Cross Country Mountain Biking
Put yourself in the middle of a huge field, grass up to your waist, blue skies above, stretching on for miles and moles. Bordering the field is a forest, on all sides - huge trees woody paths, cool patches of shade. Such a setting is ideal for cross country mountain biking. Relatively flat, but not "easy" terrain; forest paths with some, but not many, obstacles - a route that presents enough challenges to keep you engaged, but never endangered.
Cross country mountain biking is a form of mountain biking that can be geared more towards a all-inclusinve, family style activity, as the severe downhills, dangerous obstacles and high speeds of downhill mountain biking can be eliminated from a cross country mountain bike ride to provide a safe yet challenging exercise for the whole family.
Since cross country mountain biking is not as highly specialized a style of mountain biking as freeride mountain or downhill mountain biking, a less specialized - and less expensive - bike can be used for cross country mountain bike excursions. Cross country mountain bikes can be full suspension mountain bikes, but dual suspension on a cross country mountain bike is not necessary, as there aren't nearly as many obstacles that require "cushioning" as other styles of mountain biking. A mountain bike with front or rear suspension is more likely to suit all of your cross country mountain biking needs.
Solid, good quality, and less expensive frames can be found in the form of Trek mountain bikes, Jamis mountain bikes, Specialized mountainbikes, GT mountain bikes, and Raleigh mountain bikes. More specialized mountain bike frames - ones that can be used for cross country mountain biking and can maybe be adapted to some easy downhill mountain biking - are made by Cannondale, Kona, Norco, Mongoose, and Gary Fisher.