1. Who nicknamed you “SIK MIK” and why are you called so?
I was first nicknamed “Sik Mik” when we were about 12 years old. The group of friends I rode with at the time called me that whenever I rode
something “crazy” haha.
2. How did you get into mountain biking and where did you initially think it was going to lead?
I began racing BMX when I was 6 years old. My first MTB experience was on a Christian MTB camp when I was about 12. I rode my BMX. I met a guy, Stephen Foley, who is about my age and he and his father took me to a few MTB races. They have a company called Dan’s Mountain Bike Tours here in Cairns so they allowed me to use one of their bikes.
I wasn’t sure where mountain biking would lead, but when I was 10 years old I was interviewed. They asked what I wanted to do when I grow up and I said I’m going to make money racing bikes.
3. What got you addicted to downhill biking? What makes it so special from the other categories?
There are lots of great things about downhill, but I would say the best part is the downhill culture. All the riders are friendly and adventurous. I love that I can go to Whistler and ride and have a lot of fun with all of my closest “rivals”. We all love to ride our bikes and be outside. We all race the clock and I see most of the racers genuinely happy for each other when we get good results.
4. What according to you is a good downhill mountain bike?
A Polygon ha ha! I do very much love my Polygon, but as long as the bike has good geometry, is the right size for you and has good brakes and suspension you will have lots of fun. My first DH was on a BMX and I had more fun than I’d ever had in my life so I think more than a good bike, you need a good attitude and downhill will be amazing!
5. Who has been your inspiration?
I have had a lot of different people inspire me. My dad has been my hero growing up. I am also a Christian and love all the heroes in the Bible!
There are also cool stories I see every day. People who don’t give up. They are the ones who inspire me.
6. What are the common misconceptions about downhill biking?
You guys are crazy!! haha. In the top 20 guys in the world, I think we are all afraid of heights. Some are afraid of flying. We all love going fast, but we generally don’t believe we are taking risks. We all basically only ride what we believe we are able to. I guess I can only speak for myself and from what I see and hear, but I know we’re not as crazy as people think. We all make mistakes, but to finish first you first have to finish.
7. Tell us something about your Team Hutchinson UR what makes it so special?
There are lots of cool things with our team, but the most important I believe is the passion that our team owner, Fabien Cousinie, has for us and for racing. I have had fun teams with passionate people in the past, but to have the big boss 100% behind us is awesome and I know it makes our team attractive.
8. What has been the best part of your career so far?
I have had great times and hard times throughout my career. I am in the best part of my career right now. I have been racing for a long time now. 24 years all up and 12 of those years on the world cup. I am riding well and enjoying myself at the moment, but the reason it’s the best time is that I have been learning to appreciate the life that I have.
I get to race my bike and explore the world for my job! I get to do that with my sister and share it also with my wife and when they’re old enough I hope to share it with my sons. So learning to appreciate all that each day has to offer is the best part of my career.
9. What are some of your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to getting on the podium?
One of my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses is my own mind. There are times when I am very happy and positive and confident and I ride really well. There are other times though that I am feeling down and tense on my bike and those times it’s hard to perform. There are other strengths and weaknesses that come and go as I learn and grow, but learning not to doubt myself has been the hardest.
10. What are some of the biggest hurdles you have overcome to get where you are and what are some of the challenges still ahead for 2014?
My biggest challenges have been questioning whether or not I should be living a “normal” life or not. It was the beginning of my contract with UR team that I had to really decide what I would do. I chose to trust that my riding is a gift and committed to the team.
Ever since then my riding has been more and more fun and more and more successful. My challenges for 2014 are to achieve the high goals that I have set for myself!
11. What is your offseason like?
The first part of my offseason is always trying to spend some quality time with my 2 sons Duke and Rowdy. I am starting to get into training earlier and earlier each year. I live in Colorado because that’s where the mother of my sons is from there. Around Christmas time I usually try to get back to Cairns, Australia to get time training in the summer leading up to the racing season. Each year is a little different so I just go with the flow as they say.
12. What advice would you give to anyone considering this career?
Any dream you have has to be believed in for it to come true. I remember telling people what I did and what I wanted to do when I was a young kid and having them just laugh at me or ignore me. It didn’t matter to me though for some reason. I have always been a bike rider. That’s what I do. It’s what God gave me to do in this life.
I remember getting into big trouble when I was 5 years old for jumping over two of my cousins on my bike. I don’t think it matters what your gift is. Whatever your gift is, whether it’s racing or science or teaching or anything else, it will take everything you have to reach excellence so if you don’t believe it’s you it will be impossible.
13. Tell us something about your sister Tracy Hannah?
It is amazing to have the opportunity to travel and ride with my sister!
She is a lot of fun to have around. She has a great sense of humour and
she also works very hard. I am excited to see what she can do in the
next few years now that she has pretty much recovered from her injuries!
Courtesy: Sik Mik Mick Hannah