Climbing Mt Ventoux on a unicycle

Lode de Paepe, Belgian unicyclist, featured in this forum a couple of years back when he intended to climb the Mont Ventoux in France three times in one day, and then again when he succeeded. As you may know, Mont Ventoux is a sacred name in cyclist circles, not the highest or steepest mountain, but one of the most respected.

Now Lode has gotten even madder. He plans to climb Mt Ventoux FOUR TIMES IN A SINGLE DAY. That’s 90 km horizontal (56 miles), and 6000 m vertical (19685 ft). He will do four different routes, about half of the last one is off-road. Now that’s hardcore!

The big day is 16 May, but if the weather would be bad, he has 17 and 18 May as fallback. More on this can be found (also in English this time) on Lode’s website at What is omitted there is the specs of his uni, but I know from personal communication that he will use a 26" wheel and 155 mm cranks, like last time. Not sure if he will use clip pedals again but that’s what he did in 2003.

This has been set up as a charity ride. You can sponsor Lode for his effort. All money will be (re)directed towards an organisation supporting children suffering from severe burns.

Klaas Bil

Oops, that should be 28" wheel. Sorry.

Does he ride back down, Klaas?

On his website he says,

"I’ll do the descents (summit to Bédoin, Malaucène and Sault) in the car, except when the weather is extremely good. Then, I might consider taking the paraglider for one or two descents… "

Wow. Uphilling with downlift, that’s awesome.

Madness. Of course not all of the routes up the Ventoux are equally hard, but none of them are anywhere near easy.

Such a killer mountain. I’ve been up the Bedoin side twice on my bike, and had to rescue my friend once who collapsed shivering with altitude sickness combined with the physical effort. And my (admittedly very old) Mercedes burst into flame when I drove over it. Wouldn’t fancy going over the top on a uni :astonished:

Today is the Big Day

Today is the Big Day! Lode de Paepe attempts his four climbs of Mt Ventoux. There is semi-live coverage on , unfortunately (for most of you) only in Dutch. Semi-live pictures were promised too but I haven’t seen any yet. Two climbs to the top have been successfully completed, the third was to start at 12:30 local time. Apart from some knee pain and running a little late compared to the planned schedule (due to the Bedoin climb being more difficult than anticipated), everything seems to run fine.

Klaas Bil