The Road to Ventoux- Part 15


The Ventoux3 challenge is all about raising money to support research into mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder) through the Out of the Blues charity. To sponsor me for this, or my up and coming first 100 mile ride at the Northumberland Cyclone, go to

Given the nature of my challenge, my focus has been very orientated towards France. In two weeks’ time, the Tour de France is due to do a stage where they ride up Ventoux twice (7th July). Wimps! The Ventoux3 challenge entails THREE ascents in one day. Nevertheless, I had hoped to travel to France to watch this stage of the Tour and potentially do my first single ascent of Ventoux in real life. However, COVID as it is, this is not to be and I will be taking annual leave to watch the stage on the telly.

One other reason why my focus has been more local is that I am due to ride in the Northumberland Cyclone on 3rd July. I am down to do the longest route – some 108 miles in distance. While there is nothing like the ascent of Ventoux, there are a number of challenging climbs and the total amount of ascent is near 2500m – not far off two ascents of Ventoux. It will also be the very first time I have cycled 100 miles or more. Over the last few weeks I have been going out at the weekend checking out various bits of the route. I have now cycled most of it at least twice, so I have a reasonable idea of the challenge ahead of me. The furthest I have ridden to date is 88 miles. At the end of this I was dead! Slightly worried about having to do a further 20 miles, but no doubt with all the other riders and support along the way, it will hopefully go OK. One big benefit of all of my training over the Cyclone route is to get a greater appreciation of the diversity of the Northumberland landscape. It really is a fantastic county and it is a real privilege to live here.

Don’t forget the site that provides a wealth of advice around dealing with isolation, self-management of anxiety and depression. Please have a look at the site and share it with others – there is something there for everybody.

I wish everybody the very best and I hope you all stay healthy. Whatever your situation, try to make exercise of one sort or another a part of your daily/weekly routine. If you want to get involved in the Ventoux3 for Out of the Blues challenge in any way, then drop me an email at

Hamish McAllister-Williams