As this is a designated hiking route, be courteous to walkers.
Due to bad behavior by downhillers, it is illegal to ride on the GR9 on the north slope of Mont Ventoux; watch for signs to be sure you are on an open section, but the signs are regularly vandalized so don't continue into the Biosphere Reserve
in any case. You can tag the peak by hiking, or via a long ride on the pavement.
Or skip the summit: some say the name Ventoux comes from "venteux," the French for "windy," and reflects the mountain's exposure to the fierce (and cold) north-west Mistral wind. This wind blows 130 days a year on average and can reach speeds of over 90 km/hr (56 miles/hr). The record at the mountain top, in 1967, was 313 km/hr (194 miles/hour)! Check the wind forecast here
, or current conditions here
The Grande Randonnée (GR)
is a network of long-distance footpaths in Europe, mostly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. The trails in France alone cover approximately 60,000 kilometers (37,000 miles). Trails are blazed with characteristic marks consisting of a white stripe above a red stripe. These appear regularly along the route, especially at places like forks or crossroads.
As much as is reasonable, GRs avoid pavement while taking in interesting villages, historic sites, and natural areas. For instance, this GR9 trail segment traverses the north slopes of Mont Ventoux, the tallest peak in Provence and an iconic Tour de France stage. But you'll have to walk that section: due to bad behavior by downhillers, the trail is closed to MTB in the Biosphere Reserve
on the north face. You can deviate from the trail to visit the summit via paved roads.
Other sections of this trail segment run through undeveloped hills, scrub, and forests and can be used to link together other tracks and trails into good rides. Between the wilder areas, many of the dirt and gravel sections of this GR9 segment are useful for accessing MTB trails and terrain without having to ride on busy main roads with cars.