TWENTY & EIGHT QUESTIONS™ WITH NATHAN HAAS
You are from Brisbane, and you both enjoy and play music. Does this mean you feel shame or joy when confronted with the fact that the Bee Gees were, by and large, a product of Brisbane? So funny story, Somehow, somebody thought i’m from brisbane and posted it online. I have been plagued by this for years. It’s like a cancer. I treat it, and it grows back. maybe I should just accept it and move there?
Let’s set something straight, I might be ‘Kasual’ but I ain’t casual about where I come from. I am a CANBERRA BOY! I was born in Brisbane, but this false truth ends today! This is my forum now. Cycling Journalists read on and take note: I, Nathan Haas, on the 6th of March 2015 declare that I am in fact a Canberran. Done? Easy. Thanks guys.
Have you ever used the term “Bris Vegas” to refer to Brisbane, even if it was only as a joke? Tell the truth.
Brisvegas is a thing. It’s unfortunately become a city likened to Vegas yet it possesses none of the associated awesomeness. It manages to have all of the bad aspects of Vegas but none of the good shit, like Eiffel Tower Roller Coasters. I love Brisbane, but, and yes there is always a but, I guess I will always be a Sydney and Melbourne lover first. It would be hard for Brisbane to win me over.
Does anyone really call you Nate Dizzie? What’s up with that? What other nicknames do you have?
Yeah, Nate Dizzle was once a thing, evolved from Nate Dogg. After his passing I felt the nickname grew weary, hence the evolution to ‘Dizzle’. I have also been referred to as the “Hoff’ in certain circles, yet “Haas” seems to run strongest.
Why did you and your family live in Rome when you were a kid? Did you like living there back then? Did you ride a scooter? Do you ride a scooter now? What’s your favorite part about riding a scooter. What’s the best scooter ever made and why?
Yes, that is correct, I did in fact live in Rome when I was a wee kid. My father was an officer in the MFO (Multinational Force and Observers) peacekeeping effort in the Sinai Desert, so we lived in Rome as a little ex-pat Aussie family getting by on prosciutto and mozzarella. We didn’t have a scooter, we had a rad 1995 BMW 3 Series, in green and gold, I still remember it. I also still consider BMWs one of the only cars a gentleman should drive. That and the Aston-Martin, because I relate to James Bond. And yes, James Bond rides scooters, as do I. Best scooter ever would be the 1967 Vespa with foot brake and side mirrors in aquamarine blue. Does anybody have one similar for sale? I have heaps of ‘Kasual Klub’ socks to trade.
The Haas Effect, also known as the Precedence Effect, is a binaural psychoacoustic phenomenon whereby subjects perceive a single auditory image where two actually exist. If you could change the meaning of the term, into something related to you and the effect that you have on a room or a party when you arrive, what would it be? For example: The Haas Effect refers to how awesome a social gathering gets once Nathan Haas arrives.
I’ve learnt one thing in my time: don’t F with science.
Your last name means “hare”. Have you ever eaten hare? What about snake? What about Kangaroo? What about Alligator? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? What kinds of animals will kill you in Brisbane? Why do all the animals want to kill you in Australia. Are Australians tougher than say, Americans or Europeans?
I’ve eaten many things, but I’d say hare is about the strangest. In CANBERRA where I live we have four of the world’s 10 deadliest snakes. I hike in the bush for miles to find fishing spots and I’m always a little nervous about the old black snake. I’d say we (Australians) have a reputation for being tough, sure, but we don’t have bears or mountain lions. There are heaps of Australians telling survival stories, yet we hear almost none from North America, why? Because you don’t survive an encounter with a Mountain Lion.
You suffered from severe saddle sores during your first year as a pro, likely a subject you don’t love talking about. But please tell us what you’ve been able to do in order to keep the saddle sore monsters at bay, or at least in check, because some of us non-professionals have wrestled with this issue often.
I started showering, a lot. It turns out you shouldn’t sit around in your chamois for hours post-training. Seriously though, you just learn how to treat them when they arise and that’s that.
If someone tells you that you look like Elijah Wood, are you: a) offended, b) in agreement, c) indifferent. Do you like Elijah Wood? Do you like Hobbits? If you could be a character in Lord of the Rings (or the Hobbit) who would you be and why? Are you more of bow and arrow type dude, or sword? Would you rather be a hobbit or a dwarf?
I’d love to be Elijah’s stunt double actually. Also, as his doppelganger I take great pride in being mistaken for a citizen of Middle Earth. Always I’d choose hobbit, but to be frank, I’m no hero, I’m just here for those Dragon Fireworks.
Would you consider challenging Ben King to a fish-off? Understandably, there would have to be some specific parameters set, since you are a cod man, and he’s into bass. Please discuss.
We’d need to make this a thing. Is Manual for Speed keen to make this a thing? You can’t fight a man in his own waters, we need to go neutral. Iceland fish-off 2016!??!?!?!?
As far as bait goes, do you prefer lugworms, gulley worms, crab, or are you more of an artificial lure kind of guy?
Artificial lure—bait is for chumps. I tried my hand at fly but it’s a long game and it's taking some time to learn. I need to get old and wise before I can fish like a real man.”
Tell us about playing bike polo. Are your competitors expecting you to perform amazingly well since you ride a bike for a living? Did you, in fact, perform amazingly well? Does being a Pro World Tour athlete translate to bike polo? Are their positions in bike polo? What’s your favorite team sport to play? What’s your favorite team sport to watch?
I played in London last year and loved it. Great sport and the girls, balls out crazy tough. One girl fell down hard, blood gushing everywhere, and she shot up and was back in the game before I could administer first-aid. The blood for her was like fuel or a catalyst. Amazing. They were cool to me, they knew I was semi-precious cargo so no bulldozer hits. I wasn’t bad, I scored a few times but it’s not your usual bike skills kind of game. It’s a specialized sport.
What attracted you to philosophy as a field of study at the University of Sydney before you began racing professionally? Does the topic still hold your interest?
You sound like my dad. Yes, philosophy is absolutely still an interest of mine. It’s not an easy thing to explain clearly, but basically I feel like philosophy helps with learning and thinking.
You play the tenor saxophone, can you play the introduction to George Michael’s “Careless Whispers?” I believe that was done in an alto…but just in case you can, would you please share a video of you playing it with us?
I haven’t done a sax video yet, maybe that’s next. How about some Bob Mintzer?
Your taste in music spans from Parker and bebop, to Grover Washington Jr., who helped usher in what many refer to as “smooth jazz”. What attracts you to Washington’s music, and do you prefer his funk-era stuff to the smoother records he made?
Smooth? Like peanut butter?11Sidenote: MFS hopes this is obvious, but peanut butter should be CHUNKY, not smooth. I like peanut butter. But listen, peanut butter and jelly isn’t a thing in Australia. I don’t think I’ve ever had a PB&J sandwich. Can you make me one?
Your teammate Nate King also plays music, though he favors a different style of music altogether (namely bluegrass). Have you guys ever played together, or have you played with any other professional cyclists that we should know about?
The Ride Argyle Band is Zabriskie, myself and Jack Bauer. It’s a thing of legends. Hopefully, there is no record of it. We plan to have a reunion tour one day.
Do you still like the Big Bang Theory? What other TV shows do you like? Please tell us about what you watch and why, and maybe when and where you like to watch TV. Give us like, Nathan’s Guide to TV Watching.
Nathan’s Guide to watching TV in Spain:
Don’t actually learn Spanish and watch nothing but back to back episodes of Storage Bin Wars on Discovery.
There’s a weird dollar store in the Girona train station (when you walk in from the old side of town, you go to the left, on the first floor), which sells (even now) things like Spice Girls CD-ROMs, school binders with puppies on them, and Mr. Bean DVDs. Do you know the store I’m talking about, and have you ever bought anything there? If we asked you to, would you buy something from that store, sign it and mail it to us?
Hopefully I could find and purchase the entire Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper Collection? I’ve never bought anything from the Dollar Store in the Girona Train Station, as I prefer Euro Dollar a few blocks away for all my fake bling needs.
What do you look forward to doing the most back at home when the season ends? You know, when you get to go back to Bris Vegas.
Canberra! I’m from bloody Canberra! My family is in Canberra, the capital city. It’s a lot like DC, but with more prostitutes. I don’t know that from personal experience, to be clear. When I go home it’s mainly about seeing the family, fishing, and living life in perpetual summer.
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done on a bike? Like, ever. Like not necessarily while racing.
We’ve all crashed training, going slow, at inopportune times. Scariest is probably riding through London traffic.
What’s the strangest or most memorable conversation you’ve ever had in a Peloton? Tell us about it. You can leave names out if you need to. We get that.
What happens on tour stays on tour.
What’s the race you HAVE TO WIN.
Every single race. Or, Tour Down Under. And Amstel Gold. Those are the dreams.
Have you ever gone clubbing? What’s your relationship with clubbing? How do you feel about clubbing. Would you take Manual for Speed clubbing sometime in the future, like during the off season of course. Where would we go? What would we wear?
So a Seal walks into a club…
Did you know that Australians like to nap a lot? Is that ozone layer sunshine thing type deal? Do you nap like a typical Australian?
I nap like an octogenarian. I prefer two to three naps a day followed by overcooked unsalted vegetables.”
If we gave you 3k to spend on clothes, but you had to do it more or less all at once. Are you going shopping in the real world, or online. And what are you getting? Tell us all about it. Or are you like clothes are stupid, instead I’m going to spend it on ________________!
A lifetime supply of Axe/Lynx Body Spray!
First of all, you already know that we like you. So keep that in mind when you answer this question. What if we told you vibe like a dude that could get aggro real fast if the situation called for it. Like you’re funny. And you’re pretty chill. And everything is kinda all good most of the time right, but it seems like you could snap into some kinda killer mode in the blink of an eye. Is that true? And if it is true, is that a valuable tool when it comes to racing?
Yea, that’s kind of true. Mess with my friends/teammates and the Haas Hulk Hands might come out.
When you want to quit and you want to give up because its all too hard, why dont you?
My calf size would be unacceptable for any other profession. Im not sure they fit in business casual slacks.
Please share a pivotal moment in your career. Maybe it was something that when it happened was no big deal at all, but now, from this distance, it’s clear that it had some profound effect on you. Or maybe it was your first big win. Or signing with Garmin. It could be anything. We’re just looking for a key moment in your racing career.
Japan Cup 2011, the race that got me signed. It’s still my favourite race to go back to. But even the small failures are pivotal moments. Every race helps me grow, learn more, and improve. Being on the squad with Dan Martin for his two monument wins was incredible as well. It’s fantastic to be a part of those kind of key team moments.
After racing, what are you doing for work? Tell us about your future!
In my future I’d like my other half be the sole bread winner whilst I bread the sole I caught fishing.