The morning we were to go up to the Ventoux began perfectly for me despite on getting a few hours of sleep: all alone in the Château courtyard with a croissant and some good coffee.Let’s just say that the next 4 hours after that were particularly trying and leave it at that.
Once Ryan finally met me with the bikes in the parking lot of La Route du Ventoux (a bike shop with the loveliest staff who took wonderful care of me), we opened the back of the moving van… a one ton truck that held no less than 110 bikes.People were stopping to take pictures!It took about 2 hours to unload every bike.Thankfully that would be the last time we’d have to do it.Even the owner of the bike shop chuckled when he saw all his rental bikes crammed in.
I ended up spending 12 hours in the parking lot wrenching bikes, filling water bottles, getting filthy and generally making sure clients made it safely up and down the mountain.I am sad that I didn’t get to ride it myself but really, that just means I’ll have to go back another time.
The town itself, Bedoin, felt like a huge street party.Camper vans and trailers had been arriving for over 10 days to secure a spot on the mountain to watch the tour come through.There were hundreds of cyclists making their way up the mountain and through town.We realized that our plan to take clients up the mountain the following day to watch the stage would have been an exercise in futility, especially since we were meant to catch the TGV back to Paris from Avignon that night.It took people all night to get down!
Thankfully, all of our riders who chose to go up enjoyed their experience of riding through hundreds of thousands of people and everyone made it down safely, in time to enjoy cocktails and a dinner at the Château.
The funniest part of the day for me was when the taxis arrived to take some clients back, I asked if I could follow since I didn’t have my GPS.The driver said no problem, he’d go slowly and wait for me.The fact that he was driving a 600 series Mercedes might have tipped me off that our ideas of slowly would differ.I ended up driving a moving van at 120 kph through the back roads of Provence.Good times!(Sorry, mum!)
I got home in time to clean up, eat dinner and *surprise*!More planning.All I wanted to do was collapse on my lovely ironed sheets in my lovely ironed PJs, but it was not to be.Clients wanted to leave earlier/later/go elsewhere/needed translation/hand holding/someone to yell at, etc.So of course, I obliged, hahaha.Eventually I did make it to my ironed sheets and enjoyed every last minute…