If you’ve ever spent time with Ted King, there’s a type of surprise that he elicits, an almost startled quality that shifts from him to the people around him, an atmosphere that can best be summed up with a sincere question Can you believe how awesome all of this is?
It isn’t like Ted isn’t a participant in his life. Quite the contrary, the New England native took up cycling in college with a fervor, rising first through the national ranks and later as a European professional. That doesn’t happen by accident. But perhaps due to Ted’s late entry to the sport, or simply because of his approachable demeanor and genuine celebration in his own life, Ted has long been appreciative and it shows. There’s an unwillingness to take for granted the access cycling afforded Ted. Access to experience, to stories, to people and to a career. Furthermore, it’s what defines Ted’s next step, a year after retirement, the 2016 rookie season as a cyclist riding for stories, views and the personalities that come with pedaling, that make Ted a perfect collaborator.
“Up next is riding for the simple love of riding. As long as I’ve been a cyclist I’ve focused on racing, but cycling is so much bigger than that. I embraced the highs and lows, the intervals and rigors of racing and thankfully it was never tedious or rote as it often becomes for lots of professional cyclists. At the end of my racing career, I came to a crossroads — stay in the sport or chase a new aspect of life, and the truth is I still love riding. I enjoy the camaraderie, the freedom, the social empowerment, the euphoric highs, and the simple pleasures affiliated with a bike. So the coming year will see me doing a bit of everything on two wheels. Think pop-up rides, wild rides, big rides, camps, maybe a stab at Leadville, group rides, and everything else that’s great about the sport.”
Everything else includes feedback and design on behalf of Velocio. For the last three months, we’ve plied Ted’s considerable knowledge and gathered the same type of feedback that riders like Tayler Wiles, Tiffany Cromwell and Helen Wyman have lent us in our collaborations and growth. Like those riders who have long organized their life around cycling, Ted has been a friend to us since our start, “I’ve been very aware of Velocio throughout its young existence and the brand has stood out from the crowd from the beginning. There's bold styling, incredibly high quality materials, and the tremendous thought that goes into each piece, I’ve been eager to strike up a relationship as soon as I saw a few products and knew of their genesis. I’m thrilled that things worked out and I’m able to sport and support Velocio.”
Our partnership with Ted is timely, in part, due to our focus on extending the comfort and versatility of riding clothing, the push towards stories, experience and performance. Ted concurs, “The RECON Quilted Vest, for example, represents a change in cycling and really where I see the future of the sport. It’s functional, warm, and super comfortable as purely an athletic piece, yet it hinges from the realm of pure cycling and into that of the civilian real world. You can wear it on a chilly training ride, or wear it with jeans to the coffee shop and both are perfectly fitting. Then the RECON Wool Long Sleeve is just ridiculously comfortable. It leans more towards purely cycling, but still can be worn in public without shouting SPANDEX! at the world.”
We are grateful to have Ted join our group of advisors and supporters, grateful for a partnership that promises great stories, rides and inspiration in the coming year and beyond. We’re also grateful for the reminder to pause, whether mid-ride, or mid-design process and let ourselves be a little startled, to be a little surprised, if only for a minute, with how awesome it is to be organizing a life around cycling.