thanks for the warm welcome. i left mountain biking when cannondale was still making oversized aluminium tube mtbs, titanium, suspension forks and clipless pedals weere just finding their way into the market. Got my first full suspension bike (prophet 600) and it rides far sweeter than the nail in a tin can rattlers of yesterday.
i began riding wawayanda last summer and find northeast singletrack more challenging than anything i encountered in the plush norcal forests. this summer has been spent pretty much relearning/learning new biking skills.
one question for the group, has anyone addressed the blackbear issue in state parks? i've been charged twice by blackbears (one was a very large bear and the other midsized) this summer and find most riders are rather blase about bear encounters here.
when you see a bear, it's generally best to stop, stand tall, and make alot of noise. if you end up between them and their cub, or it seems to them like you're chasing them, naturally, they are going to (pretend) to defend themselves. probably 99.99% of black bear charges are total bluffs though. they're big sissies.
Welcome, and congrats for getting back in. I re-discovered biking this year after about the same layoff. I spend the lion's share of my time on my road bike, but the more I'm in the woods, the more I'm warming up to it. Went on a great ride at Clayton today w/ some very nice people.
And it's funny that you mention bears. One of the people in our group today said that there had been a recent black bear sighting at Clayton. Said it was a smallish bear (read: cub), which means mom's not far behind. As was said, leave them alone and they'll pretty much do the same.