Our very own Wayne Clarke drew the long straw last week, by taking the all new, soon to be released Viking Road Master through the Provence and through to Mt. Ventoux. But, did he make it all the way? He’s returned to tell us how he got on…
Firstly, the challenge: Cycle 380KM through the ‘rolling’ countryside of Provence ending at the summit of Mount Ventoux, my biggest cycling challenge to date. For those that don’t know, Mount Ventoux is a mountain in the Provence region of southern France, and it is considered one of the toughest cycling mountain climbs. So, just a small challenge for myself and the new Viking Road Master then…
We arrived in Seguret late Friday afternoon, unloaded the bikes, attached the pedals and pannier rack, applied a little oil and set out on our tour of Provence.
All in all, we covered around 380km with several thousand feet of climbing. I’m pleased to report that the bike climbed beautifully, taking advantage of all 32 teeth, and rolled along flat with ease.
On the final day we set out to tackle Mt. Ventoux, following the Bedoin route. The bike rose to every foot of climbing, I had no concerns over comfort as the Velo Sport Saddle had been perfect over the previous six days. At the summit the Road Master, with traditional styling, Reynolds tubing and carbon fork, drew admiring glances. On the decent, the geometry felt safe and stable and cornered well at speed.
To date, Ventoux has been my biggest cycling challenge and for me the Roadmaster was a perfect companion. I don’t fear the big climbs anymore!
If I was to give any advice for those wanting to take the same challenge I would start with training. Climb as many hills as you can, then climb some more! If you train you will love it, if you don’t then you won’t… Secondly, when on the mountain, find your pace and just stock to it. And finally, if you’re going anytime soon, go early – it’s bloody hot!