Enjoy the Ride (...and the Fries)

Adam Bruderly
June 19, 2023

It is often called the Giant of Provence and is a climb that has been historically featured in the Tour de France every few years. It is 13.4 miles long with 6,273 feet of climbing and has grades over 10% in some sections. Stacked on top of profile of the climb you often face challenging winds, with average speeds of 20-40 mph, and weather due to the barren landscape at the top.

My wife and I were fortunate to be on a bucket list experience cycling through the south of France. A region dotted with sunflower and lavender fields along with endless vineyards. On the day we had the chance to climb Ventoux the group was given two options…the easy way or the hard way. Due to the high winds that day you had the opportunity to ride in the van to the top or head up on two wheels. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we both took the hard way and to this day it is an experience we will never forget.

As beautiful as the ride and summit were, what I remember was riding down with one foot unclipped in case you got blown toward the edge of the road, the amazing fries on the way down at Chalet Reynard, and this picture at the top knowing we did it together.

Years later reading Daniel Pink’s book, “The Power of Regret,” I discovered his observation that as we progress through life, particularly starting in our 30s, we tend to carry more regrets regarding the things we did not do rather than things we did do, a notion that resonated deeply with me as I reflected on my own life filled with regrets, yet surprisingly, very few of them revolved around missed opportunities or unfulfilled experiences.

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