PAA Racer of the Month – Nick Humby

Nick

July / August 2014

Nick Humby, current PAA Vice President and Race Team Director is our Racer of the Month for July and August 2014. Nick put in some strong performances over the summer months with one win and three second places. We sat down with him to find out what makes him tick.
Nickname? I’ve never really had a nickname, but some of the team have started calling me “The Humbinator” just recently
Who/what inspired you to start cycling?

I’ve been riding so long now I’m not sure I remember exactly! When I was about 14 my friends and I started racing each other round the block and then someone suggested we join the local bike club and it all sort of blossomed from there.

First bike? My first “proper” racing bike was a Raleigh Team Replica. The classic 1980’s Red/Yellow/Black color scheme. Unfortunately it got stolen the first week I was at college. Fortunately I had been saving all summer to buy a new custom frame (a Condor made from Reynolds 531 Professional) and transfer the parts from it. When I got the insurance money, it enabled me to by a whole new groupset, so there was a happy ending to that saga.
Childhood hero? In cycling definitely Sean Kelly. I remember watching a documentary about him when I was about 16 and being amazed at how tough he was. Plus he could read a race so well.
What do you love most about cycling? So much…. The feeling of freedom; the excitement and the adrenaline rush of a fast downhill or sprint finish; the camaraderie and friendships you forge with fellow riders, the spectacle and atmosphere of a pro race; the mechanical efficiency of the bike; the fact that it is the ultimate green machine, the list is endless.
Favorite race? On a good year, I love watching the World Championships; however it can be a very frustrating race to watch if the circuit isn’t good. In that case it would be the Tour of Flanders.
Favorite ride? The best riding I have done was mountain biking at Glentress in Scotland. I went to Scotland for a riding weekend with one of my best friends a few years back and the weather was fantastic, the trails were awesome (the “Spooky Woods” section of the red route is unbelievably good) and the beer flowed! Around Pasadena I love going up the West Fork. The ride I organized for the club up there last year was so beautiful with the fall colors and great company.
How do you keep going when you are on the limit? When I’m training and I’m trying push out those intervals then it’s really just focusing on the end product – a fitter more competitive me. When I am racing then I just blank everything out become totally focused and I’ll try to be the one “who wants it more”. A little pain never hurt anyone!
Racing career highlight? I’m pretty stoked about being able to be competitive, and even occasionally win, against 20 somethings when I am 47.
Job away from cycling? Civil Engineer/Project Manager. Work bought me to LA where I am part of the team delivering the Purple Line Extension for Metro (the “Subway to the Sea”)
Other interests? My family, basketball, skiing. Contrary to what most people might think (being a Brit) I am not at all interested in soccer.
Favorite film? Is it wrong to say Caddyshack? I loved Bill Murray in that.
Favorite music? Modern Alternative. My favorite bands at the moment are Imagine Dragons, Biffy Clyro and The Neighbourhood. I also have a love of old school Reggae, in particular Ska (Lee “Skratch” Perry) and 1980’s style Dancehall.
Favorite food? My wife makes this awesome sausage pasta which I love. I’m also well known for being partial to Ham Cheese and Marmite sandwiches. Marmite is British and it’s a love it/hate it thing, I definitely love it.
Most famous person you’ve met? Well not met exactly, but I raced against Chris Boardman (Former yellow Jersey in Tour de France and multiple World and Olympic Champion) a few times when I was younger – we’re about the same age. He beat me…. easily.
Best Advice? “Treat others as you would expect to be treated yourself”, and cycling related – “To finish first, first you have to finish” which I believe is attributed to Bernard Hinault.
PAA’s Racer of the Month award is voted for by PAA’s racers.