For lovers of long distance bike rides the Mille du Sud is a classic. Starting in Carces in Provence the ride takes you 1000km through the Alps with a time limit of 75 hours. Naturally that involves a bit of climbing but the great thing about this part of the world is that the roads only ever go upwards for a reason, and it usually to get over a col. That means that there are steady ascents of 10 to 20 km, followed by similar descents; the longest was a glorious 50km.
An oddity of the Mille du Sud is that it has a different route every year, organiser Sophie says that its to keep it interesting for her, and there is no question that from Carces you are spoilt for amazing places to ride. This year the route went over the Col du Galibier, which at 2545m is a challenge, but like all the alpine passes the gradient is a pretty steady 9%.