Hey all, I recently started riding again after a 10 year absence from the trails. I grew up riding trails in the Finger Lakes region in NY, but now live just north of Houston, TX. I started riding trails seriously back in 1996 (I was 16 years old) and rode/raced until I was 20. I had a bad crash that broke my left wrist and got hooked on motorcycles during the time I was in a cast. Rode and raced 600cc supersports for about 9 years then got out of it when my daughter was born.

Well, I went back out on the trails a few weeks ago with my buddies who are casual trail riders and forgot how much I loved riding! I literally hadn't ridden on a trail since 2000, my Gary Fisher has been sitting in the garage unused, poor bugger. Well, needless to say the bug has hit again and I've been doing tons of research and reading... the sport has REALLY changed over these past 10 years. :-) I was happy to find out that not all my skills had eroded away, I had no issues keeping up with my buddies.

When we went out a few weeks ago, I rode a smaller Specialized that was my friends backup bike because both my derailers on the Fisher are broken and front forks need servicing. Well, the small bike was actually very nice on the tight twisty single track we were riding... it felt much more maneuverable and agile than my old (much larger) Fisher.

I'm 6'4 and around 185lbs so I'm a pretty tall guy, but I've been looking at getting a new trail bike, though smaller than my Fisher. I'm going to check out the local bike shop soon to chat with some folks and just try to get back into the swing of things and try to get a bit more up to date on what all is out there.

To be honest, I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the styles and choices out there and am not too sure where to start. I'd appreciate any advice anyone could provide... BTW, I'll be riding mostly single track, not much elevation change, tight technical stuff and want to stay under $1k.

Anyways, I just thought I'd pop in, say hello and look forward to learning from this forum and riding some great trails.