Radio Silence



Correction, internet silence, rather.

Admittedly, something of a blogging hiatus occurred after my unvirginization of Paris-Roubaix last Sunday – sorry about that. Let’s sum it up by saying that Sunday wasn’t my day. Aaand then rather than forgetting about it entirely, let’s continue that thought by stewing over it briefly here. Let me (not) be the first to tell you that that race is an beast. Here’s a nice photo early on in the day before the start gun fired and while everything is still tranquil and peachy.

Let’s call this photo Pre-Roubaix. (Get it?! Pre, which almost sounds like “Paris” when pronounced really quickly with the proper French silent S. Comedian-slash-pro-cyclist Ted King strikes again.) By the way, this photo is courtesy of BrakeThrough Media. Thanks Jim!

As I was saying, Paris-Roubaix is an animal. Similarly, it’s an awesome! It’s an adventure, it’s incredibly hard almost beyond words, and among other things, it can be a brutally honest kick to the teeth. The dusty road conditions were a bit like talcum powder lubricating the road and cobbles in a way I’ve truly never experienced before.

As for my day, things started off swimmingly. A really fast start and I was content to be shuffling in and out of early moves. This of course being Paris-Roubaix, virtually every team is told to be represented in the break so it’s no small feat to make the successful breakaway. To be expected. So after about three hours of action, a pretty gnarly crash unfolded directly in front of me which was followed by my ensuring up close and personal meeting with the pave. A few scrapes and a slight tweak to my knee (unrelated to my other knee woes from earlier this spring… uuugh) left me breathing dust as I chased through the cars. My brother-from-another-mother, Ben King (no actual familial relation), was also caught behind this early mayhem. The only good news from this frantic escapade is that someone snapped a photo of we two Kings chasing. Yes, very astute loyal reader, I am suffering while I think Ben has something of a Mona Lisa smile. That sly dog.

I was sent this photo second hand, so if I’m totally encroaching on someone’s intellectual property rights (or whatever goes alongside photography), I am sorry. Send me a comment if you’re upset and I’ll take it down and/or give you appropriate shout out. Otherwise, thank you very much for your artistic handiwork.

So let’s now fast-forward to the present. If you scope your favorite Schedule page with any regularity, you will see that Tour of California is my next race and that I am no longer racing Romandie. I was on the roster, off the roster, on the roster, and ultimately I opted to be off the roster for Romandie so that I could muster a proper bit of post-Classic RnR and really be moving for ToCA. This spring has been full of tumult and turbulence that I thankfully haven’t had to experience up until this season. Namely a chronic knee injury. Therefore, this break after the Classics, immediate trip back Stateside, is like the best pressing-and-holding of the Reset button I could have asked for.

I returned stateside late last week and this time home has been extremely refreshing. Seeing the people I have needed to see in tandem with really focusing on the rest has been key. (Along with sincere apologies to the friends and good folks I have not had the time to visit.) For additional peace of mind, I visited Access Sports Medicine and had them give me their assessment of my knee including a see-all MRI. Outstanding news of the day is that everything I gleaned from my Italian diagnosis/therapy/treatment related to my knee while back in Italia was echoed by Access (mind you, they don’t cover orthopaedic medical terminology in Rosetta Stone). That is to say, I did everything correctly to expedite a full and timely recovery, so thank you to the crew on both sides of the pond. There is still a lot of racing on the horizon, so I excitedly have my jazz-hands spinning uncontrollably as I get ready for 2011 part II.

Among other things on the at home hit bregade, I’ve hung out with these chumps while taking in the Boston Marathon from Jerry’s Washington Tavern. I’ve never witnessed a marathon before, so why not absorb the biggest one out there from the world’s greatest city? Enormous props to the 26,000+ who ran it, including my two awesome cousins, whom I somehow missed amid the 26-thou’. The diversity of runners is phenomenal – all ages, all body types, all with a different reason or story for doing the race. The gamut from smiles to looks of absolute agony is incredible and interestingly occurs in a bell curve fashion. That is, the super fast folks are serious and don’t smile, the middle few hours are the brunt of the running peloton and the smiles are more abundant, and the last 1/3 of the crowd is just SUUUUUFFERING. No matter who you are, more power to you. The completely smashed audience was nearly as entertaining.

Here is a photo courtesy of amateur camera photographer, Ted King.

That’s a good smattering of the goings-on lately. As much as I appreciate the 44 degree rides with piercing rain soaking me to the bone here in New England, I’m fairly amped to get out to California next week. That said, it’s also nice to score hundred mile days in under five hours while pumping some watts throughout New Hampshire and Maine.

In any event, Napa, Tahoe, Tour of California: strap on your seatbelt, here I come.

Oh for the curious green-thumbed reader out there, I have hired my good friend Phil to oversee – correction, babysit – my tomatoes and basil while I’m half the world away. He reports that they are doing excellent and well kept. In related news, yesterday was his birthday, so happy birthday Phil.



Comments

  1. DNAtsol

    Where’s the “post -roubaix” photo? I was expecting it to look something like this epic photo.

    http://fuckyeahcycling.tumblr.com/post/4549522385/paris-roubaix-2011-john-degenkolb-htc-highroad

    Reply
  2. DNAtsol

    Sorry, this photo also really captured the “epicness” (real word?) of the race I watched. Chapeau to everyone who partook in the 2011 edition of this beast of a race.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/photos/photo-gallery-carnage-on-the-cobbles/168375

    Reply
  3. Becky B

    Well, since you’re stateside, you want to come babysit on wednesday so I can go see Chasing Legends on the big screen? All you’ll have to do is sit through an episode or two of Little House on the Prairie and possibly Spongebob. Plus, I pay in baked goods!

    But seriously, glad to hear you’re having some well deserved R&R.

    Reply
  4. Steve

    Welcome back to the Granite State, Ted. Maybe, while you’re here, you could give said State some of the millions you make as a professional bike racer… we have some enormous holes to fill in the State budget.

    Rock on!
    Steve

    Reply
  5. Colin

    Was hoping to read that you made contact again at Roubaix…and how your race unfolded. Good luck in CA.

    Reply
  6. Kevin

    How can that ride tracker say there were no achievements on that ride? I’m pretty sure there was at least one achievement. A little one even.

    Reply
  7. Vicki

    So, I’m curious. Do you take a Cannondale with you everywhere you go, or do you get provided with bikes on both continents? How does all that side of it work out?

    Alas I’ll be leaving CA for Europe before you arrive here. Ugh. Good luck!

    Reply
    • iamtedking

      I had the dubious pleasure of flying last minute so I didn’t sort out having a bike on both sides of the pond. Normally yes, I do though. Within a continent, the team’s mechanic truck arrives with all the bikes, so we don’t have to travel with a bike. It’s a bit like a roving circus.

      Buy a Cannondale.

      Reply
  8. DJ

    Good luck in the tour of California!! I guess your team has too many Italian gregarios and a sponsors interest in having you ride in your true home nation rather than in your adopted one which hosts a Giro-tastic stage race at the same time…Any chance of you riding the Tour de France or Vuelta a Espana??
    Following up on Vicki’s question – if you DO take a bike – what is your advice on bike transport on planes??
    Enjoy your break from racing and have a good one in CA!!

    Reply
  9. Tyler

    Don’t listen to STRAVA; 100mi in less than 5hrs IS an achievement. I hope you enjoyed my questionable use of a semicolon.

    Reply
  10. Seth

    Nice post. Also, I agree with Tyler.

    Oh and that picture of two Kings was taken by Jered Gruber. He’s pretty good with a camera.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/smashred/5609443915/

    Reply

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