The back of beyond is a long way from workshop tools and spare parts. So when big crap happens, you'll need to make like de Bono and dredge up some lateral thinking to limp home.
It's a bummer but your mountain bike needs care, love and attention (just like the family cat).
You need to carry enough tools and bits so you can hobble home on your wounded bike but not be laden down like a US Marine.
Buying a second-hand mountain bike should save you a wad of cash over a new one- but just like when scouting for a used car you'll want to keep your wits about you so you don't end up with an expensive lemon.
Holidaying with your bike can present challenges to even the seasoned traveller, but as always there are tricks to avoid too much grief when heading to places far-away.
'Root infested hell track' or 'technical bliss'... individual perceptions affect the way we each view different terrain. When you discover a new track that looks way scary but obviously has been ridden by others, then one day you too should be able to ride it with confidence.
Over the past few years the American magazines have been peppered with articles by knarly old buggers romancing the single-speed mountain bike. I was finally seduced last winter and opted to join the fray. My favourite tracks had lost a little of their thrill of late and I was keen to spice them up.
Mountain biking is a blast - enjoyable at a whole range of different levels of intensity and difficulty. Regretfully, bicycles are mostly designed and spec'd for testosterone-laden lads - generally bigger, heavier and more gung-ho than those on the other side of the gender divide. However, most brands sport models with women's specific geometry and components... and a paint job to make you feel special! It's also possible to tweak a standard bike to suit women equally well.