MMM, Interesting topic.
I belive that there is some merit in this, I was talking to my Bro in law who rides freeride and DH. He is very good at it, jumps huge stuff and seems to have a good bike handling ethic. However he hates rigid bikes because they feel 'nervous' and he gets 'trapped by ruts' on them. I wonder if this is because he is used to the dulled sensation from 3"+ of travel on his bikes, or of it is a genuine dulling of the senses, I personally feel too insulated from the trail on his bikes to be able to judge properly what the hell is happening to the bike.
It may be that younger riders lack the 'skill' to ride rigid at speed in marginal situations, but the do have the keenly judged senses to get the best out of a full susser or whatever.
Added to that the challenge of setting up a canti brake pales compared to maintaining a disc braked full suss bike!
It is, I belive, not that we or they are more skilled rides, just diferently skilled.
I am pleased to hear that they took an interest in what you were up to, we are all mountain bikers at the end of the day!
Somerset, like 'Heartbeat' with newer cars!
Retro MTB: 1992 Cannondale 3.0 Deore XT M730. 1992 Marin Pine Mountain Deore DX M650.
Retro road: 1992 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra Telekom Shimano 600 STI. 1993 Dyna Tech Ti.
Modern: 2006 Wilier scandium Ultegra 6600. 2014 Wilier GTR Ultegra 6800.