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Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Updated: July 28, 12:52 PM ET
Hot Pursuits: Robinson

By Alyssa Roenigk

Kevin Robinson is a perfectionist. He wasn't born a gifted athlete. He was born a dedicated one. When he graduated high school, he weighed 120 pounds and was good on a bike. So he put on 45 pounds of muscle and put himself on a strict diet. Now he's one of the best in the world. "When Kevin makes the bed, he gives 110 percent," his wife Robin says. "Don't even look for a crease." Kevin enters karaoke competitions. He wins. He goes bowling with friends. He brings his own ball. Last summer, he took fifth in his first bodybuilding contest. This year, he wants first.

Tuesday, July 6. It's a bluebird day in State College, PA, as we open the front door of the Robinson house to find Kevin and his wife Robin unwinding from the Fourth of July weekend. The happy couple is expecting their first child the first week of August. They're having a girl. "I just hope I don't have her during the X Games," Robin says. "I hope she waits until Kevin gets home."

8:30 a.m. Kevin's in the kitchen preparing his first of three daily MetRx shakes. Kevin eats no junk food, nothing with a shelf life, no condiments and uses no dressing on his salad. He's allergic to poultry, so he eats a ton of tuna, red meat and fish. He says the strict diet, coupled with his workout regime, makes him stronger and better able to muscle the bike around. He recovers more quickly after rides and suffers fewer injuries than he did when he weighed 160 instead of his current 200.

9 a.m. Kevin pulls up to East Coast Health and Fitness Club, a five-minute ride from his house. Arms are on today's schedule. He stretches briefly, then heads to the weight tree and grabs three 45-pound plates to load onto his lap for dips. He stops to chat briefly with the other guests. They all know him. He's obviously a regular.
Back at the gym for some biceps curls. Does this guy ever sleep?
Last summer, Kevin began training for bodybuilding contests. He took third in the novice light heavyweight division at the 2003 Mr. Natural Philadelphia Bodybuilding Championships, the first contest he entered. He finished fifth in the open light heavyweight division.

Combining bodybuilding with bike riding has been tough. "The dieting, not drinking water before a comp, it's tough on your body," says Kevin, who even has a cat named Arnold. For his birthday last year, his brother bought him a sword used in the first Conan movie. "I think it was a stand-in sword," he says.

11 a.m. Kevin's in the garage toolin' around with his 2002 Harley Fat Boy. A patriotic guy, he drove his bike to Steel City Customs in Jonestown, PA, to have it painted red, white and blue. His golf clubs sit in the corner, covered with flag-print club covers; a flag towel hangs from the bag. Kevin designed a custom suede flag seat cover to complete his ride. You get the feeling you should salute his garage.

11:30 a.m. Kevin pulls the Fat Boy out of the driveway and begins the half-hour ride to Woodward.
Kevin with the over-the-light-guy, between-the-camera-men flair.
12 p.m. We find Kevin where he is most at home, on the vert ramp at Woodward. Today, he's tackling the 13-foot outdoor ramp, built in 1997. On days when the temp is pushing 90, as it is today, he usually sticks to riding Cloud 9, the 13 1/2-foot indoor ramp built last year. He rides five days a week for three hours a day. "I did five when I was a kid, but I can't ride that long anymore," Kevin says. "Riding vert is like doing wind sprints. I don't need to do much more cardio."

When he's finished riding, Kevin descends the ramp to find 30 kids waiting for his autograph. He's a celebrity around here. "I usually warm up for an hour riding with the kids," Kevin says. "I like to help them out whenever I can."

Kevin grabs a golf cart, changes out of his riding gear and drives around Woodward saying hello to the staff. He detours the cart to chat with Tom Stober, his riding buddy and workout partner and the best man at his wedding.

4 p.m. Robin and Kevin relax in their homemade karaoke lounge. Both are Rhode Island transplants and they re-met two years ago. "We'd known of each other for 15 years, but he's six years older than me so we missed each other in school," Robin says. They ran into each other at a restaurant in Providence and hit it off. Their love connection? Karaoke. "I could never get my friends to go with me," says Robin, a former gymnast and gymnastics instructor in State College. "He had the same problem." Their duo was complete.

Kevin is one of seven children and Robin has an extremely large extended family. "Tons of aunts and uncles," she says. So when they got married, the couple wanted to avoid the hassle of a big wedding and flew to the Dominican Republic. They invited only close friends and family, and 75 folks showed up for their January 17, 2004 ceremony. Robin officially became Robin Robinson. Save it. She's heard them all.
Just a normal day at the Robinson residence in State College, PA. My, what the neighbors must think.
5 p.m. Robin joins her husband onstage for a duet. Their downstairs lounge features a dartboard, Pictionary board, Red Bull tables and Target bar stools. Kevin also custom-built a karaoke stage. Think lighted floor, hanging TV, karaoke machine, speakers and mic stand. Any chance to sing, Kevin grabs it faster than he spins a 540.

Kevin, who also writes music, is a country boy. (But was born in the suburbs of Providence.) His granddad was a country music singer and his sister sings country. His mom's family is from Georgia, which explains the country fix. Last week, Kevin flew to Nashville to audition for Michael Duncan, the president of Capital Records. "It was stressful," he says. "I walk in, he says, 'Sing.' I sing."

7 p.m. Growing up, Kevin worked at his brother Kenny's upholstery shop and picked up a few tricks of the trade. Now, he sews to unwind. He picked up a 1996 Singer sewing machine for $700, built a table for it and designs custom motorcycle seats as a hobby. His local shop and close friends keep him busy. "I guess this is his hobby between 1 a.m. and 3," Robin says. "I don't know how he finds time for all the things he does."

8 p.m. Kevin's in town, the couple has the night off from responsibility, so they're getting ready to go out with friends. "I think we'll go to the movies," Kevin says. Sometimes they go bowling. Kevin, of course, brings his own ball. Robin sold hers two weeks ago in a garage sale. Eight months pregnant, and she can still swing a strike now and then. "I played golf last week," she says. "I think pregnancy improved my game. I'm not trying to kill the ball, so my swing is so much better."