What a great forum, I am so glad I stumbled on it. So far I have learnt so much!
A little about me, I am a Brit living in Philadelphia. I came here as an exchange student 13 years ago and bought my first serious mountain bike - a Trek 6500. At the time, it seemed so outrageous to spend so much on a bike (don't forget I was a student) but I have not regretted it at all. I took my bike back to the UK where I rode it to and from university, around the Peak District, Yorkshire Moors, off road trails in the north east - I was pretty serious for a while. Anyway, fast forward to now. I came back to Philly (with my bike) got married, bought a house and got a bit chunky. My poor Trek hung on the wall of the garage for years until February 2008. I made the decision it was time to lose weight, get back in shape and remember why I fell in love with that bike in the first place. I have lost almost 40lbs, feel great and I am back on my beloved 6500. I have just started riding to work (11 miles away, off road trail along the river) which was difficult at first but now I am enjoying it. Just hope I can keep this up and lose at least 10 more lbs - if I succeed I will be back to my university weight!