I too started on mountain bikes. My high school friend Brad Cason ( who now builds custom carbon fiber bikes. Check out out his brand Kirklee bicycles). Came home from the air force in 1996, and took me on my first real mountain bike ride. In retrospect, that was a life changing event. I was instantly in love, and it changed my whole life trajectory. Cycling became my hobby, then my lifestyle, and even my career. I still remember that first bike ride!