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velotel
11-12-2011, 03:07 PM
Weather was less than I hoped for, less than what we're enjoying in the Alps. A bit of a shocker that actually. But still good. Up early, just before 5, on the road around 6. Longer than I remember driving down, around 3 hours. Left the car just outside Vaison-la-Romaine in a small park along a river. Rolled off, air cool, Ventoux looking formidable as always. But at least this time I wasn't intimidated like I was the first time I rode it. Well okay, less intimidated. That puppy is huge!

Through Malaucène, onto the road up Ventoux. Only mountain I know of in France that has its name on road signs pointing the way. Easy pedaling to begin with but quickly stiffening up a bit. Then way easy, even flat. I didn't bother shifting to bigger gears; I remembered what lay just ahead. Steepness. And then even more.

Must admit I'd forgotten how hard this side is. Or maybe I was stronger the other time I rode this side. I don't think so. Just memory failure again. Funny climb in some respects. Off and on much of the way. Like the beginning, a flat then a right turn after a meadow and up the road rears. A few or more ks with lots of upper single digit stuff plus the good old entry into the world of double digits. Then the road goes limp. Rolling fast, shifting up, contemplating even moving to the big ring. No, don't have the power today. Views to the right and left, the summit off in the distance and way higher. Sweet riding. Like going up stairs. Long easy section then a ramp of steepness then another long easy pitch. Repeated a few times. Only the ramps seemed to be getting a bit ruder as I progressed.

Uh oh, 12% on the kilometer marker sign. Which means the next k averages 12%. Only soon I happen to be riding where life is easy and far from 12%! Like maybe we're talking 14% stuff mixed up with easy stuff to get to 12%. Someone had written on the road, in french, "go my cork, I love you". Got a good laugh out of that. I doubt if he was too interested in too much corking at that moment. I might well have forgotten the sequence but I think there was a k marker at 12% followed by one at 11%, and another at 11%, then a 10,5%, then an 8%. Only the 8% consisted of more of that 10-11% percent blended with some 5-6%. That was hard.

Easy riding at the turn for the ski station. Hairpin to the right, slight downhill, and into the trees. And up. Felt as steep as any ramp so far. Only this ramp was long. A k marker at 9%, this in the middle of major steepness. A hairpin to the left and I'm shifting gears and rolling fast. Okay, faster. Road's wet, lots of needles from the larch, temperatures dropped considerably, road feels like it could be just a wee bit iffy on the margin. Keep that in mind for the return. A long bend to the right and there's the summit tower. With a good bit of vertical between me and it to go. Pitch ramps up again. Hairpin to the right with big views out to the Alps on the outside. Tempting but I'm holding a nice rhythm so press on. Whoa, here I've got on the pavement a peace sigh and the words "peace" and "love". Weird flashback on that view. Up to the saddle where the south if in full view for a moment. Back left, under the summit. A hairpin to the right and up into the parking lot. Yes! Ventoux, third time. I like that.

The photos are attached in order, from bottom to summit and finally looking back up afterwards. Enjoy

1centaur
11-12-2011, 03:11 PM
Dude, you are replacing Jack Brunk as the #1 must-see thread writer. I love your contributions to this forum!

rwsaunders
11-12-2011, 03:36 PM
I vote in favor of velotel having his own sticky. :beer:

maxn
11-12-2011, 04:08 PM
nice. Sorry I missed it today!

rnhood
11-12-2011, 04:20 PM
Nice story, nice pictures, and nice bike.

AngryScientist
11-12-2011, 04:23 PM
Weather was less than I hoped for...

http://forums.thepaceline.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=87336&stc=1

velotel you're getting spoiled!

another great round of pics and story, thanks for sharing as usual!

:beer: :beer:

velotel
11-12-2011, 04:34 PM
nice. Sorry I missed it today!
yea, bummer because you would have loved it. And I would have loved seeing a video of the descent. You would have enjoyed seeing the Ferrari arrive on top too. Red of course. Driver old, of course. Male, of course. Passenger, female, young, of course. But still, personally I think my heavy breathing in the last ks sounded way better than his Ferrari coming up the south side. Well, maybe not that much better.

Not many bikers on the mountain. Almost all coming up the south side. Normal, that's the side the TdF comes up. I like it for the descent. One of the best I've ever done. The drop to Malaucène isn't in the same class. At all. Too straight, or rather the curves are too long most of the time. But there is a section down near the bottom that is a cooker. Back and forth like dancing at speed.

Saw a lot of french mountain bikers going up. They passed me going fast. In their cars. That's how they do it over here, the mountain bikers, up the mountains in cars, down on the bikes. Odd to my thinking. Missing out on a lot of sweet quality time but no one asked my advice. Then again seeing that old guy with the white hair weaving up the mountains like a drunk looking for a place to pee probably made them realize going up in the car was definitely the way to go. Actually I was looking for money. You know, heavy riders looking to jettison some weight in the climb to speed themselves up; first place they look is in their money pouch. Metal, it's heavy, lighten up. I was looking for it. Bad day, didn't find any. Just that note from the woman, presumably a woman but who knows today, talking corks to her lad.

wooly
11-12-2011, 04:36 PM
Thanks for taking me away from the rain this morning. Sounds like an epic trip.

fogrider
11-13-2011, 01:09 AM
velotel, is that route through Bedion? any day you make it to the top means the weather is good!

thinpin
11-13-2011, 01:32 AM
Wonderful as usual. Lovely Eriksen, does it get much attention?

Climb01742
11-13-2011, 07:44 AM
1. thank you for taking the time to write.

2. great report, wonderful writing, vivid details.

3. definitely a climb i'd love to tackle one day.

4. beautiful pictures.

5. did i mention thanks for sharing? ;)

6. love the orange accents on your bike.

Matt-H
11-13-2011, 09:00 AM
I love these threads. Keep them coming, Velotel!

Lionel
11-13-2011, 09:32 AM
Yep, good of you to do it in November. I tend to stick to May-Oct but the weather has been great this fall.... Malaucene or Bedoin, there is no easy way up that beast (well via Sault but it does not really count!).

Spinner
11-13-2011, 10:22 AM
... very inspirational ... thanks and cheers.

Karin Kirk
11-13-2011, 10:46 AM
Nice ride Velotel! That sounds pretty darned hard. I like that you are getting after it with big rides every weekend. It sure is fun to read about each adventure and drool over the photos. I will echo the other comments that it's fantastic that you share your rides with all of us.

So what's on tap for next weekend? :)

velotel
11-13-2011, 12:09 PM
velotel, is that route through Bedion? any day you make it to the top means the weather is good!
From Malaucène. All in all the weather wasn't so bad. Cold enough that I didn't overheat but warm enough that I sweated. Took off my t-shirt (one of those sports type of t's that isn't supposed to get wet; it does, but not so bad) at the ski station hairpin, put on a smart wool t and my Veccio's wool jersey. Kept those on to the summit where I immediately added my windbreaker. Not far off zero on top I think. Gloves for the descent. I've got whatever that syndrome is called when blood circulation to the fingers shuts down and they go white. Kept the gloves on all the way down. Stripped them and the windbreaker for the return ride to my car near Vaison. So like I said, the weather all in all wasn't so bad.

velotel
11-13-2011, 12:12 PM
http://forums.thepaceline.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=87336&stc=1

velotel you're getting spoiled!

another great round of pics and story, thanks for sharing as usual!

:beer: :beer:
Guilty! Fall this year has been outrageous but amazingly enough the weather here in the Alps has been, and definitely was Saturday, way better than in the south. My wife told that here there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it felt like summer. Which has been true day after day for some time. Meanwhile down in the south just a few days ago they were getting flooded out! Or some places were. So yea, I'm spoiled. And not complaining.

velotel
11-13-2011, 12:14 PM
Nice ride Velotel! That sounds pretty darned hard. I like that you are getting after it with big rides every weekend. It sure is fun to read about each adventure and drool over the photos. I will echo the other comments that it's fantastic that you share your rides with all of us.

So what's on tap for next weekend? :)
I thought it was hard but I'm old so maybe it isn't as hard as I may make it out to be.

Next weekend? Haven't a clue. Depends on the weather, outside and inside my head.

Cheers

19wisconsin64
11-13-2011, 05:19 PM
thank you for taking the time to write and post your photos! much appreciated!

fogrider
11-14-2011, 03:23 AM
From Malaucène. All in all the weather wasn't so bad. Cold enough that I didn't overheat but warm enough that I sweated. Took off my t-shirt (one of those sports type of t's that isn't supposed to get wet; it does, but not so bad) at the ski station hairpin, put on a smart wool t and my Veccio's wool jersey. Kept those on to the summit where I immediately added my windbreaker. Not far off zero on top I think. Gloves for the descent. I've got whatever that syndrome is called when blood circulation to the fingers shuts down and they go white. Kept the gloves on all the way down. Stripped them and the windbreaker for the return ride to my car near Vaison. So like I said, the weather all in all wasn't so bad.
velotel, sounds like you were well equipped! I was there last year in the summer and it was in the 90s! the cold was not the issue. great shots!