Today was my first time out on the mountain bike trail and I thought it was great. I'm very glad I went with a mid-level bike instead of an entry level bike. But I was hoping some of you experienced riders could give me some tips for the next time I go out. I'm riding a Fuji Tahoe 3.0, it's a hard tail with 26" wheels. My disc brakes are brand new so their not burnished yet, every time I had to use the rear brake it squeaked like crazy and the front still locks up very easily so I'm extra careful with the front. At one point during my ride my derailleur hanger picked up a stick, I was just at the end of the switchback, going up hill, when I stopped and pulled it out. It was kind of a mistake, but I also had this problem later on, too. When I tried to start peddling again it was really difficult to get going because the bike was in such a low gear the front wanted to wheelie because I was going up hill. Would it be better to drop a few gears and just exert the energy needed to get going again or is there a good way to start back up in this situation? Also, if anyone could give some tips on keeping control of speed while going downhill that would be very appreciated. Is it okay to skid the back wheel on the trail or is it not recommended?