The last three days of work and the holiday begins. Back to Provence, to Mormoiron and back to Ventoux. This time, just for myself and not for any sponsored goal, although the sponsored goal of last year’s ride was bloody important for me. No fixed date for the ride although I do have one in mind. It’s subject to the weather and the conditions and how I feel, nothing set. I have not even packed any gear to cycle in the rain because, if it rains, I won’t go! There was enough rain during Liege-Bastogne-Liege, thank-you very much.
That said, the nature of the challenge has changed a little. The original plan was to climb Ventoux twice (not on the same day, I am not that crazy although respect to those who do!) but now I will only climb once, preferably from Malaucene. This would be a good plan if we had two weeks but with one week it becomes a question of choosing, two climbs of Ventoux or one climb and spend the rest of my time in the saddle looking around, doing something different.
A no-brainer, I choose different. And ideally the one climb of Ventoux will be from Malaucene this time, not easier but different. With plenty of water and food, of course. No chances taken.
As for the descent? Well, the jury is still out on that one. Liege-Bastogne-Liege involved plenty of these, in the rain as well. I did them and finished the course which meant the main target had been accomplished. But I cannot lie, I will never claim to have enjoyed these as much as I enjoyed the climbs, using them as a rest but certainly not pushing for speed. These were relatively short descents so twenty kilometres and downhill all the way? Not sure, will think about it. I know my limits, especially the right hand, but do not want to linger on these or worry about them, a big part of this challenge is selfish enjoyment,
Climbing Ventoux once will therefore be more than enough. A challenge still but one that I am more relaxed about in comparison to last year, partly because there is nothing set in stone and, with Majorca and Belgium, there are a few more metres climbed than last year. I will also let no-one down if I do not complete the climb; so many generous sponsors last year and, although none of them would have required me to finish if I couldn’t, I would have felt that I was letting them down.
This year, no date, no time, no route, no pressure. Just what I want to achieve for myself. Selfish, perhaps. But I just have to enjoy my physical health while I can, to the maximum. The challenges I set myself form an important part of this.
And so, no matter what form it takes, on to Challenge Number Two! Just the one climb though. Provence has so much more to experience…..