“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.” -D. Bowie

But maybe not necessarily the kinds of changes Mr. Bowie was referring to.

No, these are changes of a much more personal nature, because of which I stand before you today with my head bowed in shame. For you see, on Tuesday I made the drastic decision to not only join a gym, but to carry on with two personal trainers (both of whom you’d want in your corner should you find yourself in a bar fight) named Dave and Jake.

This wasn’t an easy decision to make, due to a lifelong aversion to forms of static exercise of any kind. Looking at people running on treadmills within the fishbowl-like confines of a gym always showered me with a sense of supreme self satisfaction knowing that while they were inside literally spinning their wheels, I was spending my days outside actually doing something in order to maintain some form of fitness or another.

However, for a decade there has been an underlying uneasiness that I was doing myself more harm than good by engaging in just a single set of movements that would one day rear up and bite me on the ass.

As it turns out, that premonition was not entirely unfounded, now that I’ve been plagued with chronic shoulder and wrist issues for the better part of the last three years. Unlike the traditional gym rat, my end game is not to get ripped and stand in front of the full length mirrors admiring my form, but rather to develop a foundation of strength in the under utilized muscle groups that cycling doesn’t touch, and in doing so, to avoid further and/or future injuries.

Some of you all might recall this post when I visited Specialized Bicycles Morgan Hill World Headquarters for the HTC/Highroad elite cycling team’s official launch.

At one point (11:00 in the morning on day one to be exact), I made the following observation regarding an aspect of developing the team member’s skills to their optimum level;

11:00 Team P.T., Darcy Norman explains ‘core strength’, which much to my surprise is not an 80′s hardcore band from Boston.

He describes the method behind the FMS, or the ‘Functional Movement System’, which is a preliminary core strength test challenging neurological and physical abilities and connections, which was initially developed by two people named Greg Cook and Lee Burton.

I can’t shake the feeling that I would fail that test.

As it turned out, the FMS was the first thing I did with Dave in order to design the most efficient training regiment. Though I didn’t fail, and actually scored considerably higher in some of the test’s aspects than I thought I would, I still fell a few points below what would be ideal.

I still cringe at the idea of trading time on the bike for time in the gym studying form, and developing neglected muscle groups of my body, but I know that it’s a necessary evil and will only serve to benefit me in the long term and will ultimately make me a stronger cyclist.

Worst case scenario, I’ll look fantastic in my collection of tank tops, and Zubas which have been sitting in my basement gathering dust;

Now that I have uncloseted that particular skeleton, let’s get on with today’s business.

The most important bit of which is that a box of the Raleigh/Hodala/AHTBM arm warmers which I mentioned on Wednesday arrived at my house and are more stunning than I could have imagined;

If you would like to snag yourself a pair, and I recommend that you do, all you gotta do is go here.

These are guaranteed to take far less of a toll on your liver than their inspiration does.

While we’re on the topic of drunks on two wheels, Crandall from FBM Bikes came through with a kind request and some visual stimulation;

“All hail the rudy ray moore box set…

Here are 2 Videos, part 1 and 2 from our trip to Texas Toast, as well as a Least Most Photo Gallery of some of the riding, and a story,

If you could Pass some of this along, and share it, that would be very nice!

suede denim secret police.

thanks- Cran”

If there was ever a group who so brilliantly personified Hessian Obsession;

-It would be the FBM crew.

In news of bike people doing nice things for their community while at the same time enjoying some actual bikecycle riding, the do-good-nics from The Supermarket Sweep are up to their ways again this year with the seventh annual food drive/alleycat race;

For the third year (I think) I have scraped whatever kinds of goodies I could amass and sent them on in an effort to support the cause. If you enjoy riding bikecycles, doing good things for those in need, and being buried under cool prizes, save the date.

Lastly, I want to say thank you to any and all who have bought the AHTBM ‘Fucked Up’ shirts and in doing so helped out ace homie Chuey.

To date, we’ve contributed over $700.00 to his general fund. With lots more time left before the doors close on that page, and our benefit race gaining industry support faster than I can add their logos to the flyer;

-ensuring that Chuey is once again a free and happy man is most definatly a change I can get behind.

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19 Responses to ““Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.” -D. Bowie”

  1. Farzani November 16, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Bravo!! Writing as both a physical trainer and cyclist, I applaud your jumping ship to the dark side of functional movement screen and training your lacking parts.. Even here in the Holy Land of Flandriens, all the savvy have seen the light as well. Not only are we crushing them in the road, mud and sand, they’re getting one hell of a gun show too……….Let me know when you are ready for a posedown!

  2. hurltron 5000 November 16, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    next up we’ll see Weider Shakes in the Maximo Supremo column….

  3. Jeff McFarland November 16, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Your right nipple is strangely photogenic. I am disturbed by this revelation.

  4. Captain Penguin, PhD November 16, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I finally received my Bandit jersey today (I think yesterday, but I was out sick). When I returned to my classroom, there was a nice package. Opening it up there was the amazing swell of awesomeness and new wool. And now you bring out wizard staff arm warmers. You must stop doing this too me…

    P.S. Any chance your next jersey/full AHTBM kit will be wizard staff inspired?

  5. Johnny November 16, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Your arm warmer model kinda turns me on.

  6. El Gato November 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Dude, one of your trainers is a rugby player….those guys are cannibals! I know since I was once one too and am still choking on the wish bone of a small venezuelan ex-pat from a match in ’89. Beware, or they will be saying “Soylent Green is Stevil”.

    Also, if they use either of the terms “plank” or “burpee”, run like hell!

  7. sMiles November 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I played rugby in college. Well, it was really more of “drink beer and run into people” ball. You are in good hands.

    Any size descriptions on those arm warmers?

    • Stevil November 17, 2012 at 4:53 am #

      Besides small, medium, large and extra large you mean?

  8. ken November 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    welcome to getting old. Soon comes what I call sleep injuries. You get up and something just hurts for no reason. But you have the right idea fight it with all you got,

  9. Vaeringjar November 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    Fuck gyms. Took up rollerskiing after I read that it’s the sport of Varg Vikernes. Norway’s the teacher! Nøgne-Ø!

  10. Zharris November 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    DO crossfit. Working out is a waste of time and wont help you on the bike.

    • Stevil November 17, 2012 at 4:56 am #

      Again, I’m rehabilitating injuries, not ‘blasting abs’. This absolutely will help me on the bike, in that it will allow me to continue riding them.

      • Shari's November 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

        I know its scary but there is nothing you can do better than crossfit to develop core strength, functional fitness and engage underutilized muscle groups. Your trainers are pretty yummy though.

        • Zim November 19, 2012 at 11:34 am #

          If you want to wreck yourself and be injured on a consistent basis definitely join a crossfit gym.

          Crossfit is a sport, not a workout.

          • jay November 20, 2012 at 4:37 am #

            Awesome – thanks for validating every cyclist stereotype. To avoid injury, keep your feminine parts well protected and out of the way.

  11. tinytim November 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    I used to worry about not having good overall fitness. Too broke to buy into a gym membership, I find my self bench pressing soda kegs full of home brew, fighting my nephew (the guy is samoan I think), going to work on drivers who cross me with an original silca frame pump, and stirring spurtle (authentic scottish steel cut oat porridage) for the homeless and stray cats. Fuck, I’m sore already.

  12. bobo clown November 18, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Bravo. Consider adding yoga into your program. Increased flexibility helps prevent all sorts of injuries.

  13. ce November 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Soon you’ll need to have XXL arm warmers made to fit your guns.