My trip down to Provence was full of ups and downs. Well, actually 3 ups and 3 downs in one day. Mont Ventoux is a mythical mountain, rising up out of nowhere in the middle of Provence. It has been decisive in numerous Tour de France stage finishes, and was the scene of tragedy during stage 13 in 1967, where Tommy Simpson collapsed and died less than 1km from the summit. There are 3 separate tarmacked routes to the summit, from Bedoin 20km (the classic Tour direction), Malaucene 20km, and Sault 28km. If you love riding, and specifically climbing, Ventoux is one of the most alluring and famous climbs, standing alongside Alpe d’Huez in its infamy. One ascent is seen as a challenge in itself, but all 3 routes in 24hrs gives you the opportunity to belong to the Club des Cingles du Mont Ventoux, loosely translating as The Nutters Club. I did it last year without documenting it, but returned this year with the paperwork to make it official. Next year? Well, I can’t stay away, and it would be stupid not to up my membership to Bicingles, a double Cingles, 6 ascents in one day. Can’t wait.