HOPE Springs Eternal

I just had a shot of maple syrup. Needless to say, things are looking up.

Ahh yes, and Peter took a strong hold on the green jersey with his second consecutive second place stage finish so that’s superb.

Let’s now backtrack and assess the past 72 hours.

Stage 1 of the Tour de France was excellent, until very quickly it wasn’t.

The first, oooh say, 97% of the race was chugging along nicely, and then after riding with a feeble metal barrier seemingly not doing much on the left side of the road for a long while, three guys directly in front of me went into the barrier and violently went down. I took a stab at impersonating Superman before I realized that I can’t fly, and then drove my shoulder into the pavement. In summary, I separated my shoulder. To which a lot of concerned people ask, “That’s horrible — did you put it back into place?!” That’s a great question if I had dislocated my shoulder. As the son of an orthopaedic surgeon and as the product of a rough and tumble youth, I know the distinct difference between a dislocation and a separation. Here’s WebMD‘s explanation differentiating the two; basically I’ve torn some ligaments and pushed some bones out of place, which results in a lot of swelling, a ton of pain in the entire region since I obviously absorbed some trauma there… and then for insult to injury, there’s road rash. But not terrible in the grand scheme of things.

The feeling a) is wicked frigging bad and b) elicits a similar sensation somewhat akin to breaking a bone. That is, there’s a gritty, “this bone doesn’t feel like it’s in the right place” feeling, much like a piece of sand in your mouth. Only instead of sand it’s my skeletal system and therefore my livelihood. With no diagnosis right there on the side of the road and with my mind spinning some hybrid of curse words and “What the crap do I do now?!” I saddled back up and grimaced all the way to the finish.

So a lengthy trip to the spiffy-new-for-2013 Tour de France x-ray truck and I was getting x-rays. A series of radiation blasting proved that I had broken my l-clavicle long before (true) and that I had in fact separated my shoulder a long time ago too (fact). But just to get the true Tour de (Corsica) France experience, we then went to the Corsican hospital. A handful of my cycling colleages were in various states of waiting room, emergency room, or hanging out on gurneys. From there a CAT scan proved that my shoulder was separated. Yup, fact and they found another fracture from years ago. But that’s not important. By now it’s about five hours post race, we’re then checking out of the hospital with the good news that if I can suck it up I can play ball.

And now a short video. Please click here for a word from me to further shed light on the situation.

Sunday was stage two, and after a lengthy night of sleep where I slept like a mummy – flat on my back, hands crossed on my belly – and didn’t move for the entire ten hours, besides when I got up to pee, which was a reminder that I didn’t just separate my shoulder, but my entire left side of my body underwent some wicked impact yesterday and therefore getting out of bed is horribly painful.

But I managed to get through it. The first hour made me nauseous with pain, but that settled down and it was truly a learning experience. I learned what I can do. I learned what I can’t do. I can’t stand and pull on the bars, which is inevitable when you stand. So in general I sit. Sprinting, in reality, is a series of rapid, abrupt, and violent movements and son of a nutcracker, wouldn’t you know that that’s really hard too! But when you’re climbing seated full bore, you end up tugging on the bars and that tends to hurt it too. I also can’t put on socks. Putting on a jersey is painful as heck. I can dole out water bottles, but so far not very well. But you know what, I can pedal my bike. In the Tour de France. And that’s what I’m here to do.

Here’s a very well thought out chart to analyze where I’m at in the grand scheme of things. First you’ll see that I chose wood at the substance for this chart, cause wood is natural and tough and I’m natural and tough so I thought this was an apt representation in a chart. I don’t want to lose you here, so please pay attention. Jumping right into things, you’ll notice that in the “Pre-Race” area, I was humming along around an arbitrary 100. The stage 1 crash took me down to the 10’ish region, which is not optimal at all. But there is still a lot to be thankful for — friends, family, tremendous support, my team, my wherewithal after a crash, and the ability to ride on. Then you can see by stage 3, by learning the nuances of what my body can do, I’m up to a respectable 15. Still a far cry from 100 as we see pre-race, but I can get back there. Soon. I’ve been speaking at length in these interviews that a Grand Tour is a one-day-at-a-time adventure. This holds all the more true in my current state of affairs. So while not trying to get ahead of my self, this rate of recovery in the coming day is going to resemble more of a parabola with ever increasing rate of return. Expect to see a lot more natural and tough material to the right of that chart very soon.2013-07-01_2340


Summary of events:

Shot of maple syrup, Peter in green, an interesting test tomorrow how well I can crunch into the TT position, friends have begun arriving from America, parent arrive tomorrow, and we’re on mainland Europe instead of la isla de Corsica.


One day at a time…


  1. Lee Hodsdon

    Hang in there, the best is yet to come.

  2. Vanessa

    Good luck Ted!

  3. debby(m)

    We were all so worried about you!
    I’m giving up having favourites, I obviously bring a curse upon them (my Other Favourite is currently sporting a fractured pelvis)…
    As someone who is in awe of you guys anyway (200 km today, 200 km tomorrow AND up a mountain etc) and as someone with the occasional ache & pain getting out of bed in the morning… I just don’t know how you’re doing this. I truly hope you’ll be back up to 50 again soon – I so wanted you to ENJOY this race.

  4. Francois JEAN

    Hello Ted,

    Best wishes from Quebec for « Le Tour ». I appreciate your comments on the tour and I’m following you with interest … ok, since my wife is Slovak I’m also following Peter S. from time to time 😉

    Hope to see you again in Quebec this year (September). If you come, I will bring you maple syrup.

    Hang on and update your chart!

  5. Becky B

    We’re all pulling for you, hoping you’re above 50 in a few days!

  6. Rich Batten

    Hang in there Ted. You’re from the Granite State and everyone here in Franconia is pulling for you. Live Free or Die.

  7. Tracy Dra

    So sorry to see you got injured. I hope you heal quickly and get to ride into Paris.

  8. zac_in_ak

    OMG I am just now watching stage 2 (DVR) I saw you had a crash. Keep pedaling I know you can overcome and get back to 100! Scream for Green!!!

  9. Helene Barrette

    Wouldn’t you know it, maple syrup takes on additional magic power on July 1st, seeing as it’s Canada Day. So you took a shot of real magic potion. Stay tough Ted. You’re teaching us all a lesson in perseverance and mind-over-matter-ness. You’ve raised the bar for Rule #5. Looking forward to seeing you back up towards 100% soon.

  10. Ellie

    Thank you for sharing Ted. So very well said and you know we all appreciate it so much.
    May your pain dwindle with each passing minute, hour and day. Geezum Crow~ UB+

  11. Dirk-JanDDDDirk-JanDirk-Jan

    Hope you mend quickly, tough guy! All the best for a speedy recovery and the race for green with Peter.

  12. Dirk-Jan

    ps I can’t see the text typed in name and email boxes so that – combined with auto fill-in – is the reason for the name repetition.

  13. Dirk-JanDirk-Jan

    So once more – all the best for a speedy recovery! Hope the TT position isn’t too painful – at least it is a ‘short’ day today.

  14. Sarah

    Wood and not granite? What kind of New Hampshire-ite are you? In all seriousness, thanks for the insight into what happens behind the scenes post-crash on the Tour; it’s easy to forget that you guys are human and actually feel pain.
    Heal up, Ted!

  15. Roxanne

    Hang in there – your fans are behind you 100%!

  16. timojhen

    stay strong, have a lot of folks pulling for you!

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  18. Derek Hilton

    All of us here on the Seacoast are thinking of you. Hang in there! You are WICKED tough!!

  19. Last Ditch Racing

    Ted, the Last Ditch Racing crew is sending you good vibes(which may or may not help your shoulder heal, you pedal faster, but may help you find more maple syrup!). You’re, “wicked friggin'(how us Mainers spell it) tough-the lads will look after you for awhile until there more natural tough stuff on that friggin’ graph!

  20. Brian

    I’ve been there before and I feel your pain. But, I didn’t have 2100 miles in front of me that I had to pedal in pain. So best of luck making it through, we’re rooting for you Stateside!

  21. Marquis

    keep going strong, Marquis

  22. DaveM

    Love the chart… and that wood would be NH maple I assume? Good Luck on the recovery… sure you’ll be back stronger than ever 🙂 To paraphrase Garrison Keillor… You’re from NH, “Where all the riders are strong, They’re Kings of style and Drop the competition”. Keep the posts coming and have a great remainder of the Tour!

  23. Larry

    Hang in there Ted, your an inspiration to the NHites… Just keep it moving.. We’re all cheering for you..

  24. Jules

    You’re amazing Ted. First of all, you’ve raised the blogging bar with videos and charts. Then you’ve inspired with your true grit. I’m proud to be a fan and you know I hate that word fan.

  25. Josh

    Go get ’em woody!

  26. daddyo

    nice shiner. hope they ct’d your head for skull fractures. hang tough as long as you can. Adelante a Paris!!

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  28. Derek Nickels

    Don’t worry mate ,all will be good in about 7-10 days.i suffered same injury after being hit by a Mitsubishi Xpress van,doing three somersaults( one wierd shaped one with bike still attached,sorry to guy who got 57 staples in his head from my 53 tooth chain ring) then landed like Wile E. Coyote, no sliding,just whack into the road! The Ambo’s joked i’d left an imprint in the tarmac!! Point is i still did the Sydney to Wollongong Race/ride in under 4 hours to be able to start with the fast men the following year,only 12 days later and i didn’t have access to the docs ,physio,etc you have. BigCudoes to you for going on to finish the stage,bigger ones for getting back on the bike next day,i couldn’t!!!!!!!!1!!!!!

  29. Bobby B

    You are ugly
    No one likes you
    You are a crappy racer and a mean person.

    There….Hurt feelings will make you forget your shoulder….now get out there and make us all proud (more proud).


  30. robbie

    What an entertaining entry. You make your terrible injury easier to read about. You’re our hero! And congratulations on making it through the TT! Keep up the great work! Say hi to mom and dad!

  31. Carl Hofmann

    The Hofmanns in Boulder cheer every time they see #14! Keep up the great work, Ted.

  32. Steve

    So glad you made the cut today so that we can see you do what you do best once you are a bit more healed. Also glad to see your mom and dad are going to be joining you today. Can’t wait to see you all at the Krempels King of the Road Challenge to hear stories from all three of you about this amazing experience. Hope your healing is quick and complete.

  33. Sebastian Z.

    You are warrior, keep it up. Great article as usual keep them coming, you are doing great deal to cycling world,we all cheer for you with all our hearts!!!

  34. Michelle C

    I’ve been anxiously following Twitter to hear if you would be able to hang on in the Tour. I am heartsick at the news that you did not make today’s cut.

    You have had a heroic few days and today, no less that the ones prior. Hard to find the right words because I cannot imagine the depth of your disappointment. But, just know your fans are out here cheering louder for you today than ever.

    Rest. Heal.

    All my very best wishes and greatest admiration,

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  36. Erin Moody

    Nate Helming and I have been keeping track of you. Lots of excitement when your face comes on our TV. You’re a trooper. Much support from the West Coast.

  37. Ron

    Ted, that was a total HARDMAN TT ride today and I’m so sorry you missed the time cut. Damn, PRO racing is tough, but you gave it your all, even after that opening crash.

    Chin up! Couldn’t be more proud of you and more happy for you riding in that Tour. You did a great job. You’ll be back!

    Rest, recover, ride. I wish you all the best and I think you’re a great dude & a better cyclist.

    This is tough news to read for me, I’m sure tougher for you to handle.

    Keep the rubber up, keep on truckin’, my friend!

  38. debby(m)

    Just popping in to agree with everything Ron’s already posted. Heal well and ride on!

  39. Ken McGuinness

    Thanks for all your commentary these past few months. I am thinking about how one day, one moment in time, ends anyone’s TDF journey. You were a real trooper. I was saddened to watch you falter early in the TT. Best wishes for a great recovery and better cycling days ahead. Thanks for making it all real for the rest of us mortals.

  40. Sean

    I’ve had a separated shoulder, but I know they can vary by degree of the separation. Mine was a 3rd dgree, and I couldn’t even solo ride for weeks let alone race. I am curious to know the degree of your separation?

  41. Julie

    Ted, you are such an inspiration and I am so sorry to hear about that stupid TdF official who wouldn’t cut you slack for a measly 7 seconds. Hang in there, we are all rooting for your speedy recovery.

  42. David Burton

    I enjoyed your Hope Springs Eternal blog post. I suffered a third degree separation of my shoulder and know how much it hurts. I’m a very impressed you tried to ride the next stage. I hope you recover soon and can return to racing. In the mean time, may be you will have more time to write.

  43. Mike in Rye NH

    A brave TT today Ted. In my humble opinion, the cut is an opportunity lost by le tour for some positive press. Heal up and plot your return in 2014. NH is pulling for you!

  44. Joe

    Your ride in the TTT was amazing. Tough as nails Ted. Get well, can’t wait to see you crush the TdF next year and hope to see you racing in Colorado.

  45. Tim Barnhorst

    I hope the jury reverses their decision. You deserve to ride.

  46. Dani

    You deserve to have the decision reversed–the Tour needs riders like you. #letTedRide

  47. Steve

    Great ride today, Ted. You are an inspiration (and now hero) to my 11 year old daughters. They are convinced that the correct judgement will be made and you will be on the start line tomorrow with your team…

  48. Zabeth

    So sorry to hear about your accident and the meanies who want to cut you for 8 seconds. You are one tough mother! May you heal quickly and come back stronger than ever.

    – a Mass hole.

  49. Marius

    stay strong, dislocated shoulder few weeks ago, I can relate, what you did is impressive, CHAPEU! #LetTedRide

  50. Ken McGuinness

    Just read Velo News Editorial. You deserve to be back in and I hope the TDF officials get the message! Very poor judgment on their part. You deserved better.

  51. Nick

    Here’s hoping that the organisers see sense and let you continue – afteral they were partly responsible for the Stage 1 crash in the first place!
    Was it last year or the year before when the best part of half the peleton missed the cut? They were allowed to continue as there wouldn’t have been a Tour, Best wishes from the UK

  52. Mike Baines

    Really bummed out here in NH with the TDF decision. Amazing solo ride yesterday @ 28.6 MPH, truly inspirational! #LetTedRide

  53. Nbpt Cycling Fans

    Greetings from the Seacoast (Newburyport). So disappointed in the officials! We will continue to follow your career, and hope you are feeling better soon.

  54. Will M from Squirrel Isle

    The developments within the past 24 hours have been hard to take in stride, but the grace and grit with which you’ve handled the situation have inspired us all, Ted. This morning, over coffee, I discussed the circumstances with my daughter Lena (7 1/2) and son Olin (almost 6), who’ve been watching the race each morning. We were all pretty sad. We discussed how you’re now both an example of how hard work can literally make dreams come true as well as the importance of fortitude and resilience. They totally got it. Think of how many folks you’ll inspire when you’re back in the Tour next year. Hang in there, Ted. We are all sending you and your family our most supportive wishes…

    • iamtedking

      Thanks Will. That truly means the world right now. Sooo… what are the chances you’ve been watching from Squirrel?! Cause that’d be amazing.

  55. ErikW

    Heads up Ted. Great effort, bad luck, harsh decision. There will be better days!

  56. Becca

    Amazing…both what you have accomplished and the way you write about it! Don’t focus on what you didn’t have the chance to do, focus on ALL that you have done!!!

  57. Ron


    Resolve to stay strong and ride out the year in good form. Then, make it happen again next season. We believe in you!

    At the bottom, but you’re gonna come up. Just riding in the 100th is an honor any of us cyclists would love to have. And, you DID IT!

    I know you’ll turn this into motivation. And, I know yours folks are just happy to see you, no matter what. Keep on truckin’, my friend!

  58. Brian V

    Just saw the interview during today’s pre-race show on NBC. Man, the wife and I both got a little misty eyed for you. Hang in there! Lots of good wishes that you heal up quick and come back next year even stronger!

  59. Jerry Somdahl somdahl

    Ted, What this has done is made you very visible and increased your fan base. I will always know who you are now because your name is filed in my brain under “Cyclists who can suck up huge amounts of pain and still pound it out”. We are watching you now.
    Your new fan,

  60. Christian Denton

    So sorry Ted.
    Thank you for embodying everything good in cycling today.


  61. Anthony

    So sorry, Ted. I’m throwing blame all over the place! First, the TdF all but caused that crash by their finish line nonsense. The fact that they neutralized the stage 1 times shows they know they screwed up. Second, they should acknowledged both the possibility of a timing error (no transponder, different results…) and your courageous ride to reinstate you.
    I would have loved to see your whole team slow down and nurse you to the line. You all would have surely made it and there is no GC interest at Cannondale anyway, so why not everyone just take a day off and help you? Forget the 7 seconds, the risk of you having a mechanical and being alone would have meant curtains anyway. If you got better, we/they/everyone knows you would have laid down your watts for Peter and been a great asset. If you didn’t, the mountains would have killed you anyway and we wouldn’t be talking about seconds so there would be no controversy.

    Get well soon… I know you will be back!

  62. Rachel - fellow New Englander

    Ted, very sorry. I am sure you are incredibly disappointed, I’m disappointed we will not get to watch you finish your first TDF. But chin up, off the pavement, you will surely have many more opportunities. I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to following your career for MANY years to come.

  63. PJ

    Dear Ted:

    You have done outstanding through this situation and many supporters are emailing, tweeting, writing to the powers that be about this incident. We stand by you and hope for the best, so do many of the other riders! Praying for a speedy recovery for your shoulder and peace in the meantime. Remember you are one of a very few people in the world who even qualify for the TDF and that makes YOU a winner, never forget that! Thank you for representing us so well and know that you will be back stronger than ever. You have many fans who will be cheering for you! PJH in SD, CA

  64. Bob

    My family and I are so sorry that you no longer will be competing in the TDF, but like was said earlier, thank you for embodying all that is good in cycling. We will still be following your career on the bike. Keep you head high, and keep on doing what you do, because there is no one better.

    The Smiths

  65. April

    Every day I walk and jog on my treadmill with my dogs watching the tour. I get so excited to see professional athletes that you all have inspired me to begin running in races once a month. I literally started crying today on the treadmill, had to pause the DVR, find your Facebook page and this blog and send you a message. I am so sorry the tour has ended for you but so impressed that you got there, that you pushed on. I hope to see you next year from my treadmill as you all continue to push me to run harder and farther. All the best.

  66. HP from Bama

    Tough break my man. My friends and I have been cheering you on from Bama. You’ll be back to the TDF before you know it. Can’t wait to see you there next year.

  67. John Whalen

    I look forward to the Tour every year, and I already know I’ll be following your progress and rooting for you next year! You have probably gained many fans, like me and my little boys, by not making the arbitrary cutoff time. We wish you future successes!

  68. Kevin R.

    Hey Ted – a most unfortunate break. Keep up the tremendous work – it’s a pleasure to follow you on your blog and on Strava.

  69. Jen

    I’m sure there are no words that will truly make you feel better right now–especially coming from someone you don’t know–but I just want to let you know that I am so proud to be a Ted King fan. You have displayed such heart and courage these past few days; I am just so inspired by the way you have handled everything that’s been thrown at you since Saturday. You will come back from this like the badass you are, and I look forward to cheering for you in many tours to come.

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  71. Michele K.

    Oh Ted I am so disappointed in the officials. Hang in there and focus on healing. I look forward to cheering you on at future races and next year’s Tour and many more in the years to come.

  72. GeorgGGGeorfgeGeY

    Riders like yourself are the reason I am a cycling fan. Chapeau!
    Anyone who has ridden a bike knows how hard it is to get to speeds of over 40k (25 mph in US/UK); to average 46k with a separated shoulder is really amazing. Forget the officials and their stupid decisions you have class and your future is bright and shining. Get well soon and you will be back strong as ever.

  73. Joanne

    Eventually made it here today after the 8 sec incident…. You were a rider in my Velogames TDF team, I picked you cos I liked the sound of your name.. ..Can’t believe how kind your fans are, even the new ones who came for the same reason as me. What lovely people you attract. The world seems a nicer place after visiting your blog. Long may you have this effect on others!


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