Transplanting his life from the U.S. to Australia has not halted the career of Bennet Schwartz, freelance creative director. Instead, the life and career of Bennet Schwartz Sydney resident have gone from strength to strength since the 2019 move. Bennet Schwartz already feels at home in Sydney and continues to find success using the creative skills he developed in the U.S. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Bennet Schwartz Sydney creative director developed a strong reputation in the U.S. before moving to Australia. The competitive nature of Bennet Schwartz has taken him to Europe to compete in some of the world’s most dangerous brakeless bike races.
What is your hobby?
Competitive bicycle riding is my hobby, although I look at it as a lifestyle choice. I got my first bicycle as a child one Christmas and have ridden ever since. I love the feeling of freedom I get and the release of the stress associated with my job. As a teenager, I started to take cycling seriously and joined a club close to my parents’ home in Austin, Texas. In the last few years, I have pushed myself to take part in extreme races where brakes are not allowed. Taking part in the Red Hook Crit in Barcelona was the pinnacle of my cycling career.
How did you get started with this hobby?
When I was a teenager, I was already riding my bike for fun when I saw the highlights of the Tour de France on the TV. There was a U.S.-based team in the race who were doing well. I asked my parents for a jersey and a road-racing bicycle to try and emulate their achievements.
As for inspiration, I guess seeing world-class athletes ride their bikes was a huge inspiration. My competitive nature was always there without having an outlet when I was young. I had ridden bikes from being young without knowing I could race against kids my age and older.
Tell us what you love about your hobby.
When I was young, I loved the freedom and speed of pushing myself and my bike to their limits. Taking part in the Red Hook Crit was the culmination of my youthful exuberance for danger and speed. Recently, I’ve noticed my competitive nature is focused on work and not cycling. Moving to Australia was a stressful time with work and the pandemic making life difficult for everybody. I’ve been lucky to transfer my work here to Sydney with few problems. Cycling is my way of relieving stress and clearing my mind before a hard day of work. A friend of mine tried to introduce me to meditation, but cycling each morning does the same job of clearing my mind to prepare me for a busy day.
What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?
My equipment includes shoes, a helmet, and a static bike for days when I am stuck in my studio. It also includes different layers of clothing since you never know exactly how the weather will behave. Other equipments includes lights, first aid kits, reflectors, and a lot of other different things too.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?
I tend to look online because I know what I am looking for as a cycling enthusiast. For beginners, finding an independent store where the employees will guide you is a must.
How much money have you invested into this? How much would a beginner have to invest to get started?
I have invested a lot of money in my equipment, with my bicycle costing more than I care to remember. When I started, I didn’t buy a lot of expensive equipment until I was sure it was something I wanted to do. If somebody was starting their cycling career, I’d recommend buying a good bicycle because they change the way it feels to ride. A cycling club is a good option for advice on how to get into cycling.
Are there any good books for beginners?
I’ve been cycling for so long I’m out of the loop when it comes to books for beginners. For inspiration, “The Climb” by Chris Froome is a great book by the Tour de France winner. I enjoyed the story of Froome’s upbringing in Kenya where his cycling dream could have died because of a lack of interest in the sport in the nation.
Are there any online videos you recommend to help beginners?
Here are three good videos that will help any beginner cyclist:
How has your hobby changed your life?
The big thing is my health. If I do not ride for a few weeks I start to feel unhealthy and gain weight. I think my mental health has been helped by riding and getting rid of the stress that builds up in daily life.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
Ge out and ride. In the modern world, we tend to overthink things that are easy to start. Get a bike and start riding. You may find that it’s a sport you’re more into than you thought.