Tx for the OP and for all the other educational and/or entertaining posts in this thread. I'm an old fart returning to riding after a long hiatus. I used to tour in Yurp a bit in the 60s and 70s, did some road riding in Connecticut more recently but now I'm in sunny SoCal and want to hit some of those lovely trails I keep seeing - including the 40+ miles of trail in my own San Diego development.
I had a MTB about 10 yrs ago but it was stolen out of my garage before I used it much. Now I have a shiny new one (Trek Marlin). The many tips here are helpful, some reminding me what I already knew, others not so much. I've never done the radical stuff and prolly never will but it's always good to think about these things - disciplines the mind.
hmmm, speaking of blasting through: so in most cases riding a big log or small rock on a MTB isn't exactly like preparing to hit a large object on the freeway while cruising at 70 on the GoldWing or Suzuki Gixxer? (never done it but have mentally prepared for this survival strategy) In part it is I suppose (lean back and unweight the front wheel some before the hit) but on the MTB the idea would be to then unweight the rear wheel when you're sorda planted on the front, right? Or just hop over the thing I suppose, which I don't see myself doing for a while yet - prolly end up in a ditch ...... On the 'Wing the thing to do is keep the bodyweight back (while standing of course) and take the hit while busting through the obstacle and hanging on for dear life as the tire shreds etc etc - you sure aren't gonna pick up those 650 lbs much but those massive wheels give you great inertial stability.
But I digress. I'm looking forward to a brand new cycling experience to see me through my dotage. Some of my best memories of Yurpeen vacations have been on the Dawes (Yorkshire, Somerset, Oxon etc) or the Jack Hearne tandem (Brittany, Normandy). People are so much friendlier when you show up on a bicycle, even the French ..... I'm hoping to be making some new memories here in SoCal.
Keep it up guys and gals.
p.s. no offense but here in CA I feel much safer on the streets astride an 1800 opposed 6 or a 1500 V-twin than on a road bike that I can lift with 2 fingers. Maybe I'm just getting old but the further off the tarmac the better for me on a bicycle. YMMV.