The only real technique you need to know is have fun. Otherwise there is a sticky at the top of the MTB subforum with techniques for new riders. For what it's worth, I have a ridged cromoly 94 Giant Yukon that I just ended up swapping back to stock ridged fork and doing a full overhaul and plan on ripping some trails on it come spring. Ridged might not be quite as fast but it's tons of fun. One thing I'll say that I think would be a very worth while upgrade is good tires, preferably something with a higher volume. Big tires really help smooth out your ride on a ridged bike and in general good tires are a big upgrade if you have cheap/stock tires on there now. They'll help your traction and reduce the amount of effort you have to expend and allow you to ride and have fun longer before you get worn out. As Hou-Tex suggested, you might upgrade other things like grips and seat to help your enjoyment. Otherwise just make sure it shifts and stops well and go rip some trails.
Last edited by 3speed; 01-09-12 at 02:58 PM.