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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Miss M and I have a chance to do the climb on our tandem as part of a 75 mile loop. Now were are fairly strong riders and all but the hill sure has a reputation for being a killer.

Any thoughts from folks that have done it? Plus what is the downhill like (will we burn the brakes off the tandem :yikes: )?
 

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MB1 said:
Miss M and I have a chance to do the climb on our tandem as part of a 75 mile loop. Now were are fairly strong riders and all but the hill sure has a reputation for being a killer.

Any thoughts from folks that have done it? Plus what is the downhill like (will we burn the brakes off the tandem :yikes: )?

Some hipster just did it on a fixie...go for it
 

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Get me to In&Out
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If you guys decide to do it, let me know. I live four hours from there and need an excuse to drag my sorry butt to france. I will finish installing the electrice motor in my downtube and come pace you guys up!
 

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Power Napper
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I suppose this is redundant, but take pix!

And have a blast.
 

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Usually, on a climb like this at least you don't worry about the wind as you are going so slow anyway and are usually sheltered by the hill. However, the top of this climb was the exception. Once out of the "forest" section there was a strong headwind for long sections of it along with 10% climb. Only place I've ridden with the wind as much of a factor as the grade. Maybe you'll get a nice calm day. I remember having a little difficulty getting rolling again after the obligatory visit to the Simpson memorial where is was especially windy. Also, it's a pretty constant effort from the get-go and doesn't break until you're pretty well up the climb and then only briefly. Really amazing climb though. I would like to do it again sometime.
 

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merckxman
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Having read your reports over the last several years I don't think you will have a problem. If you are starting from Bedoin it's a little more than 22 km at 7.1% average.

I did it a few years ago in June and found the wooded section to be hot, hot, hot. It was actually better after coming into the clear. We had a beautiful day but if it is windy and raining and it can be really miserable.

Mont Ventoux is interesting in that there are no switchbacks, except for two right near the summit. It's just up, up, up. Or coming down it can be very fast.

On the way down stop at the Le Chalet Reynard (on a turn), bask in the sun, and have a beer.

I wouldn't miss the chance to ride Mont Ventoux.
 

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Climbing Ventoux

I would second the claims on the wind being a factor on the climb. In May I rode to the top and the wind along the open stretch near the Simpson Monument lifted the front end of my bike several times. When I got to the top it felt as tho' I'd gone 12 rounds with a heavyweight boxer. The wind was hitting me from all sides.

It is epic however, you won't be disappointed in this ride. Take a windbreaker with you as it is chilly at the top as well. Food and beverage at the Chateau +++.
 

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Several ascents of the Bald Giant. I have no doubt you're both strong enough. It is a hard climb. Don't let the 7% part fool you though as the first 7k are more gentle, but from 7-16 you average 9.4% through the forest. Some people dread the forest, I enjoy the fact that you don't see the summit.

As others have mentioned your Ventoux experience really is at the will of the weather gods. Past Chalet Reynard wind can really rip you all over. I've been up in July when the pavement was sticking to my feet with no wind and again in July when I had all of my cycling clothes on.

If you need any extra advice just PM and you can ring me. Love Ventoux and Provence. Descending is do-able on tandems. I've guided 2 couples with them in the past. Also, there are 3 approaches, have 411 on all 3.

http://www.climbbybike.com/profile.asp?Climbprofile=Mont-Ventoux&MountainID=4
 

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I have done it twice, both times from Bedoin. If I can do it (well just barely), Miss M and you surely can do it. I have descended both to Sault and Malucene. If you are worried abut descending too fast, take the road to Sault--the road is longer but not as steep as the road to Malucene.

How long will you be in DC? My riding form sucks right now, but is getting better. I did an 85 mile ride yesterday, so I might be able to ride with you sometime soon.
 

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Like Teo said, if you ride from Bedoin, the forest part will really sap your morale -- if riding from Malaucene, the bit after the "Belvedere" will jellify your legs.

Don't take it lightly -- it is a hard climb because it is relentless... ie, no switchbacks.

The descent -- well, let's just say you should be able to top out at over 100 kms an hour.... easily.

The Sault option is a good one -- I'm not sure I'd want to climb either the North or South routes on a Tandem and so this option allows you to do the whole climb without the massive pain of the Forest or Belvedere sections.

I've ridden it 15+ times ... it never gets easy but it's always nice to top off on the Geant de Provence.

The best is to combine the Ventoux with a ride through the Dentelles de Montmirail and to finish up descending the Nesque gorges!

You'll need to let me know when you go -- I might come down to join you or, alternatively, can show you around some very nice roads in the Paris area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
MarkS said:
...How long will you be in DC? My riding form sucks right now, but is getting better. I did an 85 mile ride yesterday, so I might be able to ride with you sometime soon.
We should be here till sometime in October. We are not really riding all that hard this year what with the kayaking, tennis and hiking we are doing.

We are glad to ride with you anytime (you can compare diamond stud earrings with Miss M :yikes: ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
philippec said:
...You'll need to let me know when you go -- I might come down to join you or, alternatively, can show you around some very nice roads in the Paris area.
Looks like we are going to spend a couple of weeks in the area this time next year. Our tandem friends are putting a river cruise together from Geneva to Avignon and we will likely spend a week or so on our own.

Let's ride (but don't forget we are old folks! :( ).
 
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