I have been biking for several years (a lot of road/triathlon, a reasonable amount of xc) and having moved to the west coast (north shore area) I am having a lot of trouble adapting to the trails available here.
I am not afraid of steeps per se, but tend to be afraid of jumps and, most important, I am used to "reasonably" smooth single track (meaning, the occasional rock and/or small obstacle): since moving here, however, I've found that the vast majority of trails are not only steep, but also very very rooty and rocky and requiring a lot of skills (jumping, log riding, negotiating really rough terrain...) that I really really don't have at this point unfortunately.
I do want to learn, but I am having a lot of trouble figuring out a) how to go about it and b) where to do it. I can find a lot of "easy" trails, and a lot of "I have to walk my bike down" ones, but I can't seem to find anything in-between where I could slowly get used to the hairier stuff. I also have really no clue about how people I see on the trail do what they do, I swear it feels that the gnarly roots/rocks don't exist for them at all, it looks like they are riding on asphalt I swear.
I don't have a freeride bike (I have a 2001 sugar) however in this case I really think the problem is with the rider (me) vs the ride.
Does anybody have any suggestions? Things I should be trying to get comfortable first with? Places to go? I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by having to deal with everything (rocks, roots, steeps, narrow, ...) all at once and wiping out so much