Ok, granny wants a mountain bike - sort of.

I am 55 years old and have good memories of riding dirt roads and trails on my old Paramount -well back then "dirt bike" meant Mongoose with 20 inch wheels ok so I never rode one of those.

While offroad on a sports tourer works for a 135 lb lady, I have put on some serious weight and am around 215 with a goal of getting back to 150 and making steady progress. My husband is around 200 shooting for 175.

Now I have been out riding the Paramount and longingly look at the dirt roads and trails. I am out in the woods a lot and know there are a lot of bike trails in the area and just other fun places to go. I am very comfortable off trail in the woods on foot. No intention of doing kid stuff but do want an all around beater bike that I can take anywhere and my husband can ride on the road with me while I am on the Paramount (He never would ride with road bars)

My husband also needs a bike while we restore his old Raleigh. We both have 29-30 inch inseams and while he is longer in the waist and arms and taller by a few inches, he prefers are more upright position than me anyway - If we get into it (offroad) then we may just have to do something more -. I got out of biking before because of harassment by drivers and love everything about being in the woods.

So.........how does this sound? 8 speeds are enough for us; we are used to 10 speeds which reads "6-7 usable speeds" and the gear ratios look fine as does the price. I am thinking the 29-er size would be good for us for now and are not intimidated by toe overlap if there is any (we had that with our tandem and a road bike - if I am doing a sharp turn I put my outside foot down anyway). And then the rigid fork I understand may be better for the heavier rider too?

If I got it I think I would want two sets of wheels - one set up for dirt and one for the road.

Insights? Just want things to consider before I go look.