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Le Vaucluse - Mt Ventoux

We headed into Carpentras looking for an open bike shop. John's leather saddle was sagging in a way that the rivets were digging into his backside. Unfortunately tensioning the saddle doesn't help with this. The saddle just has to be replaced. Of course it didn't start doing this til we were on the trip, and got bad quickly. And of course we found no open shops. We eventually made our way to Caromb where we found a hotel for the next two days. We decided we'd do a loop over Mt Ventoux unloaded, and have time to explore the area. We really lucked out with weather. It started cloudy, but turned spectacular for our ride. The next day the rain started, and reportedly didn't stop for months.

I looked at the maps and asked John which way to climb. He said the Tour de France race route goes up from the west. I saw three ways up, one from Malaucene, one from Bedoin and one from Sault. Malaucene seemed to be the west, so we mapped out a route up from Malaucene and down into Bedoin. We rode into Malaucene and began the climb. We passed a few other cyclists on single bikes, much to their chagrin! The views to the north were spectacular, but we have no pictures, because we wanted to keep climbing. The climb was totally exposed and would have been brutal in bad weather. It was also the type of road that makes me nervous on descents, so I was thrilled to be climbing it! We got closer and closer, and I began to wonder why there were no names painted on the road. All the great passes used in the Tour de France have cyclists names painted in the road (by fans) all the way up. Well, we went up the wrong way up. The race goes up from Bedoin!

Despite the error, it was grand. The skies were crystal clear and the view was spectacular. We went down toward Bedoin, and of course did not take pictures of cyclists names painted on the road! I must say that even though we didn't ride the race route up, I preferred our choice. We got the great views while climbing and going slowly enough to take them in. We descended down through a forest, rather than the exposed side that makes me so nervous! Anyway, enough babble, here are our pictures.