The beautiful world of biking in France

Biking in France was a dream...💕💗💖💕

I want to get on the very smooth road bike and ride effortlessly up to La Roque-Alric right now… lift the bike above my head to fit through the bushes without scratching it (because it was way too fancy) and sit at the viewpoint for a little while. To look at the Dentelles (the lacy mountain range by our town), to think, to listen to music, to listen to the birds, maybe have a little cry if I need to, or even read my book. I always wanted to eat a pain au chocolate up there but never did it... Something about putting a lovely pastry in the back of my biking jersey didn’t appeal to me.  I wish I had though; I could have washed the jersey easily but will never get back the chance to eat the pastry there.  Well...not for a long while at least.

Out on the beautiful little roads without cars, the most beautiful shade of blue sky, perfect puffy white clouds floating in the sky, with Ventoux always watching me as I glided between vineyards, beside olive groves, with beautiful old buildings made of stone dotting the landscape. I can’t do the views justice with my words… just know that they were beautiful and have a look at the photos. With my same old playlist for almost the entire 6 months (entirely in French except one song – my way of practicing French while staying active..?), each song tells a story. I can remember where I was when I heard certain songs or at which bend of the road a new song started or what I thought of at certain parts of ride.


One of many cute stone buildings that dotted the landscape. 
The summit of Ventoux is hidden by clouds

Les Dentelles


How did Jeff and I train for and capably climb Le Ventoux? Twice?! If you don’t know, Le Mont Ventoux is a famous mountain for cycling up in Provence, or more specifically, in the Vaucluse area. Its elevation is 1,912 m.  We rode up once by road from Bedoin just the two of us and the other by trail on a mountain bike with friends. This means between 2-3 hours of riding a bike up a mountain, unless you’re crazy fast that is. 

 I remember flying into Marseille and seeing Ventoux and thinking.. maybe.. just maybe I could possibly do it, but it seemed so far fetched and fairly impossible at the time. Knowing that some friends back in Victoria had made the climb (multiple times) made it feel a little more possible but I also knew how strong of riders they were. Thanks for the inspiration Susan and Dom J


 Ventoux from the plane

The descent by mountain bike was the best. I had dreamt of an experience like this so many times and watched a lot of videos over the past 6 months. I was so ready to try it out. It was fast and full of adrenaline. I will never forget it... and I hope I can find that amazing feeling again. I am now Queen of Ventoux… for a few more days at least I hope, until an amazing young rider from Beaumes comes to kick my butt. Strava keeps me updated and I’m waiting for the day when I lose my crown :-p If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry about it J

I feel so thankful for all for the people that helped influence our bike riding.  For taking us out, for waiting for me, for encouraging us, for giving advice, for pushing us to try things, and for lending us bikes and gear. For everything.  It was an experience of a lifetime.

 Ventoux by road bike



After two ascents of the big mountain it was time to buy the jersey 

Eating a pain au chocolate while riding papis bike - kids called it the Granny Bike and Ioved it!

One of my favorite views between La Roque Alric and Le Barroux - Can you spot Ventoux? 

 Up on Ventoux by mountain bike with this great group of guys!


 Jeff feeling good on his birthday ride to Moirmoron 

Beautiful clouds and sky on this peaceful ride

Les Dentelles 💖

A photo looking back at La Roque Alric

Les Dentelles and Rocalinaud surrounded by vineyards

The Dentelles. They have such a special place in my heart. They are beautiful and full of so many happy memories. They started out as something to look at, then something to walk and hike through, then a mountain biking playground. There are so many trails that we had the chance to explore and so many left that I would love to return to explore one day. The Col d’Alsau was my favorite. The climb was long but it was so worth it. The descent was a challenge that Jeff and I both worked hard to improve at each time.

As an adult and as a teenager for that matter I had always wondered what it would be like to dedicate myself to a sport. Could I be really good at something? Could I do really well if I applied myself..? Not just one day a week at something, but really dedicate my time.  Biking was my thing. For six months.. or 5.5 months. I was able to spend as much time as I wanted working on my biking.. working on hill climbing, using clip ins, trying out butt pads, varying my workouts to get better at certain aspects of both mountain biking and road biking.  Before coming to France I had spent about six months riding a road bike maybe once every two weeks. I was horrible at changing gears and did not understand what a plateau (is that French?) was or how to even put my chain back on properly.

The biking in France transformed me.  All right, maybe a little deep for the blog writing, but it’s true. I have never spent so much time doing something that I love so much. It was like a drug that I was heavily addicted to. The experiences I had on my own, with Jeff, with our children and with new friends on bikes in France played a massive part in my experience and I’m excited to see where these experiences guide myself and our family in the coming years!

The kids also had a very big connection with biking in 
France but I will save that for another post ;)

This view never got old

A ride along Rocalinaud

The Look - I rode this bike for most of our time in Beaumes. I loved zipping up to this viewpoint!

A group shot of a great day of riding in the Dentelles


Comments

  1. Tu vas t'éclater autour de chez toi maintenant et redécouvrir ta région avec légèreté et rapidité, n'est ce pas? Je suis curieuse de connaître quel style de musique française tu écoutes?
    Profite bien de ton nouveau vélo ! Bonjour aux garçons
    Anne

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