Mont Ventoux - the Twin Peaks

Click on the photo for more. The scene is of a monument to cycling outside Bedoin, with the misty Mont Ventoux in the distant background.
Stardate 13th to 20th September 2014, having landed in a villa in Carpentras, Provence, la belle France. Lidl 200 metres away. Bakery ditto. Perfect seclusion, despite the vicinity of such a useful commercial zone. Swimming pool (bit cool) and table tennis (not touched). Fantastic spirit with everyone mucking in with shopping and food prep.
The protagonists: Ken, Robin, Dom, Liz, Les, Carolyn, Paul, Chris (first half of the week), Noel (second half of the week). Les's Audi A8 with four bikes, Paul's VW Multivan with five. Great drive there and back, although Paul's satnav took us right through Paris as the "quickest route" at rush hour, adding a couple of hours to the outward journey. Driving duties equitably shared, which meant everyone had a rest.
Cycling - Tuesday up to the top of Mont Ventoux from Bedoin (the hardest climb) with Chris, Thursday the same again with Noel. Robin king of the mountain both times and Dom showing signs of returning to a full recovery. Everyone delighted to make it to the top. Thanks to Liz and Carolyn for driving up there and bringing some warm clothes! Envious of Robin's extra ride across the wonderful Provence countryside to Sault and from there up to Chalet Reynard. Sounded superb. Ken did his back in and had to turn back from that trip. His drive home to Longstanton was no doubt extremely uncomfortable, but he bore it all with his usual stoicism.
Trips to Avignon ("le pont" only extends halfway across the river these days), Roussillon with its red clays, Aix en Provence (very posh) and a local horse racing track in Carpentras.
We also met Marie-Jaqueline, an ex student pal of Ken's, and Anne-Marie, her cycling mad friend who nearly managed to organise a joint ride between us and the locals, until the latter appeared to get cold feet, fearing we were too young, fit and fast (glad someone thinks so!) .... we were even going to offer them a meal!
Wine tasting, a couple of restaurants, Carolyn finally convinced that you can eat well in France!
Memoires are made of this.
PS We have since discovered that Noel's effort was a close call ..... but he's ok!

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