The 365 Days of 2011



As a Socrates once said, a picture is worth a thousand words. By that logic, what follows here is quite the verbose essay because it would therefore be nearly a hundred thousand words. Yes friends, fasten your seat belts because coming right up is a rudimentary and somewhat random photo essay of my January 1 through December 31 of the very fine year 2011.

I started off the year amid Italian style by witnessing my first man-purse in its native environment. That is, around a dude’s shoulder and placed securely by his hip. I was just so baffled that I had to snap this photo. This is in Sardinia at the first camp of the year.

How does one get to Sardinia? Some folks use modern technology and take the airplane, but those in the know take the motor-yachting ferry. I’m on a boat!

Won’t like, still have no idea what Vitamin Teddy C does. But given my middle name is Carrington, I’ve probably replied to someone calling me Teddy C at least once in my life. Apparently I’ve now been bottled in delicious capsule form, which stinks because I haven’t seen a single penny for this. (This is in an Italian grocery store, obviously.)

And now it’s time to get down to racing. Early in the season we kicked off some Giro di Sardegna. Yessir, back to the mythical isle of Sardinia.

The advantage of racing alongside the likes of Peter Sagan (dot com) is that he wins a lot of bike races. That generally quenches one’s longing for champers… or Prosecco if you race for an Italian team.

From one bottle to the next and from and one part of Italy to the next. This one is Tuscany in late February. The Tuscan grocery store sold StEEves Maples in their ethnic food section. Everything about this product made me happy.

And everything about this picture makes me happy too. Click, click, click, click… the sweet sound of metal cycling cleats on grocery store tile. Timmy and I are grocery shopping.

From Tuscany onto Tuscany. In particular I drove from camp in Tuscany to my Italian home of Lucca in Tuscany. Italian vistas provide very most excellent views.

Similarly, inside the Lucchesi walls there’s some excellent views to be had. This one in the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.

About two towns away from Lucca is Collodi, the home of the author who once penned Pinocchio. More importantly, Collodi is the home to the world’s largest statue of Pinocchio. Titillating!

Speaking of big, THAT is one enormous piece of meat. There isn’t much scale to offer here, but the diameter on this pile of protein is at least a foot and a half.

Lucca at dusk. I’m going to say that this is about mid-March, if you care.

Rode my bike with some Americanos while in Lucca. Bjorn and Tejay lead the chase to the man with the massive fishing boots.

I green-thumbed a pretty righteous garden throughout the spring. It was a caprese salad just waiting to happen with basil and tomatoes as the centerpiece.

Following that bit of homespun agriculture, I arrived Belgium. And what do people think of when they think of Belgium? Yeah, this stuff. (Mind you, this photo is a Belgian airport, not a grocery store of bar.)

And when people aren’t thinking of beer when Belgium is on their minds, they’re likely thinking of flat, windy, farmlands. Perhaps something like this:

One advantage of professional bike racing is having mechanics to tend to all your needs. Saul, how’s my front end looking? Solid? Nice.

Tour of Flanders was my favorite of the super Belgian mega races. Paris-Roubaix was pretty wild too. Here Ben King chases a harried Ted King.

Jered Gruber is rumored to take good photos. I think he took this one. And if not, compliments to whoever did take it.

Following Paris-Roubaix, I returned stateside to prepare for the next round of bicycle racings. However even before that could happen, I made my way to Boston to see some friends and in doing so witnessed the Boston Marathon. This is somewhere in the latter section of the race when people are really suffering. As in… REAAAAALLY suffering. It was nearly as painful to watch as I’m sure it was to run.


Oddly enough I endured near summer-like weather in northern Belgium for the Classics, but then returned to New England to bask in late winter snow for the Milliman UV Epic ride of New Hampshire and Vermont. Here the diminished peloton slogs up the 23%, muddy incline (I took KOM honors on this climb, clearly. Soon after, I also took on a hot cocoa).

From New England, I set forth to CA to get ready for the Tour of California. Two weeks prior, in helping throw a birthday party with friends in Napa someone managed to snap this photo which truly shows that I rock the party that rocks the pinata.

Napa is obviously known for it’s wine and therefore picturesque vineyards. Here I am escaping that swarm of vehicles, workers, half drunk wine samplers, and other four wheeled beasts in order to seek out some quiet roads.

From Napa to Tahoe to acclimatize to racing at 7,000′, here I shared this hearty portion of raw fish wrapped in rice while up in Lake Tahoe. They apparently refer to this food stuff as Sushi.

More pre-ToCA bike practice, this time north of Tahoe at Donner’s Pass.

Here’s a day of riding around the lake with a good friend and teammate, Cameron Wurf. In this photo I’m playing with the camera’s settings and I’m highlighting his blues. Nice right sleeve Cam.

Team presentation, ToCA. I’m that handsome tall fellow in the middle waiting for Paul Sherwin to ask me about what it’s like being a handsome tall fellow.

Aaaaand of course all my hard work at altitude became moot when the snow cancelled the opening stage and a half.

Brad: “Ted, is that a neckgaiter?”
Me: “Yes it is Brad. This is called ironic foreshadowing. Wait until later in the year and you’ll see a much more stylish neckgaiter unleashed to the world.”

And instead of racing that first day, we rode the trainer in a parking garage at Squaw Valley.

Someone sent this photo of their computer screen. We won this stage with our speedster Peter Sagan. If you look really carefully at the screen, the computer shoes that I’m putting out a smoking million and a half watts.

California went swimmingly and from there I was off to Greenville, SC for the national championships. Aptly artistic chalk adorned the treacherous summit of Paris Mountain.

And then I was in a breakaway…

And then I didn’t win the race. I got 2nd loser. Cheers to that George!

Albeit blurry, I like this photo of my housemate for the majority of 2011, Tejay, and me exchanging a post race high five. Actually, more like a low or mid-five.

And that euphoria all came tumbling down when I went from national championships podium to the Philadelphia emergency room after cracking my shoulder in an unmarked crater on the race course. I later learned someone was attempting the hole to China. My loving parents made the trek to one of their first “big” races of my career only to accompany me to the hospital. Sheesh. Dad’s thumbs down brought a tear to my eye.

The only good news of such precipitous tragedies like broken bones is that I got to take my red socks to Maine. Vacationland is an apt state motto.

Beneath that sweet muscle shirt is the scar over the slab of metal holding my shoulder together. Maine gave me a chance to practice my sea legs. Here I am trimming the sheet on the high seas. Yaaargh! Ahoooooy!

Continuing the perpetual life on the road, it was also a good time to visit friends in Middlebury and go for a wicked awesome bike ride. If you find yourself in Middlebury, I recommend the Otter Creek Bakery. Regular mid-study-break jaunts to OC-Bakes were the best when I was once a college studying lad.

Around this time, my cousin practiced his artistry and drew this masterpiece. He’s on the top, clearly, because he is announcing that “I am not Ted King.” Meanwhile, festooned in appropriate attire, I’m at the bottom.

In unrelated news, I nearly was forced to bunnyhop this mythical prehistoric animal riding around New England. He snapped at me, so I took his photo.

I eventually made my way to the Naaawth Shaaaaw’ Wicked Not-Good-At-Golfing Tournament of Champions. Tim Johnson, left, practices his no sighted driving while growing a mustache, while Jeremy Powers tweets accordingly.

200 on 100 was a good way to make up for any lost base miles in this shoulder recovery. Hello Canada, I’ll be seeing Massachusetts soon!


Proper New England fuel for this quintessentially New England’y ride: 5lbs of Fluff and Fluffernutters.

Ta da! Arrival in Massachusetts. (And if you have 10 minutes, go spend them here.)

And if you have a heart and even an ounce of style, you can purchase this shirt which helps rebuild the flood ravaged and excellent state of Vermont.

From New England, Aspen seemed the best subsequent place to spend some time.

Some more Aspen. Actually here’s me on a mega ride scoping the roads from Aspen to Crested Butte.

A particular highlight of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge – or what should be called the Tour of Colorado – was my parents attending the race. Even a rainy, somewhat frigid day into Aspen with two trips over 12,000′ couldn’t quell my familial happiness seeing Mom and Dad being able to attend one of my races. You see, travel isn’t the easiest after Dad’s stroke, but they’re a mighty duo. Plus this made up for any poor showing at stupid Philly.

Next stop was up to Canada (eh?) and the duo of Quebec and Montreal. Known for my vicious sprint since I once upon a time won a sprint from about 800 meters out in a local New England spring classic many many (many) moons ago, I was selected to do the Sprint Challenge the day before Quebec.

With my road race season finishing up in mid-September, and with the itch to keep on racing given my bone healing mid-season absence, I dabbled in cyclocross. No big deal, but I got some UCI points in my first ever UCI race. I hear Sven Nys is nervous that I’m gunning for him at the World Championships this year. Anyway, here I am in the beer garden run-up at Gloucester. Don’t worry, I partook…

I went for a mega ride from New Hampshire to Portland, ME and then back home sometime this fall. It wasn’t quite a 200 on 100, but seven hours later, I was satisfied with my day. It also provided some nice New England photography.

The hard working people of Scratch Baking Co. That was the entire reason I went – for a bagel.

What better way to embrace the off season than with a bike trip to Chianti?! Here’s one of a million little Italian towns that date about a thousand years older than our mighty nation of America.

Here I am riding with my good friend and former teammate Joao. He put the F in FMT. Want some good food, wine, and maybe a bike ride or two? I’m serious: join FMT.

This fall marked the first ever Krempels King of the Road Challenge, my eponymous charity ride benefiting the Krempels Center. Timmy Duggan served as one of the keynote VIP riders so in this photo he and I are at a presentation to the Krempels Center explaining our exciting lives as bike racing bike racers to the media and members of the Krempels Center.

My best friend from youth, Matthew, took up bike riding four days before the KKotRC ride. He rode once, tapered for two days, then did the entire distance. The Cannondale shorts are nice, but better yet are the duct taped shoes. That just screams quality.

Ahh, good friends standing and good friends squatting semi-awkwardly after the Krempels King of the Road Challenge.

PATRIOTS game. Whoop! Thanks Matty T. They won, naturally.


And after all that, it finally was time to embrace the off season. So I bought a straw hat… aaaaand went to Hawaii. Not necessarily in that order.

Wow, Hawaii is nice.

The top of Mount Haleakala is mysteriously amazing. It offers the feeling comparable to being on the moon.

Hawaii to Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco. That there is called the Golden Gate Bridge. Side note: on a bet in 8th grade, my friend Jon and I did our science fair project on the subject of suspension bridges, and of course we showcased the GGB. Ironically we were the only group in the entire class who received an A.

The quickest swing through New England on record, coming in around 72 hours, included an off road Turkey Trot which I did not win. And better yet, Thanksgiving with an electric knife. Just like the Pilgrims used.

Meanwhile I made a Martha Stewart award winning pie. You simply cannot argue with height, and that meringue’y badboy is the better part of a foot.

Right back at it! Dominik (farthest), Timmy (stylish shades and hat), and I crammed into the back of the team car and were off to team meetings and camps in San Pellegrino and Sardinia. Rallying in the back of said car with three adults fitting into room presumably designed for two is less than awesome. Good thing we’re friends with each other or else that really would have sucked.

In between San Pellegrino and Sardinia, I actually managed to sneak back home to Lucca. Ho ho ho, Santa Clause is coming to town. This photo showcases the 750,000 people shopping in downtown Lucca as well as the Christmas lights. Very festive.

Sardinia: back to bike riding with 28 of my neon and blue clad best friends!

Also back to the proper Italian ways: (miniature) coffees and La Gazzetta dello Sport. Two peas hanging out in the same pod.

And from there back to my folks’ home sweet home. That can mean just one thing: thumb war with my dad. After three heated battles, it was a draw.

Perhaps even more exciting than thumb war, my return to America also marked the debut of the iamnotTedKing neckgaiter. With just a hint of irony, the iamnotTedKing neckgaiter is a versatile thing of beauty. If you don’t own one yet AND you don’t live in Hawaii or southern California/Arizona/Florida, well by golly you’re wasting your own time.

I think it’s more than just convenient circumstance that camp ends two days before Christmas… I think it’s so that we can be home FOR Christmas. That would make sense. So this photo is at our festive Christmas dinner. I have a Christmas sweater, an ever-growing white person’s afro, and a loving family. All three of which are excellent. Ho ho ho!

You see this? That’s snow on the road in a photo taken the day after Christmas. I love snow and I love being in my home state of New Hampshire and I love winter and I love bike riding. I just don’t necessarily love doing all of those things at the same time.

So where am I now? Sunny Santa Barbara of course. Mid-January of 2012 marks the start of my race season and it’s time to ramp up the training. New England is quaint and amazing and all, but late December isn’t the nicest in the weather department. In related news, much like the next cyclist, I love a good Chipotle buttiro. But now that I have bona fide Mexican food right at outside my door, this el pastor burrito is a billion times more authentic and just about as big.

And lastly, I brought in the new year with a dinner at a local seafood joint. I shared a “Two Tiered Seafood Tower” which was like whoa. It included sea urchin. I’m fairly certain we can agree that new years isn’t new years without a proper, raw sea urchin.

Pretty much sums it up in random photographic excellence. Over and out.




Comments

  1. Izak Baker

    Always enjoy your stories. Happy new year & good luck
    in the upcoming season!!!!

    Reply
  2. Ellie

    Ted,

    Your stories are great and I really enjoy reading them. If you ever need an old lady to watch over the space in Lucca (make sure there is a well tended veggie garden etc) or provide you housing in Boulder – let me know!

    Keep the rubber side down. Wishing an incredible season for you.
    Your family orientation is a blessing in cycling and you are a very strong role model! Keep it up!
    E

    Reply
  3. Steve Fortier

    Thanks for sharing your year with us–on and off the bike. I’ve followed you all along the way, but this recap was great. Wishing you and your family a great 2012. My son, Sean, and I look forward to catching up with you at this year’s Krempels Challenge. Rock (the party that rocks the pinata) on!

    Reply
  4. Frank

    Great year in review, but how do you have a draw after THREE heated battles?

    Reply
  5. Don

    Thanks for sharing Ted. Reading these blogs/posts/stories, is the highlight of my evening. Good luck to you and the team in 2012.

    Reply
  6. Becky B

    Excellent recap!
    And that “sweet sound of metal cycling cleats on grocery store tile” isn’t so sweet when it’s accompanied by the “scraaaape” of those cleats sliding because you hit a puddle of water in the produce section. Ask me how I know.
    Happy 2012

    Reply
  7. Jered Gruber

    That IS my picture! I promise, I’ll take a better one this year. That was a lot of fun to read. Hope you have an even better year in 2012.

    Reply
  8. Brian Toone

    Awesome write-up and photos – best of luck to you this year, Ted!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>