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I have been reading posts and getting info here for quite some time but this is my first actual post...so Hello!

I have been off the saddle for the better part of a decade now and just getting back into the sport. I started out in high school with a rigid framed steel mountain bike (KHS if I remember correctly) that was used when I got it. I can't think of a single trail, hill, or stretch of dirt within 10 miles of my parent's house that didn't have my tire tread on it. Fast forward and I am older and about 55 pounds heavier than I was when I left the sport.

I am (re)starting out with a limited budget and my LBS is offering me a great deal on a Specialized Hardrock (Sport, I think). I figure I can upgrade as I go when parts break/wear out or when extra funds become available. I was also offered a good deal on a 29'er...but I felt like I had more control over the bike with the 26" wheels.

How do/did you meet other people who are into mountain biking? Nearly all of the people I once rode with are no longer riding or have any interest in getting back into (priorities change when you can actually afford a car instead of tooling around on a bike). I have one coworker who rides, but he is strictly a roadie and turns his nose up at any bike costing less than the national debt. While I don't mind going it alone for trail rides...my wife would have my hide the first time I hurt myself while flying solo.
 

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On wuss patrol
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5,237 Posts
Welcome back. From reviews, it seems your bike choice is a fairly solid one considering it is an entry level machine and it fits you well. It seems you already know these things.

I concur with az's recommendation for the LBS as a resource and contact for riders in your area. I have been out on rides with my LBS owner and many others he has put me in contact with. Trail work parties as well along with getting a better understanding of the local political culture regarding trails and trail user groups. What I would call a well-rounded understanding of the whole mtb-ing experience.

Have fun.

Dave
 

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You have a good handle on things, i think. As usual, don't plan to upgrade a hardrock, they're good bikes, but when you feel it's time to move on... it's cheaper and more effective just to move on.

Get advice from your roadie buddy; the folks who recognize that it's worthwhile to get something nice often know why it's worth spending the national debt. Of course there's people who just like to show off what money can get them, too.

29'ers are cool, but they're not for everyone.

I turned half my friends into mtb'ers. Most of them are pretty recreationally oriented, but they like to tag along with me. I'd try to get hooked up with a 'tuesday afternoon ride club' or something of that nature.
 

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Gravity's Gone
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Nearly all the people I ride with are people I've met on the trails or in the parking lot at the trailhead. Strike up a conversation, ride together, exchange numbers, repeat. A few of my best friends are people I've met in the woods.
 
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