Ted King Explores the Cascade MountainsJan Heine
“I’m going to be in Seattle,” said Ted King. “Let’s go for a ride!” Where do you take the ‘King of Gravel,’ the guy who’s won more gravel races than almost anybody else on the planet?
Earlier this year, we’ve introduced some of our favorite routes in our website, and I’ve been dreaming and scheming about the crown jewel of this collection: a multi-day bikepacking route in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. There were a few roads that I’d been wanting to check out to make sure they were rideable (or at least passable), so I asked Ted: “Are you down for a long day of passhunting?”
Ted was enthusiastic, and so we headed out last weekend for an epic day in the mountains. Riding with Ted is always fun. He’s an amazing cyclist (of course!), but also just a great guy. His interests range far and wide, he has a great sense of humor, and even on a 12-hour ride, we didn’t run out of topics for conversation—when we weren’t just breathing hard heading up yet another steep gravel mountain pass.
We found some roads washed out, a trail so incredibly rough that even Jeeps and dirt bikes avoided it, and a pass with blissfully smooth gravel that climbs the mountain slopes in beautiful switchbacks, shaded by trees that open up on breathtaking views of the Tahoma (Mount Rainier).
Ted was so inspired by our outing that he made a short video for his excellent ‘King of the Ride’ series. He’s not just an amazing cyclist, but also a great storyteller. He summed up the fun, challenge and beauty of this ride in a way that makes me want to go out and ride it again! Enjoy!