Mont Ventoux…a recipe

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In May 2014 The Gray Goliath became the first member of Muswell Hill Peloton to record a timed ascent from the village of Bedoin to the summit of Mont Ventoux on Strava. The climb is 21 kms with an average gradient of 7.5 %, thus the height gain is over 1500 vertical metres.

Here is a recipe for attaining the peak:

Take one light bike, preferably not exceeding 8 kgs in weight.

Make sure that the bike has low gears. I would recommend a small front chainring of 34 teeth coupled with a large cassette sprocket of at least 28 teeth, preferably 32t if your rear derailleur can cope. (Do not be ashamed to use a triple chainset and cassette combination with even lower gearing).

Get an accurate weather forecast, it is named the Col des Tempêtes for good reason. You could expect a drop of one degree in temperature for each 100m of vertical ascent, therefore it could be 15 degrees cooler at the summit, (and extremely windy).

Under no circumstances be tempted to use deep section wheels. You could end up paragliding from the top to Malaucene and beyond.

Make sure you have two full water bottles.

Carry some food, a windproof/water resistant top and the usual small get out of jail tool kit.

Spread a little sun cream over exposed areas of skin. Pack a camera, if the cloud allows, the view is magnificent.

Acknowledge Tom Simpson’s memorial.

Expect to take at least 90 minutes (298watts) of hard graft. The Wattmeister managed a one legged ascent in 108 minutes, (the left leg was having a day off, it’s a Thursday thing).

Enjoy the experience, and try to fit in a short ride from Malaucene to Bedoin or vice-versa, a really charming road book-ended by cycle friendly villages.

If you beat TW’s time, please e-mail Strava details to: thewattmeister@powerunlimited.net  and you will receive a complimentary virtual terrawatt (while stocks last).

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