One of the legends of mountain biking's golden era.

Libor Karas is seen here bouncing on his front wheel on the edge of a cliff in 1994. Photo by John Ker/Mountain Bike Action


Libor Karas came to the U.S. from the Czech Republic in 1993. He had recently won a trials world championship, and he came to make his mark on the sport in the U.S. He ended up liking the U.S. so much that he decided to stay here.
We found the above picture from 1994 in our photo files and decided to see if we could find out what Libor was doing these days. We phoned Hans Rey, who used to do trials events with Libor, and asked Hans if he knew where Libor was now.


Hans told us that the last time he talked to him, Libor was married and owned a horse farm somewhere near New York.

We tracked him down and he sounded a lot like he did 30 years ago, although he does speak English a lot better now.

Libor told us about how he came to the U.S. in 1993, when he was 21.

Thanks to his persistence, he was able to convince the higher-ups at Cannondale to sponsor him, after he performed a show in front of the entire Cannondale office staff on a beautiful winter Friday afternoon in 1993.

He told us he spent four years traveling and putting on shows, and sleeping on people’s couches wherever he went. He didn’t have an apartment or house of his own, and as a result, he was able to save most of the money he earned in those years to buy his dream farm.

Libor had met a girl mountain biker, named Lise, who lived in Brooklyn, New York, and they started riding together. “She was my first love,” Libor told us. They ended up getting married, and they’re still married today. She was a 24-hour mountain bike racer on”Team No Sleep” and worked for MTV in New York.

Nowadays Libor rides mountain bikes, trials bikes, and motocross bikes. He still practices his bicycle trials skills, too, but he also likes high-speed fun. “I like doing motocross loops on my property,” he told us.

“I’ve got an ebike now and an Australian shepherd dog, and he gets really excited when I pull the bike out,” Libor says. He can go up the hills on his ebike faster than he can on a regular bike, and his dog loves running with him when he does that. He says he takes the e-bike and his dog on rides twice a day most days, and the dog doesn’t like it if Libor doesn’t take him on the afternoon ride.

Libor’s Australian shepherd, Juno, loves to run alongside of Libor and his e-bike these days. (Photo courtesy of Libor Karas)

Libor’s not the only person in his family who likes riding bikes. His dad was a longtime motocross bike rider in the Czech Republic, where he still lives, and he still rides a lot. “My dad is 80 now,” Libor told us. “I just talked to him on the phone, and he told me he rode his e-bike 100 kilometers (about 60 miles ) today.”

Libor has appeared on “The David Letterman Show,” where he showed off his trials riding skills by hopping up onto Dave Letterman’s desk. He also appeared on the Conan O’Brien show three times. Conan lay down on the ground, and Libor jumped all-around and over him.

Libor and his wife, Lise, with their dog, Juno.

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