In Montbrun-les-Bains - You lead me away from home, just to save you from touring alone - CycleBlaze

May 13, 2022

In Montbrun-les-Bains

Mont Ventoux

Today was our second day in Montbrun les Bains and an opportunity for an "unloaded" ride!  The weather was great, so either of the two nearby rides we were considering would be wonderful experiences.

Choice one - the scenic Nesque Gorge and back to Sault. We have ridden this route once before and it takes you along a very scenic road on the edge of the gorge. Choice two - Mont Ventoux, which we have also ridden once previously, but not from Sault. It would likely be the more difficult of the choices.

Cannot explain it. Even wondering why we chose it now, but Ventoux (also known as ¨the beast¨ in cycling circles) was the choice. Maybe it was just as simple as wanting to take on the immense challenge ...... and a challenge it was!

 Today was as nice a day as you could get and the conditions were near perfect. Ventoux can have some terrible weather and the first time we climbed it, it was pouring rain by the time we reached the summit. Having ridden up from Malaucéne previously,  you would think that we would know what we had signed up for. But no, we both found the challenge of this epic ride surprising. It is a ride that we likely do not plan to repeat anytime soon and definitely not without the benefit of battery assist!

Without going into the kilometre by kilometre details, the ride up to the top of Ventoux from Sault is noted to be the easiest of the three approaches. It is the longest at 26 kilometres and thereby giving it a lesser grade - however you do share the last six kilometres with the ride from Bédoin which is noted to be the toughest. The last six kilometres average a 7 percent grade and often you are riding (according to Garmin) a 10-11 percent incline. Let me just say, if the glory of the top of the mountain was not staring you in the face at this point  like a big ice cream sundae, you may just turn around and start the down hill run. To put it in perspective, on the last 6 kms you gain 500 vertical metres - to us this is a good day's riding, and we had already climbed around 1000 metres. It is nicknamed the beast and a mainstay on the Tour de France for a reason.

We made it! Yes, it was hard. Yes, it took much longer than the 1.5 hours recorded by amateur cyclists. And yes, we feel a sense of accomplishment!

We took our  pictures in front of the  Mont Ventoux sign  and put on an outer layer before we headed down the mountain. It is cold up there!  Suffice to say Garmin gave us a record for the fastest 40km to date and of course a vertical record that we may never break.

Our goal for the day. We wonder how often you can see Ventoux so clearly.
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Starting up. We can do this.
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A neat welded metal sculpture on the away up.
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First glimpse of the top after at least a couple hours of riding. Still a long way to go.
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Into the last six kilometres.
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This guy turns heads. No motor or electric. Sure looks like fun to drive down.
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So close and yet still two hundred more vertical.
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We are exhausted but verry happy to have made it all the way!
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Suzanne GibsonWell done! Good that you went for the challenge!
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6 days ago
Scott AndersonWow. Congratulations! As much as I’d love to be up there again, I suspect it’s not going to be happening for us.
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6 days ago
Keith AdamsIron legs and iron wills! Well done!
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6 days ago
Rachael AndersonWow, great job! As Scott said I don’t think I could do it again. I think I’ll stick to Mt Lemmon in Tucson, AZ. it’s a much easier climb. Congratulations!
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6 days ago
Rich FrasierCongratulations!!!
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5 days ago
ann and steve maher-wearyWow! Well done, impressive!
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5 days ago

The ride down is, of course, all fun and games as you rarely turn a pedal for 25 straight kilometres. We passed a nice little village on route that had a restraurant / bar and had a beer in the sun before continuing even further downhill to Montrun les Bains. The pizza restaurant was just opening for the night, so we stopped and grabbed some dinner to take back to our apartment. The town`s bell chimed 7 times as we arrived. It has been a long day and we fell asleep not long after cleaning up and having dinner. A very memorable day!

Heading down.
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Stopped at Aurel which is 5 Kms away from Montbrun les Bains for the celebratory beer. It`s all downhill run from here.
Heart 6 Comment 1
Rich FrasierThe beer wouldn’t have tasted so good without the successful climb beforehand.
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5 days ago
Looking back at Aurel.We will be coming back this way tomorrow as we leave Montbrun les Bains.
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Pizza delivery.
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Scott AndersonI love this shot.
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6 days ago
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Today's ride: 78 km (48 miles)
Total: 599 km (372 miles)

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