During my teens and early 20's, I rode a bike-boom era road bike. I abandoned cycling (and my bike) in my mid-20's around the same time I started driving a car, and I was too occupied with Alfa Romeos, rock bands, and such to bother with bikes.
When I neared 30, I longed for a bike again. Mountain bikes were the main staple of sub-$500 bikes, and I entertained the notion that I would ride trails. Never mind that in suburban northern Virginia (Arlington, at that), there aren't too many opportunities for off-road. The marketing of mountain bikes hooked me.
So I hied myself down to my LBS, Big Wheel Bikes in Old Town Alexandria. I tried out several brands, and settled on a dark green Mongoose Hilltopper. The store clerk fitted me to a smaller size than I was accustomed to, due to it being a mountain bike. Still, this particular bike felt like it rode better than the others I tried - at least, it did for rides around the block of the store. Looking back, I sure wish I've chosen a different brand.
I wound up riding the Mongoose pretty much the same way as I had ridden my Gitane - for commuting, and for road and paved trail rides. I believe I went off-road one time, not counting the C&O Canal path. Once I rode the W&OD path from Arlington to Dulles, and back. On the stock fat tires. That hurt, mostly my shoulders and neck. When I lived in DC, I rode the Rock Creek path and Beach Drive often. Again, any ride that was more than 15 miles became agony for my shoulders.
So I've tried several times to sell the bike, but Mongoose as a brand is now totally devalued due to their move into cheap department store bikes, and hideous ones at that. The Hilltopper is actually a decent, though not great, bike, but Mongoose is such a dirty word in the bike community that its value is considerably less than an equivalent 1990's Trek, Giant, etc. Mongoose is now synonymous with Free Spirit, Ross, and Huffy. Maybe worse! Thanks a lot, Mongoose.