Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day !

Anyone on Mont Ventoux today will be NUTS ! Reports of it blowing hard at the bottom , come as no surprise :

Not sure what it's like at the top of Ventoux, but it's blowing a gale here at the bottom! We'll soon see...

With having suffered pedestrian interference , as i rode this climb in previous tours , and the fact that getting off the mountain after finishing as near to the finish line as allowed by the " turd Brigade " allows , there is no longer any appeal for me . Those who are die hard fans , will have motored to the point where they are able to park and no doubt will have carried supplies to last out the many days that parking there will require .

Visitors to my blogs will see that one of my last visits , was as described in this comment to the " ROAR Blog ":

My comment :
" My twitter photo was taken , the day i rode the TRIPLE , in early Feb 2013 ! Yes it was possible , even with it being Winter elsewhere , Bedoin was showing 15C as i headed up for the 2nd climb . Coming off the top i met 3 Belgians who were heading up for their afternoon ride . I had rolled out of my tent at the Vaucluse YHA/Auberge Jeunesse at 6am with frost on the ground . Later in the week i would meet others at the Tour de Med , who had seen me in Maloucenes & Sault . Being in that area came about through my travel arrangements to the Tour Down Under going awry . faced with staying in London i headed to the South of France and visited a Criterium/ race lasting 4 days there , but being in such warm weather , the lure of revisiting Mont Ventoux proved too strong . Saturday i made the ride from Carpentras to Bedouin thence passing a few non english speakers arrived on the summit and descended to Sault , before going in search of the Auberge , which is tucked away in some really lovelly villages and cycling area . Well worth the visit alone. Sunday riding around the area visiting the various village markets , loosening up inspired the desire for the Triple . Monday was a tempo day , pushing mainly in 21 & 23 , although had 27 available , all the time in the world , but it was only after finishing that i discovered there was a register available to those that wanted to record the event .
Will not be at Mont Ventoux , today , i was there EARLY , the last time , the ride was continually interupted even in the early hours by walking people with the attitude that YOU should not be riding a bike , whilst they had to walk up carrying whatever supplies they needed for the wait for the rACERS to arrive ! WHAT AN ATTITUDE , going to suffer 6+ hours to watch the Racers pass , yet disrupting those that make the effort to emulate " THEIR SPORTING IDOLS "? Of course i would be happy to see the BEST MAN WIN , but with it being Bastille day and having suffered so much poor sportsmanship in the past visits , i will be dissappointed if a Frenchie emulates Richard Virenque's victory , whom i last rode with on that Monday Rest Day in Avignon , as members of the BikeStyle Tours & Sporting Tours fraternity , who spotted us and tried to chase down , will attest ".

No doubt many of those Tours Company personnel , will have set up Tents and will have sufficient Supplies available to ensure the health & Safety of their Clients . Make sure to LOCK Securely those bikes , since there will be plenty of villains looking for their Bastille Day Present ! For me the Eurosport TV feed will be a reward for the climb to 2000+m i will be making this morning , as i ride the Zillertal Hohenstrasse .

This item is from Ced Vasseur , i think it was the day that i saw the Paralympian French Champion ride , with one leg , this climb :


Above photo taken when i did the Triple , more on that event to be found here :


To those that will be scrambling for the few moments that the Peloton passes them  , i hope it was all worth that effort :

Reports say one million people could be on Mont Ventoux. Not sure about that, it'd be mean 24 people per metre of road on both sides

Last time Bastille Day meant anything worthwhile to me , was , when living in Sydney , we had a " Fancy Dress Party " , at the house in Longueville . Dressed as " Louis X11V " and my partner as " Marie Antonette " , we still had " Guests arriving " after midnight , some with the excuse of coming from work at the Theatre , thus unable to participate in dressing for the occasion . Some day i will find a way to turn photos of the occasion , into internet usuable material .

Those reading the " ROAR Blog , will recognise the following item :

  "  When Doctor Pierre Dumas leant over Tom Simpson after the British bike rider had crashed to the ground for the last time during the Tour of 1967, his mind would have gone racing back 12 years to the Tour of 1955.
On that occasion Dr. Dumas had to prise open the jaws of fallen cyclist Jean Mallejac in order to administer oxygen and then inject a stimulant to restart the stricken rider’s heart. Unlike Simpson though, Mallejac survived.
Both incidents occurred on the barren, sun beaten slopes of Mont Ventoux and under extreme conditions.
Temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, coupled with furious racing and the dubious use of ‘supplements’ contributed to the demise of both riders. "
Whilst considering what will take place today , i would like to remind people that attempt to ride this climb and L'Alpe d'Huez that being properly refreshed and riding a comfortable tempo , is the key to success . Yesterday i spoke with a guy who was experiencing knee problems . It appears that he had been doing 30-40 km rides , then decided to do a 150km ride , claims the muscles were OK , but the knee suffered , wonder why ? Riding any amount of flat distances , will not prepare you for continous high percent climbing . Better prepared Cyclists will have found climbs that they are able to do multiple repeated ascents to condition the muscles but more importantly the mindset . When i decide to do a climb , i remind myself that i have done this climb before , although i do not attempt to recall the time i took on that occasion . Being 67yo riding past youngsters is sufficient motivation , but i do not spot someone ahead and increase my tempo with the thought to pass them . That tends to be self defeating further into a long climb .

Comment on another Blog article worth a read :

  "  I have met a group of rides who where doing an escorted tour. ie ride between hotels, with a van that takes baggage forward to next hotel and does sag wagon.
They only had one day to have shot and do the climb which I guess temped one of their members to ride around a road closure sign. He ended up with hypothermia and was getting blown off his bike, apparently he could not even keep his glasses on his face without holding them on..he was very lucky the cafe just near the forest was able to help me (and treat him).
The name Ventuox basically means the summit is in the mistral winds… which means the weather at the top can be extraordinarily cold and windy and down right dangerous if the weather is bad. After talking to the locals, its not uncommon for people to get caught out…
Moral of the story its a wonderful place to ride with many fantastic rides in the region around it, but, allow some time and don’t tempt fate with the weather at the top.
We were able to pick and choose days to ride there absolutely memorable experiences… want to go back again and again   "!

Is this what the fuss is all about :
From noon here , i will be following the progress of Ashton Agar , as he seeks to dig Oz out of the hole that the rest of the team has dug for themselves . With the " Wonders of Modern Technology " available to them , both the Captains and the Umpires need a " Good Kicking "! Allowed 2 referals apiece , when the facilities are there for full time use , strikes me as STUPIDITY !  Certainly , unwarranted referals should be penalised , perhaps adding an extra " Ball " to the over , or deduction of " Runs " from their Total , perhaps even Monetary Penalty , can be applied ?

1/ Can you believe that Peter Sagan would run with the Escape then do a " Robbie Mc Ewan " as the Peloton catches him ?

The showman does a wheelie before being caught

 2/ CAN YOU BELIEVE that TEST Cricket , has you sitting on the edge of your chair ? Lunch break after half hour delay , not improved by Broad tying his shoe laces :

stuff that up your arse broad. your time wasting tactics didn't work

How refreshing is it to watch a gripping sporting encounter without having odds rammed down your throat?

ONLY 20 runs needed for Oz , or heaven now forbid , that the Poms , get that last wicket !

DO NOT MISS THIS CHANCE to help Cyclists survive on the Roads Worldwide ! Usually Oz leads the way with Vehicle Safety Initiatives , so Why are they following Europe for CYCLISTS ?

Remember everyone, the petition is still running. Keep signing and help us make our point!


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