Ted Jennings

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Each week I bring a new cyclist to this forum, each has their own unique story to tell. I feel privileged that some RotW riders open up and provide a story that I just wasn’t  prepared for.

Today’s rider is one of those riders. He has suffered some pretty extreme setbacks, but been able to bounce out the other side with his humanity intact and a great positive attitude that is a lesson for us all.

I’m sure you’ve seen him riding the hills around Adelaide in his distinctive Treat Yourself kit.  Teddles is another one of those characters that you feel the better for knowing, something that if you haven’t already realised by now, the cycling community has more than their fair share of  top geezers.

 

This is Teds story.

I have been cycling since I was 7, I started riding my older sisters big red 80’s girls bike around the front yard and my folks bought me a Silver Speedwell BMX later that year. Only living just around the corner from primary school, I was never allowed to ride to school, which pained me immensely!

Have been cycling my whole life, mostly commuting, often socializing and very occasionally racing (quite possibly the greatest way to ruin a good ride IMAO!). I have three kid’s ages 8-13 and they all ride to and from school, shops, park, adventures, and city. My eldest Kate has been picked up with the SASI TID (Talent identification development program) which is tops, I can now live vicariously through her and hopefully she can progress, but who knows with 13 year old girls, next week she might want something else.

 

Only my close friends and acquaintances know that in 2009 I had a bullshit motor bike crash which landed me in hospital for an extended amount of time recovering from fractured 2/3 cervical, most ribs on my left side, collar bone and scapular. Recovered fairly well but worse was to come. Was back at work working as a nurse, when I woke up one night to my new born baby girl, walked into my lounge room with her and had a cardiac arrest, was taken to the RAH by ambulance and had another more serious arrest (was dead for a little while) which lead to an extended stay in the Hampstead rehabilitation centre. My lengthy rehabilitation lasted from mid December to mid February when I was discharged. During my rehabilitation, I had my drivers license and  Nurses registration cancelled, my wife left me and kicked me out of my home, and was told to give up downhill mountain biking. So I moved back in with my parents for many months rehabilitation. One great day an occupational therapist came round to see if I could ride a bike and after two sessions I was allowed to ride a bike AGAIN!!!!

That was my ‘First day of the rest of my life’ moment, and I started to stop feeling sorry for myself and gave up smoking (which is a bullshit tough thing to do, but I’d recommend it to everyone who smokes). I slowly started to better myself through exercise and being a painfully positive person (sometimes).

I met a girl who rode a road bike, and I thought that was pretty cool, so I bought a $50 2nd hand eBay bike, rode it for a bit and thought it was a bit lame, rode up the old freeway but turned around when I got to the kennels thinking this was bullshit hard.

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I’ve always liked my Cannondale’s, so I bought CAAD 10 105 road bike and that changed everything (almost as much as when I discovered chamois cream!) all of a sudden riding the old freeway wasn’t the painful nightmare! Shit got really serious when I discovered STRAVA. The competitive idiot in me awoke and it was game on.

Through Adelaide cyclists I’ve met some pretty rad folks on rides and it kinda exploded from there. My great friend Lorraine probably still remembers me turning up in board shorts and short socks to a WOMGiE ride (but we weren’t friends then). These days we can happily ride 100’s of kilometres and never seem to get bored or pissed off at each other. She also joined me recently in the fractured cervical club, but we don’t talk about that. No point talking the shit times in your life when you got 1000’s of good/amazing times to talk about!

I’m not really sure about these ‘dream’ bikes everyone keeps talking about, I figure the best bike is the one you are riding (beats catching the bus with all the sick, gross, bikeless folk.)

My favourite kit is my ‘Treat yourself’ kit by Fiasco Ciclismo, a cool bespoke brand and if Tom is reading this, I hope you’ve got another gaudy kit coming this summer!

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Love my caps too, love coming home after 100-150kms during summer leaving the cap out overnight and seeing all your salt in it the next day, yes gross AF but I like it.

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My household has 20 odd bikes between us, my missus Alice has 4, each kid has one or two.

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My go to bike for hills is a Cannondale EVO, with compacts and a 32 tooth on the rear, I’m so stocked that the 32t is no longer frowned upon these days. I have a Norco CX for an occasional race but more for exploring with the lads, if you haven’t converted to tubeless, what are you waiting for??

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Have Giant 29er which I picked up 2nd hand, was a little cautious as Dave Edwards had previously used it for an Everest but he’s a good lad and wouldn’t sell a lemon.

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My Fixie is my fun commuter these days until I get my project CAAD 5 set up how I want it. I think being able to ride fixed gear is very important, it forces you to re-think how traffic moves in the city(s), when not being able to rely on front and rear brakes. You soon learn how to blend into traffic (apart from F**king Taxis which are a F**king law unto themselves! They have only themselves to blame for also being currently destroyed by UBER, why would you want to get into a foul smelling hybrid and listen to a radio in all sorts of langauges when you can catch an Uber, pay half as much and be offered mints/water and be greeted with friendly conversation?)

Biggest lie I’ve ever told/tell; “I’ll be home by ….……”! Rides always take longer, then there’s coffee or if the ride finishes after midday (or close to) it’s beer!

Living in Glenside I cannot go past the Red Berry Café for my post ride coffee’s, Arkaba cellars if after midday, they’ve always got the Pirate life IPA for $10, that’s an awesome price for hoppy mouthful of beer.

 

I buy my coffee beans from Simply Coffee on Rundle st, seriously Peter knows his shit when it comes to bean roasting and his wife and Sally there are the most beautiful people, if you haven’t been there before I’d suggest popping in and saying hello, if the whole world had the attitude of these guys, there wouldn’t be any wars/crises etc etc. Favorite post ride recovery food is a Large AB from Yannis yiros on the Parade, hot chips covered in lamb and chicken, layered in garlic, tomato and bbq sauce (I also go for a large splash of hot chilli).

When I travel interstate I use a Brisbane outdoors bike bag, best bit is that when you build your bike back up at the airport, you can attach the bag to your backpack and ride to your next destination! I’m also one of those people who catch a plane with EVERYTHING in my carry-on. Pro-tip; Smile, be super polite with excellent grammar and wear a nice aftershave and they wont ask the weigh your carry on.

Next pro tip; wear a beard, the money you save on sunscreen is amazing! During summer too when it fills up with sweat it acts like an evaporative air-conditioner 😉 At tour time I’m constantly having the Pro’s telling me they’ve just had to shave to go racing, it just seems silly to me. One day I’ll discover a pretty gnarly tan line on my face when I shave it off.

My favorite holiday destination is Cairns, similar to Radelaide but their coffee is crap, their beer is like water, you cannot get a AB or good metwurst but the lifestyle is amazing, so laid back, nothing runs on time but everything gets done.

Do not have any real stand out books on cycling, the plethora of information on the internet is amazing, short sharp article by the Hells mob, Lavociita, Wednsday legs (shameless I know), blog/vlogs is stunning and it seems more relevant to me.

When I’m not riding my other loves are Cacti growing and collecting, Chilli growing and eating, I like to grow the worlds hottest and see if I can hold it down, the Carolina Reaper was brutal this year, fist bump to @Jho who ate one with me and went through the 12 layers of Hell with me, awesome work Josh. (Eds note – The Carolina Reaper is officially the Worlds Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Records. There is nothing normal about this pepper. It was bred for heat and that it is, with an average SHU of over 1.5 million and peaks at 2.2 Million SHU!)

STFU!

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I like to run a couple of marathons every year (yes I know, almost sacrilegious) on track to run 1300 kilometres this year which will be a personal best!

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Shout outs to all the Rad cycling folks who I ride or have once ridden with, the friendships, the laughs, the bad jokes, the pain, the beers, the stories, the adventures it has certainly been amazing! Adelaide’s cycling community is certainly very special!

Ted (Teddles).

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You can catch more of Ted here

https://www.strava.com/athletes/983732

here

https://www.instagram.com/teddlesdisfixie/

and here

https://twitter.com/TeddlesDisFixie

Thanks Ted, remind me not to eat one of your curries! Thanks for opening up and providing us with an insight into your cycling life.

Oh, and I’m also led to believe he is known to do the odd shoe-ee

 

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Cheers.

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