Getting to Know: Privateer of the Week from Wyn TV de La Thuile – Slawomir Lukasik
I’m a 28 year old guy living a dream life, lucky enough to do what I love.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I am from Poland and I live in a small town called Wieliczka (near Krakow).
How did you come to mountain biking?
I was maybe 12 when my neighbor took me near the woods where older guys are building trails. At the time, it was a good thing to do after school, I spent there every day. After some time and bike improvements it turned out to be very fast and did my first race on a hardtail at the time, placing third in the Elite at 16. Later I met some really great people who helped me get my first full suspension bike and compete in European races. Cycling was my passion and a way of life.
Who are you riding for?
Regarding bicycles, I am supported by NS Bikes, I also work with Polish distributor of Ohlins, Polish distributor of Maxxis tires, Leatt Poland brands and Galfer brakes. I am very grateful for all the support I get from each of them!
What bikes are you riding at the moment?
I ride NS Bikes Fuzz 29 ‘and NS Bikes Define 150 29’.
Do you have a job outside of mountain biking?
In the fall and spring, I take mountain biking lessons, last year when there were no races I also worked as a mountain bike teacher at youth camps. I try to put everything in place to train and ride as much as I can. It wouldn’t be that easy without my girlfriend as she runs our house on her own and helps me close the budget for the race.
What are your strong points?
I am really well trained, I feel comfortable on the climbs. I like technical slopes with roots, silt and rockeries. After years of experience, I am also good at tuning the bike properly.
Outside of horseback riding I would say my greatest strength is persistence – when I set a goal for myself, I will do anything to achieve it. I am very hardworking and put all my heart into what I do.
What are your weaknesses?
Long, steep sections are not my favorite.
Outside of horse riding my biggest weakness is chocolate for sure!
Was it difficult to switch from a team driver last year to a private driver this year?
I used to be a privateer, so I knew what was coming. There are a lot of things that are really difficult as a privateer, but it is also a position that gives you independence and freedom.
What are some issues that privateers face that people might not realize?
I think of all the hard work that comes apart from racing. It starts with the logistics before the race to find accommodation, set up transport, prepare the bike. It’s also all the work during the event, cycling, cooking, finding a place to park (it’s really hard on big events). It’s really difficult to make ends meet as a privateer, especially when I have to pay everything in euros.
How will the WynTV Privateer award help your run this year?
Of course, I will be able to travel for the next EWS races (Loundenvielle or Tweed Valley) because they are very far from Poland. It’s a huge amount of money, so I’m going to use it properly for riding and running more.
What has been your worst accident in years?
Fortunately, I didn’t have huge ones. I think the worst was the one right behind my house on the house trails. Thought I would go on my bike just for a few easy laps. I assumed nothing could surprise me, but unfortunately the routine caught up with me. I hit the tree with my shoulder, severely breaking my collarbone. After the operation and a few weeks of rehabilitation, everything was fine but the situation was really frustrating for me.
What is your greatest achievement?
The latest results at EWS are my personal bests. Other than that, I took 16th place in the Downhill World Cup in Lenzerheide in 2017.
What is your biggest regret?
I regret that I started running a little too late. I think if I had started earlier I would have done more. But I haven’t finished yet so I hope I will keep up the good work.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
My favorite place to ride is Schladming for sure! I love the trails and the scenery there. I have very good memories linked to this Austrian city.
What’s your favorite website for non-bikes?
What is your favorite motto or proverb?
It’s like that! I have learned to take life as it comes.
What makes you happy?
Do tricks ! I’m pretty straightforward because all I need to be happy is health, time on my bike and reaching my goals.
How do you want to be remembered?
Certainly as a good person. In sport, I would like us to remember a complete athlete who gives everything.
What future for Slawomir Lukasik?
I hope that I will keep my good results in Enduro and that I can then join a professional team. It would give me the opportunity to show everything I have. This is the goal for the near future.