Toiling away like ants, the column makes its slow ascent.
A nineteen hundred metre mount purgatory. The Mont Ventoux in Provence is a regular highlight of the Tour de France.
But these poor souls aren't professional cyclists.
This is their idea of fun.
There are just three kilometres left and I'm wondering how I'll make it to the top.
At gradients of eight percent and even eleven percent in some places, these riders are knackered. When cramp kicks in, it hurts.
Oh this is so hard. So hard.
By the side of the road, the occasional spectator looks on in sympathy.
they're going beyond their capabilities - it's painful to watch sometimes.
But to cycling fans, this isolated and windswept summit is a legend all its own.
It's one of the hardest. So for riding, here, well, it just gives us immense pleasure.
But not everyone will make it.
Tour de France riders take about one hour to get up the Mont Ventoux.
Some of these amateur riders took more than three.
But they are all proud.
the kids signed me up to it. I hadn't been doing much cycling for a while and my kids signed me up as a fiftieth birthday present - talk about a poisoned chalice . So said ok, I'll get back in training. And I'm happy.