I’ve had my Brompton just over a year now. It is an M6R type with the standard range of 6 gears. I bought it because it would fit in the boot of my car and because of the ingenious way I can attach various luggage bags to the front without affecting the ride too much.
After being inspired by the Tour De France last year it seemed a good idea at the time for me to have a go at Mont Ventoux. However, none of my close friends really wanted to do it and to shut me up said they would attempt it in 2018. I knew by then that this crazy idea would fade away by then so my son agreed to do it with me after a few beers at Christmas time. It hit home that this is going to happen when we booked the accommodation in Maulecene there and then. I then wondered will I actually get this 57 year old body up the climb and survive.
The day came quick, 17th June 2017. Even the night before my son was trying to talk me out of it and to hire a road bike instead but I love my Brompton and wanted to be slightly different and prove what this little bike can do. I added a quick release water bottle clamp to the seat post and my mini o bag contained another bottle plus gels etc.
Me at the very start in Maulecene
The weather was good to us, sunny with light winds. We warmed up by cycling to Bedoin and climbed from there as it is the most famous route. My mood was good and I started at a good pace with the first part being a relatively low gradient. However, it soon started to ramp up. This particular day there was an event on as the climb was much busier than normal and I found myself following the person in front not knowing If I had enough strength to overtake and then pull away from them. There were even spectators beside the road on the way up. As I approached them I got odd looks as they studied what I was riding. Many of them also cheered and encouraged me to proceed, which was nice. As we progressed my heart rate was sitting around 98% of maximum so occasionally stopped to drink & refuel. I spent a lot of the time out of the saddle as I couldn’t turn the cranks sat down.