Interview: The Alabama Slamma - Barry Nobles

Oct 9, 2013
by Dan Severson  
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Barry Nobles is a busy man. When he is not traveling the world racing BMX, you may spot him out ripping on his DH bike, boosting at the local dirt jumps, riding XC with Brian Lopes, or picking up a Stars-and-Stripes jersey on a special occasion. With his sights set on being part of the BMX Olympic team in 2016, you can be sure he will be training and riding hard for many years to come. Here's a glimpse into what makes him tick.

Date of Birth: December 2, 1986
Hometown: Wetumpka, Alabama
Residence: Menifee, California
Team/Sponsors: DK / Airborne Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, Fly Racing, Odi Grips, Profile Racing, and Vans
Plate #: 95
Instagram Handle: @barrynobles95

You just recently won your first national title in the dual slalom at the 2013 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships in Angel Fire, New Mexico. How was that experience? How was it coming straight off the BMX Worlds in New Zealand?
Winning that title was rad. I've gotten a few podiums in BMX and 4X but never the win. Leading into BMX worlds in New Zealand I had ticked all the boxes in training only to be taken out in the final while in second. Going straight home to Angel Fire I had a little extra drive for that jersey.

Is it tough transitioning between racing BMX to competing in a Dual Slalom event? What are the similarities?
Luckily I ride the BMX and 26" quite a bit so switching back and forth has been pretty easy.

You've also entered a few DH races lately. How's that going?
DH is always good. I have only raced a little. It's a good brain switch off for me really. Think I like just doing runs all day more than racing though.

Are you planning on making the switch to "full time" in either discipline?
Na, I don't think I'll ever make a full switch. BMX is always my love. I love riding MTB but it's more my relax/no stress time haha. If I could switch to anything I'd do slopestyle full time. I'd quit racing to go to rad contests all year.

What races can we expect to see you at in 2014?
2014 is when the Olympic chase starts again but I'm still going to try to make it to some. Right now I'm just planning Sea Otter and Crankworx.

How did you first get introduced to riding BMX?
Nothing special about that story. Three years old, my Dad took me to the BMX track in Montgomery, Alabama. Been on the bike ever since.

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue racing as a career?
From day one, I've been lucky enough to never have a job, so I guess when I was about 15-16 I just wanted to ride my bike and get the bills paid. Each year things get better and better.

What were some of the challenges and obstacles you have had to overcome to get to this point?
I'd probably only say injuries. I've always had great parents to help me reach my goals but blowing both my knees, both collar bones, wrist, ankle etc. After my second knee surgery the body started slowing down haha.

How do you deal with recovering and getting back on track?
I try to look at it as just another injury and I'm aiming for that light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very positive during injuries and I think it puts me back on the bike quicker than most.

How much time do you put into training, and what is your regular routine?
That's really all my day consists of. I just love training. Whether it's for riding or self benefit. Three days a week in the gym. About five days on the bike. Track, sprints, XC rides, trails, you name it.

What are some of the highlights in your career up to this point?

I'd say the biggest highlights are traveling the world riding a bike. I'm always trying to be a fan fave so seeing kids that are stoked to meet me or ride with me is more rewarding than anything. As far as results: one amateur world title, ABA Pro Cruiser title, National Champion, World Cup top 10, and US Olympic trials.

What goals do you have for the future? What boxes are left to check off?
There's always boxes to be checked haha. I want a rainbow jersey before I'm done. But long term goal is to be on the 2016 Olympic team in Rio.

When you're not traveling and racing, what type of riding do you prefer, and who do you normally ride with?
Trails all day! I'd probably say Derek Sipkoi is who I ride with the most. He has the same attitude I do. Just stoked to be on the bike and every jump needs to be bigger!

Off the bike, what other interest do you have?
Cruis'n the streets on my bobber or during the winter I spend a lot of time on the snowboard.

Tell us a bit about your motorcycle.
It's a Honda Rebel 450 completely redone into a low raw metal bobber. I try to get out as much as I can but there are not too many dudes to ride with. Marc Willers, another BMX'er has a bike and ODI mechanic John Hall has one too. Gwinny got a cafe racer but I can never get him to go ride anymore! *(Hope you're reading this AG).* Almost a crew. So anyone else out there in the Temecula area - let's ride!

Any fresh ink?
In the process of getting my whole leg done. Ankle to ass. Zombies and aliens haha.

How's your back yard pump track holding up?

Pump track is DIALED and fast but it never gets ridden enough! Too hot right now during the day so we try to get a solid hour in before the sun goes down. Tight, fast turns, and gap doubles. It's a big boy's pump track.

Which do you prefer? Full face or half shell?
Depends what I'm doing. I've always done half shell but now I try to just leave that for sprints. I've been in a full face for trails for a few months now.

Clips or flat pedals?
Flats! If I could race on flats I would. No chance of winning though nowadays without clips.

Race kit or tee shirt and jeans?
Race kit always. Keeping it as moto as I can get it. Always full kit at local practice.

Metal or Hip hop?
Hip hop.

Hat or beanie?
Snap back.

Slim fit or baggy pants?
Skinny jeans.

Mexican, Italian, or Thai food?
Thai food!

Coffee or tea?
Green tea daily.

Sports car or truck?
Sports car with a roof rack.

Last but not least, who would you like to thank?
Airborne Bicycles, DK Bicycles (same company), Maxxis tires, Fly Racing, Profile Racing, ODI Grips. These companies have had my back for so long! Mom and Dad for being great parents. James Herrera (my coach, homie) and all my fans!
Must Read This Week


  • + 8
 Probably will get buried but I will give it a shot. I have been a lurker here since I started getting into cycling (not to long ago) but I have submerged myself in as much of the culture as possible. Being a fellow Alabamian I want to learn more and elevate my game. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Best places to learn in Alabama?
  • + 3
 Also a fellow Alabamian, for a southern state you actually have a lot of great local trails. Coldwater Mountain in Anniston has two newer downhill trails, and Oak Mountain State Park has a fun flow trail and pump track.

and always a good resource on Alabama mountain biking:
  • + 3
 Definitely Chewacla State Park in Auburn, AL, C.A.M.P. has done an amazing job with the trails and some pretty awesome wooden features. We're on schedule to have a skills and dirt jump area by first quarter 2014, and a pending BMX Track. Stay up to date with the cycling community in the Auburn-Opelika Area by checking out or on Facebook at
  • + 1
 From: drjohn @throwawaybike, in Auburn we are in the process of building a skills are with dirt jumps, pumptrack and stuff... It all happens at Chewacla State Park. The parkranger is the raddest dude and let's us built everything we want since there is such an increase of visitors since we started building trails 2yrs ago.

I guess the easiest way to keep yourself updated is under or on fb
  • + 2
 @TownsendP & @The-mnt-life 365

Agreed, Chewacla trails are coming along great, I'm engaged to an AU grad and spend a lot of time down there, rode the new wall-ride and bridges a couple weeks back, keep up the good work!
  • + 2
 Thanks for the info guys. I have yet to do Anniston or Chewacla, cant wait to get down there tho!
  • + 1
 U could also come over here to georgia about an hour into ga u can find soap creek, rope mill, blankets creek, allatoona creek (my home trails if ur gonna come here let me know and we can meet up and ill show u around) and then u have the stuff up in the Appalachian mountains but that would be a hike and a half for u to drive (meaning it would be hella far like 2 and a half from me) (im about 45mins from the Georgia-Alabama border)
  • + 1
 Are those trails near the state line or like in between the line and ATL?
  • + 1
 Definately near the line!!!
  • + 1
 Well... They are both in between Atlanta and near the line...
  • + 3
 @throwawaybike, in Auburn we are in the process of building a skills are with dirt jumps, pumptrack and stuff... It all happens at Chewacla State Park. The parkranger is the raddest dude and let's us built everything we want since there is such an increase of visitors since we started building trails 2yrs ago.

I guess the easiest way to keep yourself updated is under or on fb
  • + 2
 There's a dual slalom championship? But there's no series.. Like UCI 4x World champs I guess.. This guy hauls butt on a bike. Kinda wish there was a US 4x series. The visiting BMX guys ALWAYS kept the full time mtber's on their toes, too bad most bmxer's rode a mountain bike for the first time in the parking lot the night before. UCI supercross and the Olympic bmx tracks aern't far off from where a good 4x track could or should be.
  • + 1
 Loving that backyard pump track! Good to see some other local spots up on here too. Good luck to ya Barry and if you want to go for a moto cruise hit me up on here and we can ride Palomar Mountain, Honda powerrrr!
  • + 4
 Great interview Dan! Barry seems like a rad guy to ride with for sure!
  • + 2
  • + 4
 Good to see Barry on PB!!
  • + 2
 Luckily I also ride the BMX and 26" quite a bit so switching back and forth has been pretty easy.
  • + 1
 I read that too! What a coincidence!
  • + 1
 I rode the pro Sea Otter pumptrack a couple years ago with him. He was super cool and I had no idea who he was at the time.
  • + 1
 All good mountain bikers move to Cali, unless they grew up in Utah or Vancouver.
  • + 1
 it's like the movie industry - they all moved to southern california for the relatively higher number of sunny days per year
  • + 1
 Awesome to see this! I was with Airborne in 2010 and I have to say they are a great bunch of people!
  • + 1
 Good read Barry. Keep it up!
  • + 1
 Well good luck with that good sir.
  • + 1
 A few of these jumps I live by haha
  • + 1
 Yeah dude! Represent!
  • + 1
 Yelawolf! here BAMA!
  • + 1
 I first introduced him to Yelawolf, when came to AZ for a bit! Haha

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2000 - 2018. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.032674
Mobile Version of Website