergvideo version of Ventoux to familiarize myself with the terrain from Bedoin, though I must say the constant head-bobbing of their cameraman will drive you NUTS.

    If anyone on here is considering some riding in France in 2016, I'd love to talk about a trip. I've considered a touring company, but have had no experience with any and the Hampstens don't go there. Recommendations and advice are appreciated.
    Feel free to PM me with your direct contact info. My wife and I did 2 weeks in the Alps in 2012 - a week on our own where we rode the Columbier, Cormet de Roseland (which I think is not to be missed ride), Col de Aravice and another week with Trek Travel, doing their Classic Climbs of the Tour trip, where we rode Telegraph/Galibier and Alp d'Huez and some other climbs. This past summer we had 5 great days of riding in Provence around Ventoux, plus the big climb. I can give you some suggestions on doing some self guided stuff, hotels and gps routes.
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Hey, I thk a long climb is a long climb. Have suitable gears and be patient... takes a long time to get up these mts.

    I've been over quite a few times and am hitting the Alps this summer with a group of friends.
    Not that hard to get hotels and do it yr self if so inclined.
    Pick a couple of good spots and stay at each for 4-5 days.
    You can do a lot of these rides from one location.
    Great riding. You will have a blast.




    Quote Originally Posted by oopfoo View Post
    My training this year is SPECIFICALLY for Ventoux, L'Alpe d'Huez, and some other climbs in 2016. I've even been doing the Ergvideo version of Ventoux to familiarize myself with the terrain from Bedoin, though I must say the constant head-bobbing of their cameraman will drive you NUTS.

    If anyone on here is considering some riding in France in 2016, I'd love to talk about a trip. I've considered a touring company, but have had no experience with any and the Hampstens don't go there. Recommendations and advice are appreciated.
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Thanks for all the great responses. My thought was to do with with the Gran Fondo in June. Still comparing options and logistics.
     

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    One cool thing they do on Ventoux is organize some climbs that coincide with sunrise. I think they do this when there is a full moon because of the lunar association but supposedly you guesstimate your climbing time to arrive at the summit just before sunrise so you climb under a full moon. I've driven by the Giant of Provence four times going to and returning from La Marmotte twice and I'm thinking about trying the triple whammy that Lionel mentioned this summer.
    La Marmotte is a worthy challenge and highly recommended. Voice of experience says don't under-eat: makes Alpe D'Huez significantly less fun.
    Geoff used to race around on a Brodie Sovereign
    Geoff Morgan

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    if flying over just to climb one mountain doesn't seem epic enough, you can take all 4 routes Paul Rozelle’s 24-hour, pre-PBP, fixed-gear, Mont Ventoux ride | The Bicycle Story
     

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    Don't just climb, pick your routes around the descents as well. The Croix de Fer is awesome, as are the 40+ switchbacks down from Albiez-Montrond, a ski town that's pretty deserted in summer (and where they make the Opinel knives).

    The summer motos know the Col d'Iseran well, it's huge and fun up and down.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    [I]Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    I'm turning 50 this year too but even when I was young and skinny, I was a marginal climber at best. This year I'm sending my son to study abroad so I'll have to wait until next year to plan a big trip. I do get to spend two weeks in Appleton, WI right after my birthday so I've got that.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Don't just climb, pick your routes around the descents as well. The Croix de Fer is awesome, as are the 40+ switchbacks down from Albiez-Montrond, a ski town that's pretty deserted in summer (and where they make the Opinel knives).

    The summer motos know the Col d'Iseran well, it's huge and fun up and down.
    I second that. My only motivation for any type of long and/or hard climbs is the prospect of a fast and fun descent.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Mont Ventoux

    The other thing that's notable is that there is very little car traffic on a lot of these legendary climbs.. even a few days before the tour may pass through. Pretty remote areas in France or Italy mostly.
    Ps not really true of alpe d'Huez ...it's kind of busy but not ridiculous there.
     

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