Dieting while on a vacation in France. What a concept. But our two bicycling tour guides were very helpful and aggressive in making sure that the food on my plate was included in the diet. And it was a surprise that the chefs felt challenged to produce an artistic plate. It seemed to me that all the other bike riders in our group were a little jealous when they saw what a beautiful plate came from the kitchen. And tasty.
So you might have deduced that I probably couldn’t ride fast enough to keep up with this (again) younger group. But on the day that we were offered the chance to ride up Mount Ventoux, I took the challenge. This is one of the famous Tour De France mountains that is often the finish of a tour stage. Twenty one kilometers of an up-hill climb that offers no respite. There isn’t a single flat section, even for a few yards. Up to 12% grade all the way.
In this age of transparency and the negative news about sports drugs, I have to admit that I resorted to stimulants. Seven kilometers from the top, there is a restaurant. I stopped and had a Pastis. This aperitif is the best for a bike rider. First, it is the cheapest drink, less than a Coke. And comes with a pitcher of water.
But I was one of five of our group that made it to the top. And we were rewarded with a down-hill run almost all the way back to our hotel, about thirty kilometers. This is the only time that we can ride as fast as the world-class bike riders in the Tour. That is, if you have the nerves to open up on a down-hill.
But my restrictive diet did not limit my physical performance. In fact, I felt better, with no after affects.