“Hey man, you want to go ride with Ted King?” a friend recently asked.
“Um, no. No, I don’t,” I thought at first.
The dude is like nine feet tall, 122 pounds soaking wet, and a serious badass. All of which was confirmed late last week when it was announced Ted would continue his time as a World Tour rider on the newly formed Cannondale-Garmin team.
But then I realized, I’d probably never get the chance again, and that it would be fun to ask King some questions, so I eventually manned up, put on my kit, and went for the ride.
We met up on the final day of an inGamba bicycle trip that Ted was leading around Northern California. In real life it turns out he’s only 6’2″ and has to weigh at least a buck fifty. Plus, he’s seriously entertaining and has a vocabulary worthy of a Scrabble tournament.
It was a fun day in the saddle. The ride took us from Santa Rosa to Yountville and included a lung busting climb over Trinity Road. For lunch we ended up at Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega restaurant in Yountville (full disclosure: I had the beat salad, and it was amazing).
The night before, I’d worried about having to ask King the same boring ass questions he always gets about being a professional cyclist. So, in a moment of panic, I Googled “best questions to ask while speed dating.” What follows are Ted’s answers. Enjoy.
Three words your friends would use to describe you?
“Very. Most. Awesome.”
What is your spirit animal?
“The Liger” (from Napolean Dynamite).
Toilet paper, over or under?
(This question caused a fair bit of confusion with the men at the table) “Over.”
If you were a stalker, would you be really good at it?
“Yes, for the same reasons I think I would make a really good bank robber.”
What would be your chosen super power?
“I would like to be able to teleport. It would be so awesome. What is the best part of the airport? The First Class Lounge. I would just teleport into the lounge. I spend so much time traveling.”
One embarrassing thing you have only told your best friend?
“I got a blog. I tell all my embarrassing stories to everybody. It’s a very popular blog, I might add.”
What do you look for in a riding partner?
“Someone who does not half-wheel.”
Cat or Dog?
“Dog. Come on.”
What is the last album you downloaded?
Yellow or Pink?
“I like them both. I’ll go with pink.”
What television show are you addicted to”
“Sportscenter and Ridiculousness.”
Phil or Paul?
“Option three, Ringo.”
What do you do for fun?
“I speed date. I read, read and write. It’s not really collecting, but I am given a lot of maple syrup.”
What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
“Oh my. My humbleness. Is that a word?”
What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?
“I was on the running end of a hit and run that ended up at the police station. It’s not on my record. I was 18…Hmmmm, I loved college.”
What’s your worst habit?
“I’m something of stickler for grammar. The girls I’ve dated don’t like that. I’ve learned to stop doing it.”
Do you speak any other languages?
What’s your idea of the perfect relationship?
“One that involves a lot of patience, a lot of independance and a lot of telecommunication. Followed closely by her knowing she is going to support me when I retire.”
What’s your favorite cuisine?
“If maple syrup is a cuisine, let’s go with that. Maple Vinaigrette. Maple Bourbon. Maple syrup on your pancakes. Second to that, Catalonian is pretty killer.”
And finally, there were a lot of speed dating questions about sex. But we’ll keep those off the record.