No, a Renaissance man is not a guy wearing tights and a ruffled shirt; it's someone who is accomplished and knowledgeable in a variety of activities—like BMX pro rider, Kevin Robinson, who's been pedaling his bike for more than 26 years. More than your average action sports junkie, Robinson is also a loving husband, caring father, amateur bodybuilder, country music singer, golfer, role model and entrepreneur.
STACK recently spent a day with this modern-day Renaissance man to see what life is like for someone who does it all.
STACK: What separates you from other BMX riders?
Kevin Robinson: My whole life has been about going left when everyone else is going right. A group of guys will all be riding; one person starts learning one trick, and then they all start working on it. I pride myself on the fact that when they're all doing [that one thing], I go and work on my own trick.
I really want to make the stuff I do unique. You see [the Double Flair] and think "Kevin Robinson," because that's a trick I came up with. I've done that with everything. With lifting weights, everyone was like, "You're lifting weights and ride bikes?" And I would be like, "Yeah." I just do my own thing, and I don't worry about [how] everybody else is judging me.
STACK: What type of bike do you ride and how do you like to set it up?
KR: I ride a Hoffman Condor [a purple one, courtesy of his daughter]. The bike is designed for vert. I run my bars the way I want to run my bars; I run my seat a little higher then everyone else; and I run about 120 psi, so the tires are really hard. I don't like my pedals spinning when I take my feet off, so I keep them kind of tight. There are always the little things that you like, like the way your brakes feel, that make your bike unique.
STACK: Action athletes aren't typically gym rats. How did you get involved in weight training?
KR: My [identical twin] brothers are into bodybuilding. Back in the day, it was a big Arnold [Schwarzenegger] era. They would always push me to start lifting weights, and [they told me] it would help with my bike riding. I never really listened to them. Then as time went on, as I got older, I started to notice that I was getting hurt all the time and [that I] started to break things every time I fell. I started working out, and all of a sudden I was noticing changes in riding my bike. I started getting more comfortable on my bike; I could control my bike better; I wasn't getting injured so often; I could take more of a hit. And when I would get injured, I noticed the recovery time was much shorter—[all by] working out and with proper nutrition.
STACK: So I heard you also sing country, another atypical BMXer activity.
KR: I sing country music—and I actually sing it well, I think. My favorite band is Pennywise, and I listen to rap, too. People always look at me like, "You sing country music?" I say, "Yep. Does it bother you?"
STACK: I've noticed that you're a big family man. How difficult is balancing family life with your line of work?
KR: The great thing about what I do is that we have an offseason. All winter long, I get to be home with my kids and play and hang out with them. It's tough having to travel and stuff, 'cause I have to leave them. I try to take them with me at times and share with them the experience.
STACK: Do you plan on hanging up the bike any time soon?
KR: Riding my bike is who I am; it's not a hobby. It's who I've been for almost 30 years, [and] I can't just stop being who I am. I'll always ride my bike—until the day I physically can't do it anymore. My body has been through a lot; but I'll continue to take care of myself working out hard, eating right and riding my bike.
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