(The following article by Martina Kolm was originally published in the Fall, 2014, edition of “Arkansas Wild” magazine. It is reproduced here with Martina’s permission. Martina, thank you for sharing your adventure with us. For more information about Martina and her web design business, visit her site at http://martinasweb.com.)
Learning to LOViT
With the help of Traildogs and a summer sausage log
By Martina Kolm
During the brutal ride, everyone switched positions. Clinton, my boyfriend, retook his normal lead; I was second, then Mickey. I stopped to wait; a moment to rest and relish the grandeur of this place. We were enjoying a camping/mountain-biking trip on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (“LOViT”) near Mt. Ida, Arkansas. The extensive trail system is 25+ miles with 10+ more planned. [Now, a 45 mile IMBA-designated Epic Trail!]
Mickey biking on the LOViT’s Section 3 proceeding east from the Joplin trailhead.
The beautiful mid-day sun poured its light through the canopy, bouncing off white rocks, casting almost no shadow. No traffic heard, only the sounds of nature, an auditory delight.
“Mickey, where are you? Come in”, I said into the walkie-talkie. Nothing. I had a snack.
“Mickey, I’m worried about you. Respond!” Again, nothing.
The biophony was soon drowned out by a guilty noise inside my head. You’re an idiot for thinking someone with three months biking experience could tackle this kind of ride. He’s hit his head and is passed out somewhere.
“Come in Mickey!”
The view from the campsite on Eagle Vista Spur.
I decided not to over-react and be patient. He had great judgment and natural talent. I finally heard Mickey coming up the trail. I ran to him.
“I was so worried. What happened?”
“I was getting sloppy and stopped to rest, ate a last resort backup Gel-shot. I’ve eaten everything else.”
With his walkie-talkie dead, we had to stick together. This was not a problem, as the trail turned into rocky terrain which neither of us could ride. It became a bike haul, as I followed Mickey up Hickory Nut Mountain (a 900 foot elevation gain). The problem was we didn’t know we were climbing a mountain.
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