I replied in one of the other Alpinestars threads, but was encouraged to start my own.
I started road riding back in the late 1980s, when I was in my 20's. As time wore on, I acquired better and better bikes. Sometime in the mid-90s, I got a job at a local Performance Bike shop, first doing repair work, then some sales. It was here that I met my friend Mike, who was an avid mountain biker.
I wasn't really into mountain biking at the time, but some of my roadie friends were, and they invited me on a mtn biking trip with them. I borrowed an old hardtail Cannondale (with Pepperoni fork!) and off I went. Well, I was hooked!
I picked up a Trek 7000, which turned out to be a dog. I had a hard time keeping up with most of my friends, and when I finally went riding with Mike, he blew me off the trail on his Al-Mega XT. It was a strange looking bike, with elevated chainstays, S-bend seat tube, and funky Tioga revolver crank (added by Mike). He was a really nice guy, and waited up for me to catch up whenever we rode.
One day, he wanted to see what I was going on about with the Trek, and why I had not improved. We swapped bikes (we used the same pedals) and from the first stroke of the Al-Mega's crank, I was in love. I absolutely blasted down the trail, and this time is was me who had to wait for Mike to catch up!
A year or so later, Mike ordered a Mantis Pro Floater, and since he didn't have room for the extra bike in his apartment, the Al-Mega had to go. I bought it without hesitation, of course, which is how I came to acquire it.
Since then, there have been a lot of "upgrades". I eventually tossed the worn-out XT shifters for some newer LX models. An LX crank replaced the Tioga, and I'm currently running Performance brand wheels. Up front I ditched the Manitou 3 elastomer fork for a Manitou Black air/oil.
As you can see, it has no front derailleur. The mount broke off, and the repaired version isn't going to hold up (too thin) so I've been riding it with a fixed front (middle ring only) and plan to get a guide/tensioner system sometime soon.
I was really glad to see other Al-Mega owners out there. I still have the catalog that contains my bike. I might have to scan it in one of these days.