Results for

The 2017 Amateur Animal Cycling Krew Winter Training

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In the heart of this year’s brutal, tempestuous winter, the Amateur Animal Cycling Krew’s founders met IRL to discuss the Krew’s charter, purpose and future. And to discuss how best to educate, elucidate and expound on that which is the blog’s purview. Such as Winter Training techniques. Within seconds on that first morning, right out of the gate, it was (painfully) clear that while the Cheetah, Wolf and Eagle are united in their unyielding commitment to the study, proliferation and dissemination of Animal values, all three hold strikingly different opinions about everything including, but not limited to, smoothie recipes, the value and scientific properties of popcorn, where and when to do a Plank Rotisserie, and how best to train in the winter when it’s raining and cold out. For example, while all three founders agree that an unwavering commitment to training throughout the winter months is a requirement for early season racing, they couldn’t agree AT ALL on which method is best, which style is the most effective, and what type of training will yield the best results.


While some may see their differences as problematic, as evidence that AACK is without consensus, unity and a cohesive vision, others (like yourself, obviously) will see that this difference—like many, if not all, of their differences—simply illustrates and illuminates the purity of their commitment to the Animal Spirit. This is how it’s done in the Animal Kingdom: your way or the highway, dog eat dog, do or die. Mano y mano, y mano.


In fact, it was this first deep divide that led to the inaugural Knife Fight. On the heels of that contentious debate it was quickly decided the founders would put their monies where their mouths were and race each other at Tulsa Tough. To better understand what went down, how it went down, when it went down, and what it means now that it all went down, here is an enumerated timeline-diagram:


  • A 300 dollar per-person bet, winner take all ($900.00), was made and committed to.
  • Each founder committed to a specific and different approach to winter training.
  • A demonstration and diagram of each founder’s Training Method (see below) was conceived and executed.
  • All three founders agreed to compete that week in the first-ever cross-state Body By Pete competition. The competition was held in the pre-dawn hours of a Thursday morning at Grant High School at NE Thompson and NE 33rd. The BBP competition was led and judged by Willie McBride of Wy’East Wolf Pack. The results were inconclusive (see video below).
  • Each founder weighed-in to establish a pre-training baseline weight, because everyone knows that the lighter you are and the more unhealthy you look, the better your power-to-weight ratio is and the more superior you are at racing.
  • The founders agreed that whoever threw the most punches and won the Knife Fight would also win the right to decide which method of winter training is the most effective and the right to say as much in public, published form on the AACK blog. Because thats how (anthropomorphic) Science works.









“There is no superior form of riding your bicycle in an effort to prepare for battle than the utilization of a trainer in conjunction with the feedback of a program such as TrainerRoad. Nothing else develops discipline and mental strength as the consistent focus required to maintain specific, prescribed cadences and wattages throughout a session. It’s the essence of training, nothing else. You and the effort. Pure. Cycling. Training. This is the Ivan Drago Approach11WITHOUT the needles! to racing a bicycle, and despite what the fairy tale ending of a Cold War era feel-good sequel of a sequel of a sequel would like to tell you, the approach is simply better. Want to spend hours on your bicycle rolling around the countryside talking to your friends and looking at pretty sights? Then by all means, go do your group rides and spend half your time coasting, rolling down hills, waiting for your buddy to catch up, or stopping for and Instagramming your coffee. Might as well go golfing. Want to impress your friends by riding the cycling equivalent of a mechanical bull a’la Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy (“Get off that bull, Sissy!”)? Then get some rollers and be sure your health insurance premiums are paid so that you’re covered when you break your arm in the doorway you’re using to hold yourself up. Otherwise, get a trainer, quit whining and do the work.”



Let’s be clear that Chris is the only doctor in the bunch. In real life he’s saving lives; mentally and emotionally he helps people to help themselves be better versions of themselves. He helps people. That aside, Chris also applies the methodical mind of a doctor to his training regime. Out on the course it might be about metaphorically jamming a metaphorical knife into the very real eye of a teammate or some random tanned-up Zone Three Bro, but in the garage, during the cold winter tempest that bludgeons Oklahoma, Chris is all Regimen & Reason. Trainer, heart rate monitor, and a one-piece speed suit. As a psychologist, Chris knows that it’s all a mental game, and that means dressing fast and acting smart every time he gets on a bicycle. EVERY TIME!

Winter Weigh-In



“If you have to ride indoors due to terrible conditions which could elicit the onset of illness, rollers are the only true form of indoor cycle training. They force you to adopt one of the most important qualities in road riding: perfect seated form—an essential component to producing smooth, fluid power for hours when the race is lined out. On the drums your core is engaged the entire time which is key, but what truly separates the traditional roller workout from the asinine and juvenile trainers and the new generation of faux-rollers that swivel around and sport rollerblade wheel bumpers is the constant focus and determination required to not to get ejected by the Kreitler… this true mind control is critical when driving through corners at full speed fifty-five minutes deep into a sixty minute criterium. Why wouldn’t you practice that at home?”

—The Eagle


When you set out to be a champion you emulate a champion. And who’s more of a champion than Eddy Merckx? If you answered NO ONE, you’d be right. How did Eddy train in the depths of winter? He hit the rollers. Just look at the loft on that cap! The meticulously rolled towel hanging around his neck. These are subtle hints, but to the knowing observer they are an indication that Patrick has gone through uncountable hours of training, of practice and focus. Those who know can clearly see that the man is emulating greatness, and in doing so channels the greatness himself!

Winter Weigh-In



“This one time in the early ’90s I woke up on Steve Smith’s sofa in his living room. He lived in a retail space somewhere on Telegraph Ave in Oakland. We were out late the night before drinking and smoking and talking about single speed mountain bikes, because yeah, single speed mountain bikes were very important in the ’90s. Anyway, I woke up, on this beautiful and sunny Sunday, to the sound of Steve’s roommate shooting off the back of his rollers during an early-morning workout. After shooting off the side of his rollers, he knocked over a coffee table and landed on his ass, basically all the way inside a (now-broken) television set. He was bleeding and not laughing, it was tragic. I’ve tried rollers several times over the years since. A) I sorta, but don’t totally, get how dude almost killed himself using rollers in the middle of regular household furniture; B) I can’t shake the feeling that rollers are a pathetic if not anemic and pointless form of training. They just don’t cut it as a substitute/facsimile for riding and training.


“And trainers? Yea, trainers are great for Spin Class and/or any of the many more modern-but-no-less-embarrassing forms of Spin Class. Cycling is an interactive sport. It requires handling and reaction time and, if done properly, even road cycling is about finding and working a line. Professionally speaking, when it comes to racing, the sport is all but devoid of style and self-expression so yeah, dude, training in the winter should be safe from micro gains and body hacking. Also I worry about indoor trainer types when they get reintroduced into the wild. They become habituated and unsuited to a whole host of real world concerns like weather, wind, traffic, etc. Bottomline, cycling is an outdoor sport. Dungeons & Dragons and laundry are indoor sports. And while proficiency in both will make you a a better, more well-rounded member of society, neither will help you in a Knife Fight.”



Fact? Reason? Precedent? All traps, roadblocks, barricades between a racer and 100% intuitive training. Daniel doesn’t believe in garages, he doesn’t believe in sheds. His intuition heeds the call of the wild. His intuition recognizes that preparing yourself by facing the bitter challenges of nature will only make you stronger. He sees himself as Rocky in Rocky IV, the luddite using crude and blunt techniques to train—not to prove a point but because because he understands that the crude effects of these barbaric methods build something more important than physical muscle: racing character. They build the ability to shirk off knife jabs, the ability to drag a team of tempo riders around the course from gun to checkered flag, the ability to withstand fusillade after fusillade of predictable team attacks. Daniel plans to become a man of iron forged by the biting cold of winter. Forged on real roads and frozen concrete. And he plans to let the rest of the field break themselves against his cold-forged will.


Winter Weigh-In
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