You may not know this but Mon Mari is in love with his bicycle; like I fall in and out of love with my running shoes I guess. I didn't bring my runners on our vacation but he hooked his bike on the back of the car and away we went. He went riding the first morning, tackling the hills around Nyons, sweating out the first-night-on-holiday hangover.
It was after this morning ride that he and another of the Maris hatched a plan. A plan just crazy enough to work--ride to the top of Mont Ventoux.
If you've seen any photos of Provence, read anything about the area, or seen the Tour de France, you know Mont Ventoux. Reaching 1912 metres/6200 feet high at its summit, it's a great challenge for even the best cyclist. And our guys, after riding around, talking about it while having a cold one next to the pool, and buoyed up by the excitement of watching the Tour every afternoon on television, decided it was something they just had to do.
An afternoon was spent in preparation of the big event--renting lightweight carbon road bikes, buying foil packets of sugary goo and a camel back water thing-a-ma-jig, and planning the whole thing out. Where to start, how to follow, what time to leave, etc., etc.
To be honest, I was nervous and just wanted it to be over.
The whole shebang was scary to me--the difficulty of climbing that high, legs barely moving as they pump against gravity, the high altitude making it all the more challenging. I didn't want Mon Mari to keel over halfway up, or fall off and hurt himself, not to mention all the cars. It's not that I didn't believe in him but just that I couldn't imagine doing it myself.
Turns out he's not afraid of much. And he's made of some strong, hang in there, gut it out stuff.
|the last climb|
|Littlest, Le Cycliste Guerrier, Le Fin, & Middlest|
|Le Fin at le fin|
Msr Banque and I kept sighing and gasping in disbelief as we passed cyclists who looked like they were standing still despite incessant pedaling, backs bent against the climb.
|see, like I said, just like the moon|
|boys at the top on the lookout for their Dad (they've had haircuts since then)|
And so it was done. The hard part of Mont Ventoux. Conquered.
|he doesn't even look tired|
I was so relieved. And proud. Still am a bit, can you tell? And so from now on Mon Mari will occasionally be referred to as Le Cycliste Guerrier. I think he earned the name.
|post mountain celebrations|
The only problem is, now he wants to buy a 'proper' road bike. I need to find a more expensive hobby than jogging....any suggestions?