by Stephanie Williams
Mountain biker Tom Cheesman is set to compete in his first world championships this month in Les Gets, France, and gave us the lowdown on this awesome step in his career before he left.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? When I was younger, we moved around a bit, but I mainly grew up in Wagga Wagga and Canberra before moving to Hobart, where I’ve been since 2010.
Tell us a little about your work? I currently work at MyRide Hobart, where I have been a bicycle mechanic for the past few years. Growing up learning to ride my bike I would often break it, so consequently I decided to learn how to fix it, which is how I got into it. I’m very lucky to work here as my boss is supportive of my riding goals and allows me to have flexible working hours around training and racing. I’m also currently working on a leadership and management course through work. My favourite jobs to do would have to be custom building a bike from the frame up or building the latest bike and learning about the new system designs. I’m working towards making riding a full time gig one day.
You’re about to compete in the World Championships. Is this your first time? Yes, I’m very excited to head over to Europe again with the Australian Cycling Team.
What does this mean for your career? It gives me a great opportunity and experience to race against the best riders in the world. It should help prepare me for racing in the elite category as this is my last year in U23. It’s a big step up to race in the elite category but I’m looking forward to putting in the work to make it there.
Where are your favourite trails? My favourite trail in Hobart is definitely Drops Track in South Hobart. In Tassie, my favourite is Shear Pin/23 Stitches in Derby. If we’re talking anywhere in the world, it would have to be the Race Circuit in Nova Mesto. All the features together make it challenging and a lot of fun to race on.
What do you love doing outside work? Apart from riding, I have a passion for driving and working on cars, so I spend spare time working on projects. Catching up with friends and heading out for a meal or walk is also always nice.
Who do you admire? I admire other cyclists who have achieved a lot in the sport, like Nathan Earle, Nicole Frain and Sam Fox. I admire the hard working habits they put in everyday to achieve their goals. They may not be the most famous cyclists (yet!) but having personally seen them work through the processes and achieve great results is admirable to me and motivates me to do the same.
Favourite podcast or tv show? Favourite would probably fall to Rick and Morty, but I can always rely on Big Bang Theory to give me a chuckle if I need something to watch.
Secret vice? Maybe not a secret to those who know me, but I don’t mind a coffee (or a few). Might not help myself having a café at work and now a new coffee machine at home. I have to remind myself not to have them too late in the day so I can get rest.
What are you reading now? I don’t often sit down to read, but when I do it it’s usually training articles shared by my coach or The Mountain Bikers Training Bible as I find a lot of the information relevant.
What gets your goat? When someone eats the food I was saving!
What was your first job? My first ever job was working at Anaconda where I mainly worked in the bike department when I was 15.
What are your daily news/social media habits? I’m usually checking up on racing results. Lately the Tour De France has been taking up most of the space.
Your favourite place (in Hobart) for…
Breakfast: Audrey Coffee.
Lunch: Kurukuru Ramen Shop.
Dinner: Local Pizza.
Favourite team? Jumbo Visma. I admire their sportsmanship, camaraderie and impressive athletes.
Favourite Hobart secret? The Arm End near Opossum Bay is one of my favourite spots. It’s usually quiet, wide open and a nice walk around with a view of Hobart.
Parting words? Success is peace of mind in knowing you’ve done your best.