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Monday, April 21, 2008

Chicago ( - Tour de France champions such as Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Lance Armstrong climbed Mont Ventoux on their way to Tour glory. reader Barry Johnson, who works for former USPS and Discovery Channel cycling team sponsor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), climbed Mont Ventoux to get to his wedding!

Barry Johnson rides up Mont Ventoux on the way to his wedding

On April 21, 2007, one year ago today, and with fiancé Dawn and her father driving the chase car and taking photos, Barry rode the more difficult route to Mont Ventoux via Bédoin (see photo above).  Dawn's father, an ordained minister, performed the marriage ceremony atop the "Giant of Provence" that evening.

"We were lucky enough that he was in France during the time we wanted to get married so he was able to perform the ceremony for us!  It was somewhat informal, and we didn't do any professional photos, but it was very nice, and believe it or not we were the ONLY 3 people anywhere in sight that evening, April 21st, 2007 around 8PM."

Dawn at the top of Mont Ventoux in Provence, France

Barry works in product engineering at AMD, testing microprocessors.  AMD isn't the only cycling sponsor Barry has worked for.

"I've been following pro cycling off and on since working for Motorola in the early 90's and they
were sponsoring Lance and co.  I started following in earnest when Lance won his first Tour
in 1999. I had just moved to Austin, and it was a HUGE deal here for the entire 3 weeks, so I was

Barry started racing bikes himself last year, informally on Tuesday nights in Austin.

"We have a nice little 'pirate' race starting promptly at 6:00pm.  You never know who will show up there, Lance, Eki, Kevin Livingston, Hincapie and lots of other guys I'm forgetting have ridden it at some time in the past... Luckily for me there's a 'B' group in addition to the 'A' group that consists of all the local hammerheads."

And Dawn?

"My wife rides as well, though she prefers mountain to road and has a nice Santa Cruz Blur! She wasn't a road cycling fan when we first met, but I've turned her onto the ins and outs of racing, and she's definitely a fan now!  We had actually been planning a trip to the Tour before we had the chance to go to Provence earlier instead."

Barry and Dawn, thanks for sharing your wonderful story!  You're a beautiful couple.  Happy Anniversary...and we wish you much happiness.

-Pete Geyer, Editor, in Chicago

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