First of all, we have to say this interview was created before Cape Epic and we´re so excited Jaroslav Kulhavy and his teammate Howard Grotts dominated during the whole week. At the end, they reached the very TOP and became Absa Cape Epic 2018 champs!
The Final 7th Stage of Absa Cape Epic 2018
Let´s get back to promised interview so you could look under the hood of Jaros´s beginnings and daily routine. (If you want to check out the last month guest post, you´re welcome here.)
Jaroslav, let’s give our community a bit more of your background. What is your hometown and where did you grow up?
I was born in Ústí n. Orlicí (Czech Republic), where I started to ride the bike and began my Career. It was great that we had an MTB team and, also, a regional bike series (Orlický MTB Cup). There were races in downhill, XCO, marathons or UP&Down. It was perfect preparation for me because I had a chance to ride with older guys; moreover, we had a lot of fun in our crew.
In the last few years, I´m often in the Beskydy mountains (my wife is from Ostrava) and, also, in Prague, where I have a lot of activities regarding sponsors, meetings etc.
Do you remember your first bike?
My first bike? It was a BMX and trial bike (with modified gears). Those bikes gave me great joy, tons of kilometers, as well as a lot of jumps. :) However, I participated in my first races when I got my first mountain bike. It was Reta brand. After a couple of months, I let it be customized to the race design of Fort (which I raced for then).
Would you give us an idea what your training cave looks like, and if you have one at your home - trainers, bikes, accessories?
I had a huge garage full of bikes and material, whether it was in my parent's house or mine. In my paincave, I have a few trainers, of course. I also set up a small gym, so I don't have to leave my house during the winter season. Currently, I also have one profi trainer on which we make complete tests, together with my coach and biochemist (lactate test etc.).
MTB vs Road was an easy and natural choice or not?
I´m mainly a mountain biker. It was a natural choice due to nature, freedom, and fun; and besides, I really love to play with my bike. I´ve started to use my road bike since Juniors for my training. Right now, I use my road bike more because it's better to build endurance and for longer sessions. But, I like both the mountain and road bikes, of course. Moreover, I also use a snow and gravel bike to make the training more variable. It's never boring if you combine more bikes and terrains.
Your favorite races and countries?
I cannot say. I think the most spectacular places are in the Alps. You can ride long climbs on a road bike and, then, switch it to a mountain bike and improve your skills on amazing trails. And all done in wonderful nature. What else could you wish for? On the other hand, the Czech mountains are also cool.
And about races? I´m totally into Cape Epic, where there are a lot of great single tracks. You ride with your teammate, so easily it's something different. The truth is I like marathons more than XCO. Why? I can experience new places, the conditions are varied throughout the course and, in general, you don't have to ride the same short lap over and over again.