My Ventoux, it's not a mistake, it's like the twenty months gestation of an elephant,20 months of training to give birth to this mad challenge.
The idea often comes from a talk with friends ,a bet,I dare you, I 'll do it.
The first idea was not to climb up the Ventoux but only to make a marathon;the training started once or twice a week, more or less according to the weather, when I realised that I 'd rather climb up than do flat biking.
A new challenge, the giant of Provence.
I sometimes went to the Vosges to test myself, test the climbing I could make, the length of time, the endurance, the suffering, the recovery and so on....
Right now ,the appointement is made for june the 25th 2020.
The day before was most impressive when ,from my van I could see the Mont Ventoux 80 kms away,then my heart started racing and I felt very small and full of respect for this big bald montain. But it didn't frighten me, I was going to greet him.
June the 25th, 7 o'clock in the morning,I am off very quietly ,I am aiming to get up there ,the fist turns of the wheels are pleasant, it is not too steep,the temperature is provençale. The ups and downs follow in the shades of this wonderful forest.A few pauses for a snack and some beautiful meetins like this 50 years old lady on her montain bike doing this ride up for the first time like I start wondering what I am doing here ,I realize that there is never any going down , I hang on meter after meter.
The gestation will soon be done, I am now at the chalet Reynard, no more shade, the sky of Provence has turned blue, there is a pleasant little wind.How wonderful the view is, I can see it ,it is up there 5 kilometers away.This is also the crossroads to Bedoin.
There is a lot of people but we are all in the same world, we look around and ride up, suffering and communing together, it is quite magical but no doubt it is there getting closer.
Of course some people pass me but everyone of them congratulates me,encourages me ,in French,English, Dutch, German, Italian and many other languages that I don't know.
Only a few switchbacks left and I am there, my muscles ache, my right arm is painful I must pull with my left arm instead.
Only 200 meters left, I am smiling , all these people fan of Ventoux cheer me up, about 15 bikers give me a guard of honour.
That's it, I am there , I have done it.
There will be other challenges, even madder ones.
"Nowadays many people have given up living. They are not bored , they don't cry , they just wait for the time to pass by. They have not accepted the challenges of life and life does not challenge them any more." (Paul Coelho)