It always seemed like a personal setback that I had to mountain bike alone. Such was not the case with road cycling. But a person gets better at accepting that 'the way things are, is the way things ARE', the older one gets.
When I was least expecting it, a mountain biker showed up at my campground and introduced himself as a reader of this blog. We ended up doing quite a bit of mountain biking together during his canonical 14 days.
So that's good news, right? Not so fast...
He left me behind like I was a walker every time the trail got a little rocky or rooty. One explanation is that he had 29" by 3.0" tires. Since we are the same size, it was easy to exchange bikes. I was won over to "big rubber" immediately.
Today I bought a new mountain bike, on sale, with big rubber. In a week I'll run down to the urban hellhole to pick it up at the REI store.
The moral of this story is 'be careful what you wish for.' It never cost me money to mountain bike with a dog!