The Californian

Sam Hummel is riding high

Haia Haidari, Sports Editor

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Senior Sam Hummel seems to have his future planned out and is working his way up as a professional hillclimb motocross bike rider. 

Hillclimbing is done with off road motorcycles that go up a steep hill battling the clock to get to the top. 

“I love the sport because there’s nothing else that gives me the rush I get from riding and I have met so many good friends,” said Hummel. 

Hummel has traveled across the country and has beat professional riders including multiple world and national championship winner Travis Whitlock. 

Hummel is currently one of two riders on Team Peterson that is owned by Kerry Peterson, who has won multiple national and world championships and has one of the best hillclimb teams in the United States. 

In addition to riding with Team Peterson, Hummel is sponsored by Unlimited Motorsports, Thumper Racing, 6D Helmets, Canvas MX, Lucas Oil, Renegade Racing Fuels, Renthal, BTR Moto, Fastway, Warp 9, Malcolm Smith Motorsports, Race Tech, Yoshimura, RP4, Hinson, and more. 

“Motocross is one of the most physically demanding sports,” said Hummel. 

The courses can be over a thousand feet long of rough and ungroomed terrain. The riders take on their powerful bikes to fight against time or distance  looking to pass through gates along the track.  

“A lot of people don’t know how fast the bikes are, some even have more horsepower than cars,” said senior Trevor Thom.

  Thom and Hummel often ride their bikes together and have been to multiple races. Thom believes Hummel’s experience and continuous practice makes him so good at his sport. 

Despite the challenges of the sport, Hummel enjoys the family aspect of it and connecting with all the other riders. Hummel has made numerous friends through the sport and continues to hold on to those bonds.

Hummel said he has been riding since the age of two and continues to be inspired by his father, Mark Hummel. He finds his drive to continue to succeed in the sport from the excitement of winning and pushes to be the best rider he can. 

“I think his passion for the sport and his work ethic make him so good,” said senior Zoey Greenwood. “He has natural talent, but he’s never satisfied with just being good, he wants to be great. He doesn’t give up and always tries to improve.” 

Hummel has a strong passion for the sport which was demonstrated last year when he broke his femur in a biking accident. This did not stop his desire to continue and is now on the bike working his way to a championship.

“The best part is when you are standing on the top step of the podium after you won the race in front of everyone,” said Hummel. 

He enjoys the hard work paying off and the feeling on top of the podium that pushes him to get on top again. 

“I love to see him so proud after all the work he has put in,” said Greenwood, who has traveled across the country with Hummel and loves watching him perform. 

The sport has allowed him to travel to Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and New York. 

“The most interesting experience is when I went pro and traveled to the races and kids would come up to me and ask me for my autograph which is just surreal to me because I used to be that kid and I’m just a normal guy but they look up to me,” said Hummel.

Hummel hopes to win a championship soon and plans to keep racing professionally.

“He can win a championship,” said Thom.  His friends all believe he can make it to the top and are excited to see what the future holds for him. 

“He is a pro now,” said senior Miles Higgins. “He will go pretty far because he is so young right now.”

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Sam Hummel is riding high