Mountain biking - for the first time

I have been hiking for over 40 years and love being outdoors and know others enjoy mountain biking just as much as I enjoy hiking. Growing up I rode a bike with coaster brakes and no gears and have fond memories. As an adult I have had several road bikes, but my current bike has a mountain bike frame, non agressive tread, but no shocks. Over the course of the last 18 months, I have been busy designing and building trails, finding and training volunteers, and organizing worktrips. Along the way I have learned about mountain bike trails and but had never been mountain biking. Tom Schmitt is rightfully proud of the mountain bike trails he designed in Granite Knolls. I have hiked there many times, primarily showing people the Giant Boulder. When he offered to show me how to mountain bike, I took him up on the offer. We settled on a mutually convenient date and arranged to meet. Tom reminded me that that I needed a helmet and gloves, in case I fell off. I not only had a helmet, but also a seat cushion. No gloves but my trail work gloves were fine. I did warn him that I had poor balance and had no intention of falling off. Shortly after I arrived at the Buckhorn Street access to the YorktownTrailway, Michelle rode up on her bike, having heard from a neighbor that she could get to the Bridge to Nowhere. I invited her to join us and she accepted. And the three of us were off. Tom is an excellent teacher and gave pointers about mountain biking to both of us. Michelle was a star pupil using her newfound knowledge she was able to ride almost all of the time. As for me, staying in one piece was my goal and I tried not to be a charity case. I actually found some of the single track trails Tom had designed and built eaiser than the portions of the Yorktown Trailway which were steep, rocky or both. I ended up pushing my bike more than I would have liked and was too chicken to try a ramp over a log, but I did not fall off. I arrived back at Buckhorn in one piece. So would I try it again? - yes but I need a lot more experience and must practice on much easier terrain like the wide paths at FDR Park. All in all, I was glad I tried, wished I could have done a lot better, and was glad that Tom took the time to show me.