Loop ride to Bedoin - Melo Vélo Meanderings - CycleBlaze

June 28, 2018

Loop ride to Bedoin

A hot and sunny day, our plan was to do a leisurely loop ride to Bedoin, which sits at the foot of Mont Ventoux. Bedoin is one of three launching sites for the climb up Mont Ventoux, and it is the most legendary and difficult of the three. We had no plans for our own assault on the mountain, but wanted to get a feel for the thrill of it all. 

Heading to Bedoin, the top of Mont Ventoux was masked by clouds.  The route wound through vineyards and small towns of the Haut Vaucluse, including Caromb, Modène, and Crillon-le-Brave, which is perched on a hillside and offers spectacular views of the region. From Crillon-le-Brave, we headed north and then southeast into Bedoin.  We knew that this route would have some unpaved sections, but after our adventures on the Canal du Midi figured we were ready for anything. Except sand!  The first big stretch of sand stopped us in our tracks.  After a short bit of walking, however, we managed to ride through the rest - with Vivien George performing exceedingly well. Amazingly, we encountered people on road bikes attempting the same route – perhaps with a bit more walking.

Clouds shrouding the top of Mont Ventoux
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Quiet ride through the vineyards of the Haut Vaucluse
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Sand cycling on the back roads to Bedoin
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Bedoin is a charming town of all things bikes. Streets were lined with cafes and shops selling all varieties of Mont Ventoux bike jerseys, even ones for infants! Riders who I presumed had finished the climb up and back were everywhere, in the cafes or zipping down the street. This was a place of bucket lists, celebration, and inspiration. 

Our trip back to Carpenteras went quickly, stopping only for a few photos looking back on Bedoin/Mont Ventoux and Crillon-le-Brave.  We were, however, curious about the white snails that blanketed street posts and fences.  We had noticed these yesterday, but they seemed to be even more plentiful today.  I sent my entomologist friend a photo and a query – she was amazed, but clueless. A quick visit to Wikipedia revealed that these snails appear by the millions in Provence each summer, where they have adapted to the heat by existing in a dormant state that prevents them from drying out. Apparently, they are edible and are featured in a traditional Provencal soup.  We stuck with ice cream and returned to "our" glacier on the square for another round of frozen bliss. With a nod to our friends sitting on the same bench as yesterday, we again enjoyed one of life’s most delightful treats. Crepes for dinner and a farewell stroll through the streets before we called it a night.

Mont Ventoux overlooking the town of Bedoin
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Crillon-le-Brave, viewed on our return ride from Bedoin
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The little white snails of Provence
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Today's ride: 28 miles (45 km)
Total: 997 miles (1,605 km)

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