Yeah



That beauty below is the Cannondale SuperSix EVO Tour de France “Grizzly Bear” edition as chosen by yours truly, Ted King.

image

Think for a minute, and try to define yourself as an animal. Not the easiest task, unless you’re a shaggy blond, are often driven around in a back of a Volvo station wagon, and are friendly almost to a fault, then you’re obviously a golden retriever. But truly, to characterize yourself as an animal isn’t easy. I opted for the Grizzly Bear not because I’m frighteningly hairy, but because I am uniquely native to North America, I’m very tall, and I’m carnivorous with a particular penchant for salmon. Boom, knee jerk reaction: grizzly (Teddy) bear.

I nearly chose the lobster. More specific to me geographically than just North America, the lobster is native to the frigid waters of New England. But our shared traits effectively end there. “American Lobster” as they’re also referred, are less affectionately known as bottom feeders or the insects of the sea. Their brains are minuscule and they don’t do much deep thinking, as I’m told by the authority to end all lobster authority: the Gulf of Maine Research Center. Lobsters of course are exceptionally delicious especially doused in butter and upon further consideration, they have regenerative abilities that would have suited me really well this month. Not that I planned to lose a claw in the heated battle of the Tour de France, but a lobster could do that and grow a new one like it’s no big deal.

Unlike my lobster kin, I have been doing a lot of deep thinking lately and especially these past few hours. Not much sleep last night as my mind spins a million miles per hour. My Tour de France ended prematurely with pain serving as the excruciatingly cruel hinging factor. The fishnet stockings that I’ve been wearing aren’t just for esthetic reasons; they’re holding the bandages tight to my skin. The stress-fest, crash marred first week of the Tour took it’s toll on me too with high speed visits with the unforgiving pavement on stages three and four. In the days since then I’ve grimaced, ground my teeth, and occasionally let choice words slip when riding a particularly jarring road or ironically during post-race massage where the masseur’s hands act both an angel and a devil, flushing my muscles of lactic acid while exacerbating a body riddled with hematomas. Heck, even just rolling over in bed — that hurts enough to wake me up a dozen times per night. I’ll tell you the two people perhaps most pleased that my Tour is over are the kindly folks doing the hotel laundry — my Tour de Nightly Blood Staining Linens Across England and France has come to a close. Also our loyal and always smiling team doctor who’s been applying dozen of bandages to my seeping body morning and night. He suddenly has just found another hour of his day without having to tend after me.

It’s a bloody sport, as witnessed by this first half of the Tour. Cycling’s tip top riders, and plenty more lesser known such as myself, are going home left and right. It’s a bloody cruel sport, when all I want to do is be a loyal domestique, employed to tow my captain, plow through the wind for my team, ride in the dangerous trenches, and fetch bottles across northwestern Europe ultimately to Paris. Not this year.

Bike riding is a beautiful thing. Peaceful and serene, flowing and artistic, freeing and blissful, pedaling a bike over hill and dale is ethereal. Tack a number on your back, though, and bike racing is a bizarrely unnatural sport hinging so much on luck. Yes, there is inherently risk, calculating one’s risk, diminishing risk, and so forth. A flat tire at the wrong time on a fast descent, a dog crossing the road (who brings an unleashed dog to a bike race still baffles me), rogue #TDFSelfies, rain, and rain and rain and rain, even on the days forecasted for pristine weather here in France it rained buckets. So in the grand scope, there’s only so much you can control. For three straight weeks you therefore need luck on your side or else, like me and so many others, you end up on your side. From there, bloodied, heartbroken, and ultimately pedaling asymmetrically, writhing with pain, you visit the rolling race doctor following the peloton. It’s truly an incredible job they have, providing life back to a deflated cyclist. They’ll spray some disinfectant and wrap you as effectively as possible while you hold onto a car window speeding back up to the peloton at literally 80kph, all the while assessing you for greater injuries that are masked with adrenaline. Now resembling a comical Halloween mummy — except that’s real blood and not Heinz ketchup — off you’ll pedal rejoining your colleagues like a lemming.

The human body has an incredible ability to heal, skin grows back, bruises fade, aches and pains subside. Meanwhile the punishment handed out daily at an event like the Tour is unlike anything else. There’s always some hyperbolic number thrown out for how many calories we’re expending. I can tell you factually that racing alone we are spewing through 4,000-7,000 calories daily on the bike — let alone how our basal metabolism shifts to high high gear for the other 18 hours in the day. Daily recovery and recuperation alone is taxing on the body to carry on like this day after day. For success at the Tour, therefore, health is the absolutely pinnacle. So to first add insult to injury, I’m racing injured for the past week. Next to really throw throw salt in my wounds, waking up two days ago on the first massive mountain stage my immune system was clearly taxed as I was felt as though I was breathing with one lung. Surviving that, I then woke up yesterday on the monster stage 10 where I was hacking up… well, sparing you details, it was something resembling the aftermath of Ghostbusters.

It’s an eerily unique, claustrophobic feeling: head to toe my body is screaming in pain from the crashes, I’m panting with all my aerobic might but only inhaling what feels like half the oxygen I need, plus I’m now facing what’s called the hardest sporting event in the world. This is everything I’ve worked for, dreamed of, yearned for over the past decade. It’s no lack of training or fitness or fortitude or desire…

Yeah, this one is hard. Really hard. The rest day today to recuperate and lick my wounds would have worked miracles.

I think one of professional cycling’s most fascinating attributes are the scars. They tell a story more than a paper cut you might sustain at work in a corner office. They say scars build character — plus chicks dig scars — so judging by the scabs on my back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and shin, I’m due for some story telling, character building, and chicks.

The support has been incredible already. Comments, texts, and phone calls truly mean the world to me. I’ll be back. I just might have to eat a lobster to restore some morale in the coming days.



Comments

  1. Don Davis

    Ted, it was tough to see you with the “vulture balai” hovering just behind your rear wheel.

    Reply
  2. GregG

    Ted, very sorry to hear of your pain and withdrawal. It was fun watching the race and counting the number of Ted sightings on the broadcast. We also enjoyed your insights about the wizardry which is the TDF – riding and non-riding aspects equally. Some good wine and lobster await you in Maine! Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Dave Stephens

    Hi Ted

    Gutted to read you had pulled out due to injury – I was cheering for you in London just after you’d hit the deck caused by the idiot photographer!

    Good luck getting back to health, and stay positive – you pulled the peloton like a beast!

    Dave

    PS – Are you going to deliver the maple syrup to the UK? :-)

    Reply
  4. Greg Gorman

    Ted – Thanks so much for your efforts and your words. So many of us are able to have a view of the pro bike racing life through your great writing. Heal well, get strong, keep writing; remember the pleasures, be proud of your courage.

    Reply
  5. Joanne

    We have all been thinking of you! Thank you SO much for the thoughtful explanation. Hope someone – carrying the biggest, best and freshest lobster roll – finds you soon!

    Reply
  6. Roddy Pattison

    Gutted for you, Ted. Heal well.

    Reply
  7. Bob Smith

    You did us proud back in NH. And Peter is reaping from your hard work. Heal quickly!

    Reply
  8. Kevin

    Heal up, bud! It was good to see you dragging the peloton for a few days.

    Reply
  9. Dave Walsh

    Ted, gutted that you’ve had to abandon. Don’t measure yourself by this! Look forward to riding your bike again and you will have been Tour/Vuelta/Giros ahead of you!

    Reply
  10. Todd

    You gave us all a thrill when we saw you parting the masses in England as you lead the peloton. It’s a cruel mistress, this sport. Heal up, reload that dump truck with awesome and come back stronger in 2015.

    Reply
  11. Katie

    It was great seeing you helping pull the peloton along … And from NH, no less! We’re proud of what you & the team have done. I hope you heal quickly!

    Reply
  12. BillyBil

    I’m still living vicariously through you, even if the racing is done for this month. (Only, my vicarious wounds hurt a lot less).

    Reply
  13. Cathy Rowell

    Heal well, my friend! You rode like a champ, and it was awesome to see you there doing your job so well. We cyclists in New England are all proud of you, and know you will be back to fight another day. Besides, this was awesome training for next year’s Rasputitsa :)

    Reply
  14. Sarah

    You are Awesome! From a weekend warrior backyard triathlete your grit and “try” are enough for me. I gave up on the Tour due to Lance… Maybe I’ll give it another chance
    Maine and lobsters are here for you!

    Reply
  15. David Romilly

    Ted, Our family hopes the best for you and a speedy recovery. Thank you for everything. -dave

    Reply
  16. NedMike

    awesome work while you were there dude, that peleton and those of us watchin at home is gonna miss seeing the TK locomotive pulling the TDF train the rest of the way…..heal up quick, it’s a known fact that the ‘recovery brew’ at Salto has incredible healing power!

    Reply
  17. Caren

    Loved see you leading the peloton through the first week of the TdF! Gutted to hear of your injuries forcing you out yesterday! Heal up…enjoy some lobster and maple syrup at home!

    Reply
  18. Lucy Robbins

    You are still my hero!!!
    Lucy (pamela’s mother and jon’s mother-in-law)
    I am glued to the television
    L

    Reply
  19. Jeff

    Gutted for you but know you’ll be back soon. And you beat Froome in the 2014 TDF…so you have that going for you! ;)

    Reply
  20. Liam

    Sorry to hear of your departure from this years Tour, knowing how hard you worked to get back there. Keep your head up though, you did your job, Sagan is in green and your team has gotten a ton of great exposure. You’ll be back next year, better than ever. Until then, grab a pint of maple syrup and heal up, or come ride with us up here in Portland, ME.

    Reply
  21. Joan Hanscom

    Written and ridden with true New England spirit. You’ve inspired us all. Hold your head high and have a lobster roll for me.

    Reply
  22. Joe R.

    Tough luck Ted! Hope to see you back in the TdF next year!

    Reply
  23. Kathy Cunningham

    Heartbroken to hear you had to leave Le Tour. When you do get to Paris I have a great restaurant in the latin quarter for you yo try! Hope to see you in August @ pro tour

    Reply
  24. deejayemm

    Truly, truly sad to have you out of the race (on the other hand, does this mean more time & energy for blog posts?, she asks hopefully). Heal comfortably and quickly!

    Reply
  25. Sasha

    It was heartbreaking to see you riding in the back of the race yesterday. I’m sure those who really know you and those of us fans who follow you on Twitter know you’d much rather be riding. I had a feeling something bad had happened and was checking Twitter and googling “Ted King le Tour de France” all day yesterday. Thank you for taking time to write about what is going on. You certainly didn’t have to do that. How some of the guys are still racing is a mystery to me. You pro cyclists are some tough hombres! You’re awesome and I can’t wait to see and read about what is in store next. Hopefully, we’ll get to see you in the USA Pro Challenge. Someday, maybe you’ll do a 200 not on 100 in Alaska. :) Take care Mr. Grizzly (Teddy) Bear King. I have a sneaking suspicion that you didn’t have a problem finding chicks before the crashes and Ghostbusters mucous spewing. I’m sure there will be a lot of willing ladies who want to take care of the scarred up sickly guy. ;) Take care and ride on (after some much needed rest)!!!

    Reply
  26. WWWWWWilliam Fralick

    Ted, Thanks for giving us the inside to the Tour. It has been great watching you pull the peloton. They know who you ARE! It will not be the same without you riding. See you at The Krempels King of the Road Challenge in Oct.

    Reply
  27. Sharon

    Heal up quickly Ted. I’ll miss cheering you on. Thanks for writing your blog to keep us up to date even though that must have been very hard to do. You should write a book when your cycling career is over in many years down the line. Hope to see up racing again soon.

    Reply
  28. Gretchen

    Ted, just passed your face on the window at Exeter Cycle and sent you positive thoughts! Heal fast and come home for lobster.
    All the best.

    Reply
  29. Karen R.

    Great to hear your story of what it is truly like to experience the Tour. So sorry for the pain and falls, but thanks for your wonderful storytelling. I continue to be a huge fan of yours, and a growing fan of maple syrup.

    Reply
  30. Steve Barner

    You’re still the Dumptruck of Awesomeness. Noe you can enjoy the Tour. Hope to hear more of your insider’s perspective as the second half of the race unfolds.

    Reply
  31. Tim

    Another heartbreaker but we all know you’ll be back and now you have time to recoup for the Krempels Ride in October! I have one less reason to change from Curious George to the TDF and yell at my kids, “There’s Ted, there’s Ted!” Just remember that Sagan is in Green because of your other-worldly pulls from the front! Feel better. Looking forward to seeing you plugging away on the on the bike again.

    Reply
  32. Natalie

    Rest up. Heal up. Come back stronger than ever. Your love of cycling and desires will take you far.

    Reply
  33. Todd

    Incredible, well-written account. I am sure that you must be suffering psychologically now, having put in all the time and training and focus, but please know that you are an inspiration to us duffers in desk jobs who take our Walter Mitty rides two or three (or if we’re lucky four) times a week. We see and read of your courage and heart, and the next time the road rises up at an incline steeper than we are used to, we think, “Why not?”

    Reply
  34. Adrian

    Well done Ted, you got through some of the toughest stages of the Tour for a long while , will be good to see you back . look after yourself and come back stronger.

    Reply
  35. JeffjeffffP

    I’m sure its no consolation but you’re in good company this year: Cavendish, Contador, etc
    A lesser man wouldn’t have lasted that long- Good Luck the rest of the season

    Reply
  36. Mike Rowell

    Respect! Heal quickly, heal strong.

    Reply
  37. Robin C.

    Sorry Ted! The photo of you on Monday’s race was heartbreaking! Absolutely outstanding job in the Tour regardless. Go eat a lobster for each patch of missing skin, then head out here to SoCal – we have sun, warm weather and no rain in the forecast until 2016. We’ll heal you right up!

    Reply
  38. DJDJ

    Very sad to see you had to stop yesterday on the stages’ liveblog from our local broadcaster. You show tremendous attitude by writing such an quick and honest acount of your troubles. Have a speedy recovery and maybe you can join the star-studded startlist of this years’ Vuelta?

    Reply
  39. WP

    Ted – all us Midd folks in SF are pulling for you to get well soon. We follow you from afar and wish you the best. Awesome job.

    Reply
  40. Rod

    Heartbroken for you, Ted. Your team and a us will be dearly missing you. You guys drew a difficult lot.

    I can send you some (Canadian) maple syrup to drown some of the sorrow if that helps…

    Reply
  41. Jason

    There are two cures for what ails you. Shotgunnjng a jug of maple syrup is one, but may not play well with the waistline and therefore the director sportif. A bag of local roasted Michigan maple walnut coffee another. If you’ve got interest, message me a mailing address & a healing bag o’ Joe will be on its merry way to you. My former coach from my former racing days, G, was your Bissell roommate, so you’ve either got the 2 degrees to Jason game nailed or I’ve got the 2 degrees to TK game nailed. Godspeed!

    Reply
  42. Juan

    IamTedKing it’s been wonderful following your journey and can tell you, as a fan, I couldn’t be more proud of the work and support you gave your team!! I’ve followed the adage “everything happens for a reason” for a long time. I offer it to you…knowing there will be another opportunity for you to showcase your talent!

    Stay upright and keep those Strava posts coming…they inspire many of us to keep riding!!

    Reply
  43. Alex Shore

    Heal fast Ted! Thanks for giving me proud things to talk about during this Tour while chilling at pools and trailheads around Stratham/Exeter.

    Reply
  44. The Ricciardi clan

    You are such an inspiration and role model! We are all so proud of you and honored to know you!!!

    Reply
  45. Barclay

    Was awesome seeing you up front tearing away at the start of the tour. *Ungh*, heart breaking to hear you leave yesterday. One more fan, wishing you well.

    Reply
  46. Howard Roberts

    Ted,
    You are quite clearly a legend of the internet (as well as the cycling world) by reason of your courage, strength and good humour. Your writing is witty and full of insight – wonderful. Hope you heal quickly and recover both swiftly and uneventfully.

    Reply
  47. Randy

    Watching the tour just got a bit less interesting, but try this after the Lobster.

    Maple Old Fashioned
    2oz Rye Whiskey
    1/2oz Maple Syrup
    2-4 dashes of bitters

    Reply
  48. Linda

    Interesting read. Sorry you had to leave the tour. I am sure there are more in your future.

    Reply
  49. JohnnyG

    Ted you’re The King. Heal quickly. Look forward to riding with you in October

    Reply
  50. Patrick Owens

    You have represented the US and New England so well and in such a brave and positive light. All the best in your recovery and we hope to see you back kicking A$$ before long! It’s always fun to follow your career and watch you compete. Thanks!
    Patrick Owens

    Reply
  51. RichF

    Ted – Your writing is fantastic. Thanks for sharing, keep it up…spread some UnTapped on those wounds, there must be some medicinal power in the Cochran’s Hills! See ya in VT

    Reply
  52. TC Hutson

    Ted, my heart ached for you yesterday as the broom wagon was circling and claiming it’s next victim. After being introduced to you by the race doc RM at USPCC in 2011, and later buying each other beers, you totally had me at “Hello, I’m Ted King.” My first impression remains spot on with your genuine, smart, caring and humble persona, you so quietly display with your blogs. YOU are the breath of fresh air, that has been absent from this sport for the last 10 plus years. How do I know this, you ask? Well, you actually did ask. What? a pro cyclist? actually asking about what I do for the race and what I do at home? Totally the opposite of the arrogant, rude, deceitful premadonna’s that constantly wanted their egos stroked by their fans. That race in 2011 would be my last,
    but our brief meeting gave me a ray of hope to the sport I have lived and loved for so many years. So, THANK YOU!

    Reply
  53. timojhen mark

    Really appreciate the visibility you provide into how hard the experience is. Agree with the comments where I was disappointed to see the toll it was taking on you, especially knowing how unfulfilled you were last year. You’re a hero Ted. Onward & Upward……

    Reply
  54. Jeb in NM

    Loved seeing you working on the front. Strong rides, sir! Bummer it ends here. I wish you the best, a quick recovery, and more strong riding in the future.

    Reply
  55. ePoch

    Ted, or should we call you “el rey oso” (the bear king)? Stinks that those pesky, slippery, becobbled roads jumped up and got ugly with you, but it was phenomemal seeing you out in front putting Sagan in position. Tor those of us who already love this sport – the races, rides, places faces and unbelievable memories, you make it that much more FUN! Thanks!! Good luck for the rest of the season and I’m sure next year will bring yet another PR for you at #TdF2015!

    Reply
  56. Andrew

    So disappointed for you Ted. Best of luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery. The rest of the Tour just won’t be the same without your updates. Your post today is especially inspiring for those needing a “don’t give up” boost. Enjoy your lobster – you deserve it !

    Reply
  57. Eric

    Mead Chapel states, “The strength of the hills is his also” across its span and in the cold criss-crossing that hill I used to think it was based in the literal; a little pep talk to get me to class on time. A few years later I realized it means much much more, and I’m glad I got to stare at it every day. Keep taking strength from the hills that life puts in front of you, the descents are worth it (unless they are at like 115kph on two wheels – that shit is insane.)

    Reply
  58. Courtney

    Heartbreaking diary entry, Ted. You are a King for letting us in on what must have been a really painful decision. Looking forward to seeing you in the Tour next year, when luck will surely shine your way.

    Reply
  59. Ben

    My heart broke a bit when I heard you had to abandon. I feel so sorry you had to! There’s always next year, though, and I’ll be rooting for you then and for all the races in between. Heal up and recover, then ride hard. You’re an inspiration.

    Reply
  60. John Sanderson

    Ted, big big love from Yorkshire. The thousands who watched you warriors were in awe and we’re all still talking of where we were when Le Tour rolled by. Rest, recuperate, and most of all, return.

    Reply
  61. Seacoast NH

    Yo Ted its a hard race, I can only imagine how much it hurts you to drop from the Tour. To many crashes, and really lame weather will do that. Hopefully you are looking forward to coming back to NH and riding in some more tame conditions with less tame riders, bring the Teddy Bear bike I am sure that will help. Get better and see you out on the road. I can’t wait to see you out there next year pulling everyone along.

    Reply
  62. Katharina & Roland Mosheim

    Hi Ted, so sorry to hear that the rest day was too late … But so cool to see you in front of the peloton a couple of times! You’ll be back next year !!!! – just save some time for another NapaValley trip with us again this fall, we’ll sponsor on lobster rolls :-).

    Cheers from Vikingland & good luck with the chicks …

    Reply
  63. Katharina & Roland Mosheim

    Hi Ted, so sorry to hear that the rest day was too late … But so cool to see you in front of the peloton a couple of times! You’ll be back next year !!!! – just save some time for another NapaValley trip with us again this fall, we’ll sponsor on lobster rolls :-).

    Cheers from Vikingland & good luck with the chicks while recovering!

    Reply
  64. Beryle M

    You are such a fantastic writer! Thank you for providing the gruesome details that we all want to hear! You won the hearts of the world last year, and this year Phil and Bob kept us updated with your progress! I think you have more fans than anyone else in le Tour.
    Heal up quickly and I look forward to bringing you some goodies at Krempels Ride.

    Reply
  65. Zig

    Knowing that quitting is not a thread in your fabric, this must have been difficult to abandon. From the sounds and sights of it, it makes sense however. You’ve given a lot to Peter and the team as well as the rest of us who watch and cheer. You may not know, but you’ve been a breath of fresh air in the peloton as well as a blue collar hero for the journeyman cyclists. You are the kind of rider folks can get behind (its a good draft back there actually). So thanks for the big pulls at the front, for the time in the wind, for the time on the ground and getting back up again. We know you’ll be back and we’ll be here. Cheering.

    Reply
  66. Kevin C

    This experience will only make you a stronger rider in the future. Hope to see you again in Quebec in September.

    Reply
  67. Matthew Esselstrom

    You are only human Ted and you are not ashamed to admit it….and this is what all your fans love about you. Take care of yourself. :)

    Reply
  68. Eric Kearns

    Great write up. I’ve been following the Tour since Hinault’s 5th and I never tire of hearing stories from the men who are there experiencing it first hand. Thank you for the thoughts and keep your chin up! You have a lot of great rides ahead of you.

    Reply
  69. James Mc

    Well done Ted mate, great effort, really sounded like you went through the wringer! Gutted for you. I was more upset to see you leave the tour than old Froomey (I’m a Brit you see)

    Head to the beaches near Girona and I’m sure you’ll feel right in a few days!

    Wish you well!

    Reply
  70. Brij

    I’ll just add that you’re a great writer to boot. Hope you heal up quickly.

    Reply
  71. Glenn M

    You are my hero Ted! I know you’ll be back next year, stronger than ever. Ever since I inadvertantly took a KOM of yours in the Napa Valley: http://www.strava.com/segments/5794558, I would like to think that you were having an off day and will be back to slaughter that segment. Cheers from California (since you are choosing a California Grizzly and all as your spirit animal..lol)

    Reply
  72. Greg Martin

    Ted,

    At a time in American culture when every kid gets a trophy for just showing up and kids are protected from the slightest struggle, your effort and attitude are a great example. Life is hard. Cycling is a hard sport and builds not only grit, but antifragility as coined by Nicholas Taleb.

    Be well. Heal up. Go ride.

    Greg

    Reply
  73. Bambi

    I was heartbroken to see you’re out but I wanted you to know I’m proud of you and as hard as you fought. I hope this means I’ll get to see you in Utah in a few weeks!!!
    Rest up and get better
    The crazy Bonk Breaker lady in Utah!
    Bambi.

    Reply
  74. Racerx03

    Eat that lobster! It will help you regrow your claws, big meaty claws so you can crush it next year!

    Reply
  75. Eric

    Ted,

    It was painful to watch you struggling on the last day of your Tour. The way Phil and Bob Rolle were talking, I fully expected someone in the Medical car to step out and put you down like a lame dog ! I’ve been following you on Strava and I was sad to see you taken out by the Crashes and Weather during a bike race that resembled NASCARS Indy 500. I’ve never seen so many crashes in the Tour. Reading your blog has enlightened me on the perils of the TDF. While this event looks so Majestic and Mythical from my couch in Austin,Tx, it is apparently something way more harsher and crueler than I’ve imagined. I hope in the coming days as you “Scab Over” and begin the healing process, you realize how this Tour will fortify your resolve to “comeback and do it again”. What doesn’t kill you, can almost kill you….You lived to “Ride Again” ! So while you rest up and have some incredibly “Hot Chick or Chicks ” assist you with your recovery, remember us, the Weekend Warrior that will never ride on a Pro Team, Race in Europe, Pop Wheelies with Peter Sagan, ride up the Side of some far away mountain “we can’t pronounce any better than Bob Rolle” or crash on some insanely steep wet Euro farm to market Road. We live vicariously thru your cycling adventure and writings !

    ” Stay Thirsty My Friend”

    Reply
  76. Alex Paterson

    Sorry to see you go but glad you stayed in longer then last year. here’s to next year!

    Reply
  77. Jimbo

    Sorry to see you out of the tour, but there’s always the Vuelta! You shall be know as “El oso amantes de las niñas”. Heal up.

    Reply
  78. Todd Bradford

    Ted – You are a stud. I am sorry that your Tour has ended this way but you gave it everything you had…much more than any of us mortals could ever dream of. After last year’s technicality BS, it is a real bummer that timing wasn’t on your side again. If you could have some how made it to the rest day, maybe you could have completed the Tour. Either way, I hope to see you on a Pro Level team next year racing Amgen and the Tour. You are an inspiration to me and so many more.

    You did great at this year’s Tour. With better luck and a new team that values your abilities, I certainly hope to see you on the Tour roster next year. It will take some time to get used to your new team colors as the Cannondale Green has been made infamous by you and Peter Sagan leading the races and obliterating the peloton.

    Reply
  79. Dana Hunt

    Ted,

    Thank you for taking the time to blog and frame the realities of the brutal sport we all love. I’ve cycled for years; never experiencing anything like you have endured for many seasons…until, June 29, 2014. A large dog darted in front of me, I crash end-over-end at 22+ mph. Thankfully, I do not remember much. Now, loss of vision, short term memory, and a hefty dose of missing skin; I am healing and watching the Tour like never in my life. Thanks again, friend, for a piercing dose of reality. We love and support you. We pray for your speedy and total recovery.

    Reply
  80. Jeff Butterfield

    I have a friend who had the opportunity of a lifetime for a climber: a trip to the south col of Everest. When he arrived at basecamp he worked harder than anyone for his team, pushing the route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, humping load after load to the upper camps, doing anything to improve his team’s chance of success. I know this because the team’s leader told me.

    My friend did not have the resume of many of his more accomplished teammates, and for this reason he had decided that his work ethic would be above reproach–he would give all of himself for the cause, and in doing so, perhaps gain the notice of the team leader and be selected for a second or third string summit team.

    What my friend did not appreciate was that all of that toil was accruing into a massive deficit of fatigue and depletion that left him vulnerable if sickness or injury struck. If that happened, this terrible deficit would have to be repaid, a physiologically impossible feat over 5,500 meters.

    Cruelly, sickness visited. A small cough started, then quickly progressed to pneumonia; working harder would not help, there was no pushing through.

    His dream slipped away.

    He realized later that he could have saved something for himself, protected his own self-interest by holding back, conserving energy, giving less than 100% on the chance illness or injury conspired against him. He noticed that some others had adopted that approach. But this was not my friend’s nature.

    And I am now certain it is not yours, Ted.

    Jeff Butterfield
    Bar Harbor, Maine

    Reply
  81. Jerry

    Great write up. Keep on pissing excellence.

    Reply
  82. Tommy

    Way to go Teddy. Good in you, mate.

    Reply
  83. Douglas Perkins

    Bourbon will make those wounds feel better, and something over 100 proof might actually take the blood stains out of the sheets. It was exhilarating to see a Midd alum on the front of the bunch. A noble effort, indeed. Give a shout the next time you roll through Vermont.

    Reply
  84. Toby

    Sorry to see you pull out, was looking to see what the story was when I saw you X’d on the TDF site. Heal soon, I hope you can come back again for another go, you can get the luck you need!

    Reply
  85. AimeeK

    Thanks so much for sharing your daily insights on the tour, Ted. I’ve enjoyed watching the tour and checking out what you had to say after every stage. It was so cool to have a New Englander who is so proud and connected to his roots in the TDF. You are a fantastic cyclist and team player , and I wish you all the best – hope to see you back in Le Tour next year!

    Reply
  86. Gary

    Ted. You’re still tops in my book!
    Hope you feel better soon. Would like to do 100 on 100 with you someday.

    Reply
  87. njohn kayondurance-rewarded/

    You’re awesome Ted you humanize the blood sport of competition of Professional Cycling . Rarely have we commoners been granted such Access. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO TED you are a once in a lifetime ambassador to the sport. RIDE ON MY FRIEND !!!

    Reply
  88. Adam

    It’s a bummer you had to depart the Tour. I enjoyed watching you on the front of the peloton working for your team.

    Reply
  89. Jürgen

    Bummed about your crashes, but sending good thoughts and healing vibes from the SF Bay Area. Heal up quickly, and hope to see you out on the roads again soon (as well as next year’s TDF).

    -JSH

    Reply
  90. Markus Duffin

    Best wishes from all your friends in Mill Valley, CA. People will remember not how you went out, but how you recovered and came back for greatness! We all see it in you Ted. Chicks too.

    Reply
  91. Ken Seebeck

    You are truly an inspiration. Another year of dues paid and experience gained. Can’t wait to see you finish in Paris next year.

    Reply
  92. Diane Langlois

    I have had so much fun watching you…and your team in this year’s Tour. Once again this post has shown that you are wise well beyond your years. You are able to put things into perspective rather quickly. Until next year’s Tour and of course racing in the US this fall! I will be watching then as well! Rest, recover, and ride again.

    Reply
  93. Lori

    Santa Barbara is proud of our favorite Cannondale rider!

    Reply
  94. Ernie

    Good luck next time!

    Reply
  95. Shannon F

    Sorry to see you go. I’ll miss these entertaining post-stage reports this year. Looking forward to seeing you make it to Paris next year. Heal up!

    Reply
  96. Ken Pooley

    Coming back to New England is a great way to get re-centered, remember where you came from and why you do what you do…ride the Kanc, Dixville Notch…come ride the Maine coast…it is an amazing place to grow up, a great place to call home…it will all come back, you have time.

    Of course if you get bored, this weekend is Clam fest in Yarmouth, Maine..theres a bike race Sunday morning…its only 50 miles…its relatively flat…at sea level…there oxygen and everything. Just saying’ ( We ha

    Reply
  97. JGExeter

    Ted, Nice to see all these messages of support for you. Your fans are real fans!

    Reply
  98. John Stephens

    Ted, you don’t know me from Adam. I started following you last year. Nothing crazy. I just found your story about your parents missing your Tour debut compelling. So every time I check the Velonews I will look you up. Your recounting of the first 10 days was great. I could feel your pain as I read it. Like so many casual cycling fans, I never understood the motivation of the domestique. In the last few years as I have grown to love the sport, I have begun to appreciate the noble humility of the support rider. Best wishes in the future. You have my admiration.

    Reply
  99. Eric Hancock

    Well, Damn.

    Cruel, indeed. Cruel, hard, and worst of all, capricious.

    One foot to the left, or a few seconds faster, and you stay out of trouble. But find yourself on the wrong side of things and everything ends differently. As much as my heart aches on reading that you are leaving the tour, I can’t fathom your disappointment.

    I hope to see you back on the bike soon. I’ll be thinking of you as I swing a leg over my Cannondale tomorrow morning.

    Reply
  100. Fred Thomas

    Ted,
    You are destined for greater things!
    Fred

    Reply
  101. Martin

    Very positive/mature/inspiring/impressive/… perspective 24 hrs removed (i’d still be punching a wall or something myself). You’re the winner at the game of life. Godspeed on your business venture and on finding the future Mrs King!

    Reply
  102. velo

    Ted you do NH Proud- you will heal and be back in the fray soon!
    Before next years TDF we need to have a warm up and you can lead the team for the TD-New Hampshire- day 1 TT seacoast, day 2 race around Lake Winnipesaukee, day 3 North Conway Loop- final climb up MT Washington

    Reply
  103. Susan Ann Glass

    Surely an inspiration you are. I posted on my FB page a lot, but here’s what I said about you…” This is Cannondale’s TED King, (not to be confused with our own, local cyclist, Garmin’s BEN King) talking about what it’s like to be a “good” domestique on the Tour de France after he, too, quit the Tour after the 10th Stage.

    For those of you who think ALL of these young guys are a bunch of dopers or A-hats with super-duper powers able to climb up stupidly-high mountains in a single spin of their gears…read this account.

    They hurt and bleed (albeit a lot more than we do), just like us. This year’s Tour is showing the “agony of defeat” in a way we’ve never seen as a result of TV and the Internet. Maybe it’s time for some of the cynics to hold their comments. Let’s give a fair number of these guys the benefit if the doubt?

    As I see it here for Ted, the only failure would have been not starting and not living his dream…trying his best. He sounds like a good kid…like someone I live with and know all too well. Sometimes, valor comes from knowing your own sometimes very painful limits.”

    Reply
  104. Ron

    I hope I find the fortitude to work on something for ten years. I did it once, but I haven’t summoned the focus to do it again. Yet.

    You’ll rise again, Tedster!

    Heal up, enjoy the Spanish weather.

    Reply
  105. Eric and Laura Peet

    There is no doubt you put in every bit of everything you had/have in you to get to the Tour and put on the show that you did. You have tremendous waves of support behind you and we know you’ll be back to put on another great show next year. Thanks for the beautifully worded blog posts and we hope to see you in Maine soon!!!

    Reply
  106. Michael Gambill

    A magnificent expression of your experience. Bike riding for me is only, as you so eloquently said “a beautiful thing. Peaceful and serene, flowing and artistic, freeing and blissful, pedaling a bike over hill and dale is ethereal.” Your description of Le Tour gives this spectator an entirely fresh perspective. Much appreciated. I tip my hat to your tenacity and courage as well as your perceptiveness and sensitivity.

    Reply
  107. Brent

    Too many bikes on the road always contending for moving up in the peleton. Crashes are unavoidable given all the narrow roads, turnabouts, bad roads, so much rain in Europe. It seems something needs to change to make it safer on the roads. Fewer bikers? only allow three lines of bikers with following at least 1 tire length behind unless passing. Must pass without 10 seconds. I don’t have the answer, but, something needs to change. It is more dangerous than football for injuries.

    Reply
  108. Justin Connell

    Ted, you did us New Hampshirites (sp?) proud. Keep on keepin’ on….my favorite part of your blog was when you said, “Bike riding is a beautiful thing. Peaceful and serene, flowing and artistic, freeing and blissful, pedaling a bike over hill and dale is ethereal. Tack a number on your back, though, and bike racing is a bizarrely unnatural sport hinging so much on luck.” I love riding for the first reasons, but know the feeling of tacking on a number – then all bets are off. I can’t imagine doing what you have accomplished. I’ve been pulling for you, and continue to. You’re a hero to many!

    Reply
  109. Troy Braxton

    Hey Ted, sorry to hear about you having to abandon. Better luck ne,t year. I was reading through your posts and noticed the quality of your pictures and just got to wondering what type of camera or cameras you use.

    Reply
  110. David Loszewski

    Job well done Ted! I was hurting just watching the stages, definitely hardest looking tour I’ve seen in years. You do us proud!

    Reply
  111. Lisa Tarin

    So sorry for your exit. Thoroughly enjoyed your eloquent rendition of your experience.

    Reply
  112. Jfg

    First, we in the states love watching you race in the Tour. You have more loyal fans than you may know. That said, i feel your pain. Im an amatuer distance mtn bike racer, and granted no one is ever going to be foolish enough to hand me a pay check to race a bike…all that said, i work a second job to afford my bike to race and i have two small kids. Ive trained hard all year since last Sept for a race where i blew both tires on a fast decent. I feel your pain. Dont give up and remember, theres still nothing better than racing a bike for that adrenaline feeling. Keep up your spirits.

    Reply
  113. Aaron gallardo

    Great attitude and well done Ted. My son and I were cheering for you as you set tempo on the front. You should be very proud and my family wishes you the best. See you in so cal and of course, pedalers fork.

    Aaron Gallardo
    Woodland Hills CA

    Reply
  114. Scott

    The Asheville Crew is always rooting for you Ted! It was great to see you in the Big Show again this year breaking rock for Peter. Heal up and keep riding and writing.

    Reply
  115. Ken

    My three year old son and I cheered for you each day from horridly hot Austin TX. Your writing hits a chord for us amateur racers and peels back a layer of mystery surrounding the pro peloton. Thank you!

    Reply
  116. George B.

    Poured out some maple syrup when you went down. Hope to see you back in the TdF in 2015.

    Reply
  117. DG

    Ted –

    Thanks for bringing some humanity to this crazy spectacle!

    DG

    Reply
  118. Richard

    One thing that gets so easily over-looked by fans and team management alike is that the athlete is human. You are human too Ted, and you gave everything you could to the team and your goals. Though I know how hard it is to sleep with injuries, I hope you can rest easier as you realize what you have accomplished in such a punishing sport. Thanks for sharing your insights from the athlete’s perspective.

    Reply
  119. Becky Baumeister

    I’m still bummed I can’t give you a belated “I hope you feel better quickly” hug in October. An e-hug will have to suffice. It was great seeing you leading the charge in France, and you’ll be there again.

    Reply
  120. Fred Miller

    We’re not worthy, get better dude, see you next time!

    Reply
  121. Josh Saxe

    We’re proud of you here in VT. I’m sad to see you go, but proud to have watched you ride. You’re an inspiration to many around here.

    Reply
  122. Jeff Owen

    Ted, I’m a duffer in Santa Rosa, CA. I try to explain Cycling to those who don’t follow the sport or ride. I can see the confusion in my listener’s face. Yes, they have ridden a bike, but what you do is different. It is suffering. It is anguish. It is pain and mental determination, and shear physical attributes and hours training to get it all humming in a top performance at the right time. And through all of it there can be great joy. I only understand it to a much lesser degree. Riding draws me in. It is a kinetic, rhythmic effort I have only found on a bike that clears the head and strengthens the body. Kudos for being the only American on an almost entirely European team, far away from home. Kudos for riding the Tour. Heal. Rest. You have great fans. Kudos

    Reply
  123. Lynn J

    Beautifully written piece. Heal well and I hope to see you out on the road soon. It gets better, good luck.

    Reply
  124. Ed Medina

    I know what kind of beer you need to recover, Ted. You made me proud to be a New England cyclist.

    Reply
  125. Deborah

    Thanks for a colorful, well-written post, as well as for your work in this year’s Tour. I’m really sorry you weren’t able to finish. I hope you have a speedy recovery and are able to race to your heart’s content once you’re healed up.

    Reply
  126. Jean

    Geaux Ted, your determination is an inspiration. Have a speedy recovery and may the wind treat you well on your next ride. We will see you in the 2015 TDF. Great writing. Keep it up for “us” lemmings facing a desk everyday.

    Reply
  127. Sami

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse into the *real* pain cave / hurt box. Puts us weekend warriors in our place.

    Reply
  128. @myth1908

    this was a great read, ted, ted king. best of luck.

    Reply
  129. Ken

    Ted your first Tour ended on Stage 4. This one stage 10 – 2.5 times more. Keep this ratio going and next year you’ll make it to Paris! At least you don’t have any broken bones like Froome, Contador and a few others. Rest and heal then have a fantastic 2nd half of the season.

    Reply
  130. Mr.Q

    hi ted,

    this one is from cochin, india…a place far away from the racing circuits that is the world tour…hope you get back to your fighting form soon…and hope peter can finish his primary goal of the green jersey this TdF……and you are welcome to india any day…

    and i know for a metter of fact that you have the spirit of a phoenix…cheers , Q

    Reply
    • Andy Jeffery

      Hi Ted, I was really sorry to hear that you had to pull out of the tour. You were doing just fine but I guess the tumbles were just too much. Keep your chin up and head focused and you will be back better than before. On another note you were the first pro I followed on Strava when I started cycling this May and looking at your rides encouraged me to train hard, join a club and lose weight. Well two and a bit months later I’m two stone lighter and have fallen in love with cycling. That’s thanks to you! Thanks from Andy in Shropshire England and I look forward to watching you in your next race on tv

      Reply
  131. Eric

    Ted, sorry to hear you were forced to abandon the Tour. Your efforts to plug away and do your job despite the injuries and back luck you’ve been dealt the past two years is very inspirational. I really hope you get another crack at it next year and as they say, third time’s a charm.
    If you’re not racing then, hope to see you hanging out at the GMSR again.

    Reply
  132. Chris K.

    Ted, your talents on the bike and in writing are refreshing. I appreciate your ability to humanize the sport beyond the suffering and physical exertion on the bike – giving your readers a snapshot into all the work that keeps you guys going day after day is amazing. As an American temporarily living in Europe, I had the chance to see you guys finish stage 7 in Nancy. Seeing the spectacle of the TdF in person opened my eyes to exactly what you write about. Chapeau Ted! Looking forward to your next post.

    Reply
  133. Joe McLean

    Ted, you’re the Man! All of us here in South Burlington, VT, enjoyed following your progress this year, reading your insights, and cheering you on. Hope to see you on the roads of the Green Mountain State very soon!

    Reply
  134. Lee HodLee Hodsdonsdon

    Hi Ted,

    Well Green is at the front this morning, but it is not the same without you. I’m not yelling to my wife, “There is Ted, pulling the peloton again!”. A first class effort from a classy fellow. All the best for the remainder of your season and beyond. Your posts are eagerly anticipated and immediately devoured. Speaking of which, I checked the Lobster and they await your arrival back here in NH, or the coast of ME as you wish.

    Reply
  135. Recharge

    Most of us actually understand this “failure”. Nobody wins every race, and if they never lost, it wouldn’t be a challenge. But you can lose by 100 miles, 1 mm, or end in a crash. So, you belong in the peloton, and now you are a “multi-tour de france racer”. you can justify it anyway you want, but be proud you are in the top 0.01 percent. just take as much time off the bike as you can, recharge the mind, and then rock on. i stopped racing after the ambulance showed up at the crit 4 weeks in a row in my races. it took me 4 weeks to figure it out. haha. but i still ride all the time. anyhow, good luck.

    Reply
  136. David Balkin

    Come to the Portsmouth Crit on September 7 andadd another King to the winner’s list. Why should Robby get all the glory? The beauty of racing a bike is the personal courage that often is not reflected in the results. A DNF doesn’t begin to tell your story. Congratulations on being as good a man as any in a field of extraordinary men. You have lived a dream and it only gets better..

    Reply
  137. Ron

    Thanks for riding and writing. We’ll be watching for your future contributions in both endeavors.

    Reply
  138. Tom

    Ted,

    I was screaming your name at the top of Jenkins Road in Sheffield on Day 2. It was difficult to explain to other people around me, and perhaps would be to professionals like yourself, just what it meant for me to see the tour up close for the first time, after watching it religiously for the last 20 years (since I was 6).

    It was emotional. I lost my voice for a day after what can only have been 2 minutes of yelling.

    You guys embody raw strength, power, emotion and vulnerability in a way that most people cannot. We live your highs and lows with you from a distance, and use them as a way to put our own suffering and joy in perspective.

    That’s an amazing thing.

    Reply
  139. Kathy Rsybin

    Jenny just sent me this link. Sooo great to read all your thoughts and reflections. It’s a hard way to earn a living as Grampy would say!!! And we are all super proud of you. You left it all out there on the road, so to speak. Xo

    Reply
  140. Emsworth

    Get well soon! Thank you for your insight into the race. It truly is a brutal sport at the pro level.

    Reply
  141. Devin Yoder

    Hey Ted, I’m sorry for your mishaps and needing to abandon the TdF this year. I’m amazed by what our bodies can do, but also by how they can say when they’ve had enough! Hope you recover quickly and well, and hope to see you again at the US Pro Challenge next month. I enjoy your writing, and all the work you put in on the front of the peloton! Cheers

    Reply
  142. Geoffroy Stern

    TEDDDDDDDDYYYYYYY

    You are the man!

    I am confident that you will be back. Le Tour is no doubt a savage beast that can take years to tame, especially riding as you are tasked to for your mates.

    Heal up, go for some fun rides and we’ll see you back following that pedaling passion soon!

    #maplebaconpowered

    Reply
  143. Sherwood Cox

    Ted,

    I am sorry to have seen you had to withdraw. Crashes are no fun. I know, I crashed in a crit last month and though I got to the pit and got back in to finish 13th I was to sore and hurt to race the road race the next day. I follow you on Strava and with you a speedy recovery.

    peace,

    Sherwood

    Reply
  144. Don

    I’m sitting in the basement of my house in south western Ontario reading and reflecting on your blog comments. Before I read your comments, I was lamenting over my aches and pains the result of a weekend ride with a buddy. After your summary of events this week, I’m feeling rather sheepish about my self pity. Rarely to we weekend warriors get such a detailed insight into what is “Really’ going on day to day in the tour. Thank you but more important, we wish you a speedy recovery. You are a warrior and for that reason you will return to battle. In the meantime, enjoy my and your favorite pass time, eating lobster! Good recovery food! PS My home town is Halifax, Nova Scotia. Oh, Maple syrup Yummy….!

    Reply
  145. Toad

    Ted, thank you for doing what you do! Your humbleness is a true testament of your warrior “grizzly” spirit! Rest up, we will be calling again.

    Reply
  146. Jeff Seger

    Sorry that you had to abandon, but I don’t recall many tours with this many crashes and this many of the “strong men” out of the tour this early. You are definitely one of the strong men, and perhaps I’ll see you some time soon on one of my “Tour of the Berwicks” rides.

    Reply
  147. mtndruid

    hang in there grizzly guy! you are still light years ahead of 99.9% of us on the bike and an inspiration both as a cyclist and a personality.

    Reply
  148. Bill Mahoney

    Hi Ted. Sorry to hear you had to withdraw. The level of skill and determination you guys posses is pretty awesome to say the least. Look forward to seeing again next year in the TDF.
    Seacoast NH

    Reply
  149. Deb

    TK… you are funny, inspiring and a joy to follow… i’ll miss your Le Tour Strava posts… Have you tried Maple Syrup on wounds? Enjoy the R+R… and keep writing – your so good at it.

    Reply
  150. Graham Balmforth

    Your only defeated if dont come back!

    Reply
  151. Phil A

    I’ve been thinking over several days how to comment. I can’t pretend to understand the pain you must have been in force you to stop racing – nor can I appreciate the related disappointment. What I can appreciate is the grace with which you’ve handled it and communicated it to your fans. I appreciate the degree to which you open up your life to us through various media outlets, providing a unique “fortochka” into the world of a pro cyclist. You share your humor, insight and, yes, pain. Thank you for your hard work, best wishes for a speedy recovery, and good luck for the rest of the season. I look forward to the third time being the charm!

    Reply
  152. Kathryn

    I’ve missed cheering for you at the daily sign ons the past few mornings but the good news is now I feel less guilty about eating that other box of cookies I was planning to give you. Hope to catch you at GPCQM, if not sooner. I’ll bring the snacks, you bring the bike.

    Reply
  153. Karl

    Hang tough brother, you’ll be back.

    Reply
  154. @zac_in_ak

    I was SO excited when I heard you were on the tour this year. I sat and watched the tour. My wife laughed at me as I yelled “Go Ted” when I saw you on screen. My stomach dropped every time I saw a crash. When it was you in the crash I was hoping it didn’t throw a monkey wrench in the works. Sadly the tour has chewed you up and spit you out. At least you are in good company. I will be waiting for next year to see you shine and pull your captain along the French countryside. Heal up well physically and mentally and come back and allow me to once more yell at the TV while my wife laughs. Your riding and writing are always my favorite.

    Reply
  155. BH

    Midd grad who enjoyed watching your progress from afar. Heal fast, come back stronger. Nice work.

    Reply
  156. Jeff D

    #youareahero

    Reply
  157. Lonnie

    Congratulations on all of it Mr. King, the training, dedication, enthusiasm, rides, falls, ailments; they’re all pages in chapters. Keep writing.

    Reply
  158. Ken E

    Thank you for sharing the details of this blog entry. Very insightful, especially for weekend wannabes like me. Completing one stage of the TdF is a dream for a lot of people—a bucket-list item. And you did way more than that. You did a fantastic job while on the Tour this year. You’ll be back, stronger and more resilient than ever. All the best in what I hope is a speedy recovery.

    Reply
  159. Team Tilly

    Wow
    Middlebury should give you an honorary PhD for your amazingly articulate and grammatically inspiring writing.
    Oh, and we love your panache on that grizzly bear.
    Nedheads are proud of you.

    Reply
  160. Terry Cowman

    Ted – it was a treat to see what you look like from the front, as the moto’s had you in center frame – a huge shout from our rusty New England cycling group. Your attitude and humor are greatly appreciated, and we here are thrilled we sometimes get to ride the same roads as you do.

    Reply
  161. Charlie La Rosa

    I will, and I hope you will, remember the days of seeing you and the other lime green boys driving the peloton across England and France. I’m sure Peter S. has thanked you on many days. If not, let US know! You have a part of that green jersey. Impressive!

    Reply
  162. Rami

    King Ted of awesomeness, you showed up everyday ready to party, ride hard and build your own legend. Well done! Safe to assume Peter will be leading you out at the VT50? Dude owes you a couple pulls…

    Reply

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