This was an optional extension to the Tavel ride (see other report for more details). We rode as one group to Tavel for coffee stop and to Saint Laurant des Arbres to pick up lunch baguettes.
A slight misunderstanding (i.e. a Chairman cock-up) meant we missed the proposed picnic site at the bottom of the gorge after St Victor la Coste and we ended up rather strung out along the road. We re-grouped to eat lunch at a less attractive site at Pouzilhac. Sorry
After munching the option to extend the ride to Mont Bouquet was taken up by Nick S, Andy and myself and we split the ride at this point. The others went off to Colin's house for drinks and nibbles in his garden.
We knew the extended route would take about 3 hours so we used the straight road and lovely fast descent towards St Quentin la Poterie where we filled our water bottles at the supermarche.
It was very hot up the climb to Belvezet and the route is very lumpy after that to the base of the Bouquet climb at Seynes.
The climb is 5km long and VERY VERY steep in places, two ramps of around 20% right at the bottom make you re-consider if it is even possible with the clifftop look out looming high above you.
It climbs in ramps like this all the way up with sections slightly easier or even downhill in places. Eventually we all got to the top to admire the stunning views and careful not to accidentally cycle off the paraglider launch pad!
The descent is technical and made harder with re-gritted bends and by the time we got to the bottom we were all out of water, Andy in his best French (!) begged some off of the guy in the builder's merchant at the bottom.
The ride back to Uzes is mostly downhill and we got a good pace going, especially along the long straight road into town and we celebrated a job well done with a post ride beer
A tough and hot ride that just about finished off the legs for the week