Vjekoslav Novotni was born on June 21st, 1843 in Petrinja, Croatia. From 1901 to 1907 he was the general secretary of Croatian Mountaineering Association. In his itinerary Novotni described MTB ride dated on summer 1903 from Trebinje town to Zubački Kabao peak on Orjen mountain in Montenegro. On 1904 the itinerary was published in Croatian Mountaineer Magazines no 1 & 2, 3 & 4 in Croatian language only. The name of the article is From Zagreb via Orjen to Kotor, in Croatian language: Iz Zagreba preko Orjena do Kotora.
The quoted & translated sentences from the article:
"We scuttled along the rocky path. My wheel starts to catch the stones, tough arms of low pine tries and grass."
are the proof of the first documented MTB ride.
In other itineraries Novotni mentioned MTB rides along the canyon of Neretva river, Prenj and Medvednica mountains too. Instead hiking Novotni rode by the bicycle to speed up the trip on the mountains and to travel and monitor more sections per day.
In 2008 I discovered the story about Novotni and in honour to Vjekoslav Novotni I did the MTB route Herceg Novi - Orjen.
Thanks to Vjekoslav Novotni. Finally I found my idol!