EDIT: So I've decided on getting a mountain bike first since it's so much more versatile and will suit my needs in the future. I'm pretty much set on a Specialized Hardrock Sport (non disc comp, what is comp anyways?). The bike is $370, a little over my budget. Should a noobie to cycling start off with a bike like this? I pick stuff up quick and will be using this bike to ride on paved roads 80% of the time, and maybe once a week go off road.
I've decided to get into cycling and looked at road bikes, but they turned out to be too expensive for something that i'm just starting to pick up. I then looked at hybrid bikes which are more affordable and was going to get a Trek 7200 but stumbled upon this subforum and i think i'm hooked already. I used to jump off curbs and ride in the grass when i was young haha, it was fun but it's nothing compared to mtn biking as i see it on this forum.
my question is, should i go ahead with a mtn bike right away to ride on the roads (pavement trails actually along a river) then use the same bike for mtn biking? or should i get a hybrid for pavement riding, build up the necessary strength associated with riding (whatever that may be), then get a mtn bike a few months later? or i can just ask, will a mtn bike give the same workout as a hybrid bike? my primary reason to get into riding was to lose some weight, but now i found that it could be more exciting by mtn biking.