A crown for Ted

In Honor of Ted KingI am not even an acquaintance of Ted King. I’ve met him a couple of times. Only once did I have a conversation with him. However, it was long enough for me to realize that I like him.

It was back in the final race of the USA Cycling Professional Championships in Greenville, SC. A friend of mine, who was also a friend of Ted’s, asked me if I would be willing to help out with the “Greenville Militia.” This was a group of volunteers who would be the support crew for Ted, Timmy Duggan and a couple other riders without team support for the race.

Timmy ended up winning the race. Unfortunately, I was not able to help the militia. I participated in the Stars and Stripes Challenge ride that morning and didn’t make it to the support spot in time. However, it did allow me to make it to the finish line to see the young rider win.

From that point on I followed Ted on social media and kept up with his progress as a rider. I enjoyed his cycling, but he is one of those characters that you find interesting even if he isn’t on the bicycle. He also quite regularly posted his ride files to Strava. This allowed me to get some insight into the ability it takes to be a pro cyclist. I appreciated that.

So, I was happy for him and looking forward to following him as he took part in his first Tour De France. If you are reading this blog, then you probably were following right along with me. You know the story of how and injured Ted King was cut from the race after missing the time cut (?) by seven seconds.

On Tuesday, I was pretty bummed about the whole thing. I decided to go out and blow off some steam. Just as Ted had gone out to attempt to participate in the Team Time Trial with his injuries knowing that it would be a challenge and painful, I decided to go out and give it a hard go to accomplish one of my most challenging Strava segments — Pait’s Place to Paris.

This is a seven mile ride from my home to the top of Paris Mountain.  I set a goal in June to make it to the top in under 30 minutes. My best ever time was 30:32 — and that was back in 2012. This year, my best time was 30:48.

The one issue with the segment is that it includes an intersection. It is just a few meters from the start. When I neared it this time, I saw I would get a red light. Knowing that would destroy any chance I had, I returned to the start and began again.

This time I hit the light perfectly. I was feeling pretty good and was letting out some frustration from the day. I reached the base of Paris Mountain in around 12 minutes. Though I was feeling winded from the push to that point, I was feeling pretty confident that I would make it to the top and reach my goal at best and get a PR at worse.

I tried not to look at the time and just ride as hard as I could up the grade. A couple of times, I felt the desire to let up. “Nope,” I thought to myself, “This is for Ted.” I kept it going and finally pushed the final meters to the line.

After pushing the lap button, I glanced down. Though my vision was a little blurred from sweat and my high heart rate, I could see 30:01. Could it be? Give or take a second or so, I could have reached my goal! Surely I had a PR and therefore a KOM on Strava.

I got home and uploaded the data to Strava. The page refreshed and I expected to see a notice that I had gotten an achievement. There was none.

Looking at the segment record, I saw that I was given the time of 31:28. What!?! How could that be?

I went back and followed my progress on the segment. Ahhhhh, that was the problem. Strava had counted my first attempt with its return to the start in the overall time.

Knowing how Strava has great personal customer support, I sent them the following email…

The Ride: http://app.strava.com/activities/64338433

The Segment: http://app.strava.com/activities/64338433#1220444745

The Request: Okay, so in honor of Ted King and his ride today in the Tour De France, I went out and pushed it on a segment on which I have come up short many times. Shortly after I started from the beginning of the segment, I came up on a traffic light. Seeing that I would get a red light and wanting to be safe, I stopped, turned around and went back to the beginning of the segment to start again.

From that point I can see I completed the segment in 30:15 (I got the green light). That would be my best ever time on the segment and only 15 seconds above my goal of 30:00. So, you can see that I was very disappointed to return and find that the segment was listed at 31:28. I wrongly assumed that the segment would start over if I returned back to the beginning and started again.

My request is to see if I can have the segment start from my second attempt rather than from the false start. If you wouldn’t normally do it for me, then do it for Ted!

Thanks for the great support you guys provide.

Within 24 hours, I received the reply…

And, also in honor of Ted King, here is your corrected segment time:


Strava Support Team

There it was… a crown. The “official” Strava time was 30:16. I wish the Tour De France officials were as willing to take a look at Ted’s situation as Strava customer support did for mine.

Liquigas teammates Ted King and Timmy Duggan share a laugh at the team introductions. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Liquigas teammates Ted King and Timmy Duggan share a laugh at the team introductions.
Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

So, Ted, that crown was for you. Already looking forward to seeing you in next year’s Tour. Right now I’m just looking forward to you getting back on the bike and joining us again on Strava.

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About Jonathan Pait

Jonathan started riding mountain bikes in the early 1990s. After discovering the ride can start at the end of his driveway, he moved to the road in 2006. Little did he know that first pedal stroke would lead him on an adventure that has become much larger than the bicycle.