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Vilibald Vítek - The newest member of the HF bike team

11/4/2023 | Horsefeathers / Renča

We are happy that our HF bike family is growing and that we can welcome a new addition to the team, Czech biker Vilibald Vítek. Vilibald started on a BMX bike and over time switched to MTB. He holds first place in both disciplines, he was the first Czech biker to do a double backflip on BMX and the first Czech biker to jump triple backflip on MTB as well. In the following interview you will find out how he managed to do that, what bike injuries he went through, and what awaits him this season. 

photo: David Zemánek

Vilibald, welcome to the HF bike team. How do you feel about this collaboration so far?

I see it as another opportunity and a step forward. It is also an honor for me, because the HF brand has been here for some time now and the entire HF bike team is full of legends and the best of the Czech scene. So I'm really happy to be a part of it, to be involved in joint projects and so on.

How and when did you get into riding?

It's been a very long time since I started riding a bike. I was about 15, I started on BMX and a year after that, I started competing in it. The results slowly improved, the first collaborations came, and I started to think that it would be possible to take it somewhere further. When I was 20, I switched to a bigger bike, an MTB, and that's when I knew that this was it, and that I just wanted to push it further.

What is your bike discipline?

I am dedicated to freestyle MTB and dabble a little in freeriding. I ride slopestyle on a 26" bike and for freeride I have another, slightly bigger bike. But I primarily do slopestyle and dirt jumps.

You mentioned that you have started on BMX, what led you to switch to MTB?

Already on BMX, I enjoyed the big jumps and tricks on them and it directed me towards the big bike. When I tried the first competition on an MTB bike, which I also won, I decided to stick with MTB.

Do you still go BMX riding or have you given it up completely?

I was very sorry that nobody rides that bike, so I sold it to a youngster in Jablonec, but now I'm moving to Prague, where there are a lot of street spots, so I am thinking about buying a BMX again, but let's see.

photo: David Zemánek

Where is your home spot? Where do you train most often?

When I'm in Jablonec, Sever Trails, which is being built by one of my best friends, Honza Kos, now we finally have it officially there, so it can be built there endlessly. And certainly the A51 Trails in Turnov. There is a forest full of jumps and it's absolutely great.

You were the first biker in the Czech Republic to jump on a BMX double backflip and a triple backflip on an MTB bike. Those are great firsts. Was it the goal, to jump in those specific disciplines, something that no one had done before?

No, it didn't matter that I wanted to be first. The double has always been a dream of mine because one of my favorite riders was famous for doing a double backflip. But I just said to myself, that I would like to do the trick one day and then it just kind of came. This was back in the days when we didn't have airbags, so I only tried it once in the molytan and then I went for it on a jump. I did it on a fourth try and I was super happy about it. And I did that triple at Richard Zelinka's Rich Paradise near Karlštejn, where he has his mega ramp. I saw a dude do a double on that big jump and he did it really slow. So I thought that it would be possible to do a triple there, and in a week I came and did the triple.

Was it the first and last time you did that triple or have you added it to your tricks and jumped it again?

No, I didn't add it, it was really just once. I did it and told myself that this is a trick I don't even want to jump anywhere, and that I won't try it again until I go into a quadruple backflip. We talked about the fact that if the landing shifted by about two meters, I would add one more paddle and keep it in that rotation, it would probably work.

photo: David Zemánek
photo: David Zemánek
photo: David Zemánek

The desire to ride again was greater than the injury, so I learned to ride with it.

And how about you and injuries? Can you tell us more about it?

The biggest injury was probably my knee, in which I had torn ligaments, all the tendons from the thigh muscles were torn, and the calf nerve was torn. And then it was classically some bones in the hand, both collarbones, shoulder blade, ribs, ankle.

Ufff, quite a decent collection. What were you doing when you injured your knee?

I tried Decade the 360. I did it on the second try and then when we were going to film it, it happened to me. And most importantly, the video didn't survive either, so unfortunately I don't have that either.

How long did the rocovery take then?

After a year and a half, I slowly started to ride, but it was only two years after the injury that I started to move my leg, in which I had the operation of the torn nerve. Until then, I couldn't move my instep upwards at all. I had my leg in one position, but I somehow learned to ride with it. I still don't have the same feeling in it as in my healthy leg, but the desire to ride again was greater, so I learned to ride with it. It's moving on 70% now, but I'm happy at least for that. I try to always be in shape, go to the gym and not stagnate.

photo: David Zemánek

What is your biggest achievement in bike so far?

I think that as far as competitions are concerned, my biggest success was probably winning Bike Fest Kálnica 2018, one of the world cup races.

Do you have any plans for this bike season?

There will certainly be some exhibitions, then a silver stop at the FMB Iron Jam competition in Ostravské Vítkovice. Furthermore, I would definitely like to go to the 10th annual JBC 4X Revelations here in Jablonec. I also have a video shoot planned with the Bikes on film production. I would like to make my own edit that would visually look like a skateboard edit from the 90s.

You also started freeskiing this season. Usually freeskiers and snowboarders, who have nothing to do in the summer, start riding bikes, and you're the opposite, you are a biker that started freeskiing.

I've been promising myself for a long time that I would start skiing because, as Tomáš Zejda says, it snows 9 months of the year in Jablonec. We always had a lot of snow and I have a lot of freeski friends. But the final push came from my girlfriend that skis, so I finally got them this winter too. And I managed to have some fun moments on them during the winter, so I would like to start the summer = bike and winter = freeski model.

photo: David Zemánek
photo: David Zemánek

How did you spend the winters when you weren't skiing? Classically, did you ride in bike halls like most bikers?

Yes, of course, every winter I was locked somewhere in the hall. At one time I even had my own hall where I had my airbag jump. I bought an airbag, but then I sold it because I found out during those two years, that I didn't like riding the same jump over and over again. One needs some variability in this.

Do you have a dream or goal related to bike?

I'd like to keep riding and enjoying it as much as I enjoy it now and to grow old on the bike. I hope that nothing happens that would make me be unable to ride anymore.

photo: David Zemánek

Do you have any favorite HF bike products?

Seeker jacket - The Seeker bike jacket is great both for riding a bike and for skiing in the winter haha, great fit and ideal for spring rains. Reverb Pants - I think every biker who has tried the Reverb pants doesn't want another. Stretch and water-repellent bike pants with a good fit that look like classic jeans and have style and functionality in one. Dough insulated shirt - I've always liked flannels and that's why when I saw the Dough insulated shirt, my heart skipped a beat. As a bonus, it is also water-repellent. What else could you wish for. Barry DWR sweatshirt - perfect for both the bike and the streets. It is wind resistant and has a pleasant fleece material inside. The thumb hole feature to keep the sleeve from rolling up under the next layer is the bomb!


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