Carving out a Career with Tom Cardy

Styling up...

There's really very little that Tom Cardy can't do on a mountain bike. Hailing from Chelmsford, Tom is best known for styling up stunts on any one of his bikes and creating hypnotic content over on his YouTube channel where he's amassed a loyal legion of followers. We figured that there's no better time to have a catch up with Tom, who's been busy building bike obstacles in his back garden!

Tom Cardy MTB Freerider
Taking flights

So Tom, where did it all begin with riding bikes?

“My journey started back in around 2005, I would have been about 12 years old, and my first taste of biking was on family bike rides. One day, we ventured onto the local trails. There was always a small interest in tricks/skills because Dad rode motorcycle trials as a youngster, and this interest was passed on. Over time, this interest grew, and I was heavily inspired by magazines such as MBUK, DVDs and the Action Sports Tour shows. This influenced me to get my first mountain bike which was a Kona Scrap hardtail back in 2007!

Tom Cardy rides a wall parapet over a river.
Wall ride

By 2011, my riding progressed, and I started entering dirt jump competitions in the UK as well as creating videos to build an online presence. This ended up with me securing a spot on the Animal Action Sports Tour in 2014, the show I was inspired by almost ten years prior, which is where I would say my professional career began! I then focused on competing on the FMB World Tour for the next five years before focusing on social media, videos and riding a wider range of bikes and trails!

Tom Cardy climbs a steep rough trail on his Haibike ALLMTN 2.0 e-bike.
Rocky ascent

My inspiration for becoming a professional MTB rider comes from the love for riding, progression, creativity and inspiring others. As soon as I discovered that this could become a career, I worked even harder to ensure it would happen for me!”

Swatch Rocket...

And over the years of tricks, competition and tomfoolery, what's your best bike memory?

“My best bike memory would be between the first Action Sports Tour show I took part in, watching so many performances as a youngster, to find myself on the roll in was surreal. Competing in the Swatch Rocket air final for the first time was awesome too, I watched Sam Pilgrim ride this event lots growing up so to finish a top 10 here was amazing!”

Of course, this isn't how we anticipated the start of 2020 to pan out. Where are you spending lockdown and who are you with?

“I am at home in Essex with family. It's nice to spend some time at home for once, the past six years of my life have included a heavy travel schedule, but being so close to London, the terrain is quite flat and boring!”

Shoulder rehab...

Can you run me through what a typical day in lockdown looks like for you, and how are you finding it?

“I wake up around 9.00 to 9.30am and start off with some exercises, as I recently had left shoulder surgery. I then head out on the e-bike or play about on the little jump set-up in the garden combined with maintaining my bikes. Also, I am working with sponsors doing social media activities to keep busy and people entertained as well as creating as much content as possible still for my social channels! Most importantly having some time to myself, not stress, stay safe and take advantage of a slower-paced lifestyle because it will soon be hectic again

Tom Cardy at the dirt jumps with his Haibike ALLMTN 2.0 e-bike.
I've done all them, what's next?

My shoulder rehab is something I am putting lots of focus into. Social media is a 24 hour 7 day a week job, especially when working with brands, e-biking and my Xbox has been taking a hammering haha!

Tom Cardy gets some big air.
Is it a bird, is it a plane...

I'm just trying to keep busy, stay healthy and fit but most importantly taking the time to refresh and recover. Life is normally fast-paced, so it's important at times like this to take advantage of it, as opposed to looking at the negatives! You can find ways to improve your normal routine at the moment too!”

Eddy Current...

Out of all your bikes, which one is your favourite bike and why?

“It would be my Haibike ALLMTN 2.0 e-bike, which has 150mm travel and 27.5" wheels kitted out with Schwalbe Eddy Current 2.80 tyres, making this bike the dream! The ALLMTN 2.0 is closely followed by my downhill bike, which is set-up on a pair of Schwalbe Magic Mary tyres. All set-ups are now tubeless too because just before the lockdown I received Schwalbe's Tire Booster, which makes it easy to get rid of the tubes on the whole fleet!"

Find out what awesome antics Tom’s been getting up to by giving him a follow on Instagram, or by subscribing to his YouTube channel.

Words: Jess Strange - Velo Me | Images: HDCM, Kara Beal & Jack Cardy.