…But I never was in Kansas so that title is something of a moot point.
My early exit from the Tour de France left me in something of a mental tizzy, but upon returning home to New England I soon discovered that a combination of good friends, lobster, and loving family will change one’s perspective greatly. So with my batteries partially restored, it was from there onto the wild wild west!
Therefore, instead of Kansas I’ve been based here in Colorado the past three weeks with all signs pointing to Excellent. And by that I mean I arrived to the Centennial State in mid-July with my ailing shoulder on the mend, my mind in a progressively better place, and my legs beginning to spin back up to full speed. My shoulder truly saw incremental and noticeable improvement day by day upon arriving and remounting the ol’ steed (…my bike). Pushing the envelope is a good way to see how things are falling into place and I therefore have been testing out my shoulder with riding ample dirt roads.
I figure if it can handle the rigors of riding what feels like a mild jackhammer, then things are good. And speaking of progress, the first week here I was doing a handful of double-days and found that even within hours of each other, my shoulder would feel significantly better from one ride to the next. Range of motion, slowly but surely getting back into strength training, some superb deep massage work, and help from a friendly PT, I’m pleased to report that progress is significant!
I could go through point by point what I’ve been up to here west of the Mississippi, but surely I’d forget something or someone and then feel badly. Plus I’d rather show a sporadic smattering of photos which help flesh out the details of how I’ve spent my time the past few weeks in the Rocky Mountain, high thin air of Colorado.
Let’s begin with what I call: The Ted King Photo Essay of Late July — in Living Color.
I went to Aspen which was lovely. The first two stages of the USA Pro Challenge — from here on out, more accurately called the Tour of Colorado — are in and around 81611 and therefore I felt the need to see those roads again. Plus Aspen is fun regardless of needing a reason to visit.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my time these past few weeks in Nederland, which is located a wicked far stone’s throw from Boulder. It’s proper mountain roughing it up here with an extra 3,000′ of altitude and incalculably more rustic living than the low lands of merely being a mile-high. I’m not quite chopping wood for warmth, but I did grow a vicious beard. My 5 o’clock shadow came along nicely after perhaps a dozen 5 o’clocks had come and gone. And yes, how astute of you: our friends at Sugoi are also making the Ted King of the Road cycling jersey to harken your inner iamnotTedKing and rural living. Stay tuned…
Beaver Creek also played host to, umm, me. I was slumming it there for three more days of Tour of Colorado reconn’. Despite what this photo shows, these were the three gnarliest days of weather I’ve experienced since getting to CO. The standard weather pattern come mid-summer is a stunningly crisp morning, a few clouds roll in by noon, there will usually be a threat of awesome thunderstorms in the 3-5pm’ish region which sometimes dump buckets of rain or else the clouds just hover ominously overhead, and then it all clears up to a spectacular evening. And with that as the “norm” these three days in and around BC were characterized by wet and wet and wet — with the exception of this one porch photo below.
Here I am seeking some vehicular refuge after cresting one Rocky Mountain pass. The temperature dropped to 45F and pouring rain and I decided I needed a moment of dry reprieve.
During this trip to Beaver Creek I was lucky enough to spot an elk. It was not very difficult as it was decapitated and tacked to the mantle.
Are you familiar with Biju the Chef? Well get acquainted cause he’s rad. Speaking of rad, so is bone marrow. Much like lobster, it is highly recuperative for broken bones. Or so I told myself anyway as I scooped out and imbibed on its unctuous innards.
The most important meal of the day is granola, cottage cheese, diced fresh summer peaches, a splash of maple syrup (maple syrup from a TREE, people — not from your Aunt Jemima) and a spoon as pictured below. I also created this particular masterpiece this morning: cottage cheese, blueberries, and peaches with a dash of cinnamon. Then top that with a super spicy scrambled egg and ghost pepper salt. You need to have a high tolerance for heat, plus a gracious want for delicious food. Aaaand go…
Ah yes, when you’re bonking you can conveniently reach in your rear right pocket and grab your flask of maple syrup. A chug or three of that and you’re once again on your merry way!
Here’s more scoping out of stages. This is amid the drive from Beaver Creek to Trout River Pass and the second half of Tour of Colorado’s stage 2. Or in particular, this is driving through Leadville, which is the highest incorporated city in the United States and was once on the map for silver mining, but mostly is now known for legendary adventure racing.
More Biju time; here we are cooking up some mighty fine fajitas. That sliver of a bottle you see on the right is more ghost pepper salsa. Hot is better.
This same night we had a hummingbird caught in the house. Thankfully Tim Johnson likes animals and while I slaved away in the kitchen, Tim saved the wee little creature.
I recommend scoping out a glimmer of that action here.
Speaking of heat, wasabi peas are delicious. Srirach peas, though, bring it to a whole new level of awesome. Very difficult to find unless you’re at Shaw’s in Stratham, NH these bad boys are wicked yum.
A kid in a candy store is a fast track to diabetes. Alternatively, a Ted King in a Justin’s Nut Butter warehouse, is a match made in heaven. Plus they’re a local Boulder business, so we like them.
In one word, cycling is community. I haven’t seen this more pronounced than at the Salto/Tin Shed cafe/bike shop here in Nederland. The owners, managers, staff, patrons, and friends of this place are incredible. It’s truly a privilege to know these great people and this excellent establishment.
And with that, I bid you farewell while I take more pictures and begin the next chapter of the Ted King adventure series.