Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Provence - Mt Ventoux - and Rest Day

Hello Folks,

Yesterday we had a big ride, up a local hill called Mount Ventoux. It was a beautiful climb, with sun almost to the top, but then there was fog and wind for the last 3 kilometers. It was a fairly ambitious climb for us, but it was something we wanted to do since we had seen this mountain several times in the Tour de France. This road was one of the best marked in the entire area. Every kilometer there was a marker telling you how many kilometers it was to the top and what the current grade was. In the beginning it seemed like the markers were going by kind of slow – and they were, but toward the end when there were just a few kilometers to go it was very encouraging. Linda took a picture of every one of them that she saw.

Starting out

11 km to go and getting steeper

When you are riding in Europe, it is kind of cool to be using the metric system for distance, because it sounds like your distances are longer, and it is more impressive. The problem comes in when you are climbing a mountain. Climbing to the top of a hill that is 1909 meters does not sound as hard as climbing to the top of a hill that is 6263 feet – but it is.

That's us at the top!
 At the top it became pretty cold, so we started right down, stopping for hot coffee and cocoa about 4km from the top. It took most of the ride down to completely warm up since you really aren't pedaling that much for the ride down. We were pretty excited about our accomplishment while we were having our lunch at the bottom of the hill and finishing warming up. After we got back to town we cleaned up, went shopping and got a couple of Mount Ventoux “T” shirts, it has a picture of the distance markers that Linda was taking pictures of all of the way up.

Today was our rest day, but as you know Linda is not a big fan of sitting around, relaxing, and watching the world go by. We went to the town market in the morning, and then took a short ride to explore some of the local towns in more detail.

Lunch on our Rest Day

Tomorrow we are tentatively planning to take a longer ride to the south to see the Gorge de Nesque. It should be a real pretty ride.

We hope you are all doing well.

More pictures from today at this PicasaLink, and from yesterday at this other Picasa Link.

Stephen and Linda

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