Straight road to the south of Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Col des Portes, Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Summer weather at last so time to enjoy my first ride of 2019 in summer leathers for my tour of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, near Aix-en-Provence.

Forest hut, Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Vineyards at Puyloubier

Col du Pas de la Couelle

The Call of the Open Road

Mont Sainte-Victoire is the unidentical twin of Mont Sainte-Baume, both classic Provencale rock massifs. The north side of Sainte-Victoire is rough and jagged topography from the Col des Portes (621 m.) down to the valley of the river Durance. The south face hosts the vineyards of Puyloubier and Pourrières in the fertile soil beneath the iconic cliff. The Col du Pas de la Couelle (534 m.) between the two massifs marks yet another limestone ridge thrown up by tectonic scrunching of what was once the Tethys Ocean. Simply from the riding point of view, this tour had a satisfying selection of long straight roads, rolling hills, a couple of gorges and some climbs with zigzags tight as a tourniquet. And a good boulangerie for my lunchtime picnic under the old plantane trees in the medieval fortified village of Trets.