Is it just that your bike is the oldest?
Are you the slowest?
Nope, usually one of the quickest on all but the most extreme trails (off which there are very few in Jersey!)
I have the same frame (99 Cindercone) and I have to say that it is absolutely wonderful to ride. Mine is a rigid singlespeed build.
I love the ride and handling of my MuniMula - as I'd never really used FS before I was more curious as to whether I was missing out..
This is mountainbiking its about riding over rough ground. If your mates aren't gong faster than you and their modern tech is soaking all the rough stuff then surely its them that are missing out.
I borrowed a 6" travel full susser once and started off riding it as I would my hardtail (80mm forks), I found it really dull and soon discovered that I had to ride alot faster in order to get some excitement out of it. Trouble with that is the downhills are over quicker and the slog back up is harder. For me riding a bike like that was a different sport. I couldn't even see the stuff on the ground that I'd normally pick a line through on a hardtail, it was all just a blur, so I'd just straightline it. Instead I was looking much futher down the trail at the sweeping corners and stuff. I would ride off and over things that would normally have taken me out, not because I intended to but because I was going to fast to miss it, and the bike just dealt with it. You should definetely try and borrow one (demo day
) it's a real eye opener.