Ted King Interview
We at the ECCC head offices recently caught up with ECCC alumnus and pro cyclist Ted King, of the Cervelo Test Team and asked him a few questions about racing, Europe and some fond memories.
Who are you?
“iamTedKing. No spaces.”
What are you doing these days?
“I just moved back to Boulder, CO literally a few hours ago. I’m getting back into training after a few weeks hitting my reset button. I’ll train here a bit, then likely ship off to California for a few weeks of better weather, then off to Europe in early 2010.”
Where are you from?
“Don’t end sentences with a preposition. Lest we forget, this is the ECCC – a group of cyclists in higher education. Anyways, I is from New Hampshire.”
What team did you race for in college, uh, I mean where’d you go to school?
“I went to the cycling powerhouse Middlebury College. On a good weekend, we’d bring a half dozen cyclists to a race in my day. On a less popular weekend, it was just me.”
Think back to the first time you shaved your legs. What kind of an experience was that for you?
“It was a rite of passage. I was in Boulder at the time, it was the fall of 2001 and I was thinking, “Alrighty, this is it! I’m going to be a reeeeal cyclist now.” Probably a good half hour later, I was silky and smooth.”
What is the leg-shaving routine like now?
“You serious? Take clothes off, get in shower, lather up, shave the legs. Pretty standard I think. Generally not more than once a week.”
Have you ever used fake tanner to give yourself an early season warm glow and essential tanlines?
“Ha, definitely not. I’m not a pretty boy. Never have I ever used fake tanner. I’m also not anal about my tanlines.”
Chamois Cream: Yes or no?
“I’m 50 – 50. If the circumstances require it, then yes. Depends on how the business is feeling on that particular day.”
To Embrocate or not to Emrbocate?
“I swear I just had to look up the word embrocation to know what you’re talking about. I know it’s a word affiliated with cycling, but now I know it means to moisturize. Yes, I enjoy a good embrocation after a fine shave.”
What’s playing on your iPod during warmup?
“I like music plenty, but I’m not very finicky about what’s playing. I usually just rock the shuffle setting. But if I really want to get G’ed up, then I play rap and hip hop and everything else that’s fitting to being young, male, and white.”
In Europe, have you ever seen anything riding that made you do a double take?
“A New York Yankees hat being worn by some Italian cheering on the side of the road on Mount Vezuvius. I hollered, ‘Yankees suck!’ He didn’t react at all. Clearly a fair weather fan.”
Do you have any fond memories of Mark Abramson (former ECCC Director and current USAC President)?
“Yup. Well, no specific memories of exact situations or meetings, but Mark is one of the greatest ambassadors for cycling in the country. He was always really nice to me, so he got a check-plus in my book. He did an amazing job at the ECCC and I trust he’s continuing to run the show with the same enthusiasm and panache. Mark rocks.”
When you were racing collegiate, was UVM still the social power-house and social annoyance that they are today?
“UVM’s antics are what make collegiate cycling hilarious and enjoyable. They were sort of my older brother, so to speak, as I was often the only person racing from Middlebury and they’re only 45 minutes north of me in Vermont. So we’d rock out, but I’d mostly just laugh from the sidelines. Yeah, UVM is good at bike racing, and good at entertaining the crowd.”
What is your favorite race?
“Given it’s stature among the races I’ve completed, I think I’d have to say the Giro. You can’t even wrap your head around three weeks of racing until you’re in the middle of it.”
Hypothetical: You’re the new ECCC conference director. What would be your first order of business with the conference?
“Geeze, that’s a toughie. I think collegiate cycling is instrumental in the growth of American cycling. It’s where I got into the sport and so many other of my good ol’ American colleagues. Sooooo maybe just marketing it stronger within schools themselves would be a good first step.”
Any general advice for all those future champions coming out of collegiate?
“Get your degree! Bike racing is so freaking awesome, but there are few guarantees in the sport. Finishing school is the best thing you can do. And ride your bike more.”
Where is the racing most fun? (USAC, Europe, Collegiate).
“From a pure fun standpoint, collegiate cycling is the bee’s knees.”
Anything Else you want to tell the fans?
“Collegiate cycling rocks. I’ve had a lot of people complain about getting into cycling too late to make any sort of career out of it. I retort that I didn’t do my first race until I was 20 years old. I don’t have any sort of endurance sport background – just cool American sports like hockey. Just ride your bike.”
Ted King is a Pro Cyclist for the Cervelo Test Team, his personal blog can be found at http://www.iamtedking.missingsaddle.com/.