Last week, the big boys climbed the Ventoux, which inspired me to dig through my old photos (.jpgs) from my 2004 trip to France. Here's a picture I took after the classic climb and before an even more pulse-quickening descent.
Few other sports allow us to play on the same field as the pros. Sure, you can hop the fence and run around the old Durham Bulls stadium and pretend you're Susan Sarandon. But getting to climb the Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez is something I feel very lucky to have done and must recommend if ever you have the chance. And if you never make it out to France, at least try to head out to somewhere like Boone and climb someplace like Beech Mountain. And while you're at it, why not pay a friend to put a sign with your name on the front of their car and follow you. I reckon the German tourists should automatically show up and cheer.