Published on May 31st, 2013 | by jackiefetter


Romantic bike up Mt.Ventoux- Really????

Uncle, I Call Uncle!!!

Mt Ventoux is a defining moment in ones life… I like to call myself an arm chair Tour De France Cyclist, with passion I am being carried by the peloton; but in my cozy chair at home watching it!!  So off we go to Southern France for my husbands part of our celebration trip.  To make it clear I am not opposed to this type of vacationing at all, but it was his “must-do”.  We contact a company called – highly recommended online and they arrange everything, including fine tuning a schedule for us to meet our time requirements.  Hotels, dinners, transfers, and breakfasts are included they arrange bike rentals/ drop offs and we show up eagerly- pedals and helmets in hand..

Day 2 we are to conquer this beast they call Mt Ventoux, really how hard can it be-24 km.  That is an easy ride at home…  Tour De France riders make it up with smiles at the end… So, kms 1-2 are nice and easy, mild grade incline-no problem I think we’ve got this.. Then the 9% grade hits, the 12% grade hits-by this time I am in my lowest gear the whole time, handle bars wavering.  We stop, get our breath and voila only 13 km to go…. With not a flat 1 m in sight! Then we go to the count down biking, 1 km at a time before a break.  Then 500 m at a time-then I walk… At some point a herd of sheep crosses the road faster then we are biking.  The thoughts are rapid- bike down joining the others who are swooping by us with looks of joy, flag a car-pay them to take me to the top..  With 7 km to go we sit and talk, where are the little towns enroute I had envisioned serving wine and pain de chocolat?  Another rider heads down who had passed us, I yell,”Did you make it??” She replies, “To the Chateau before the final incline!”. All hope is not lost there is a goal within reach, we decide to trudge on as the grade has gone to 7%, it is not quite as daunting, and then as if from a dream there is flatness ahead… Wait a building.. At 1400 km elevation there is food!!! Our legs and backside are barely responding and pasta beckons, we sit, eat and decide to abort, one last 100 m up to take pictures then an incredible 30-49 km race down…….ahhh Ventoux 1 Fetter’s 3/4….

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About the Author


Jackie is a wife and mom first in all that she does and an adventurer, philanthropist, and friend.

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