*A trip for two to sunny Las Vegas, entry to 2007's Interbike and the chance to ogle all the new cycling goodies slated to hit the shelves in 2008*

*A 2008 Mission 3, Diamondback’s versatile all-mountain machine. Nimble, efficient and stable, the Mission 3 features Shimano’s new Deore XT components, including the Shadow rear derailleur and high power disc brakes.*

*15 minutes of fame in a Diamondback ad that will appear in Dirt Rag featuring the winner on their new Mission 3.*

*Swag from Dirt Rag, Diamondback, Fox Racing Shox, Rockshox, Shimano and WTB. *

To enter, simply go to diamondback.com and click on the “What’s Your Mission?” button to submit your all-mountain inspiring description and photo.

You will also find the fine print there, too, but here’s some to get you started: No purchase necessary to enter or win. One entry per person. Void where prohibited by law. Contest submissions will be accepted from May 1 through August 1, 2007. Entrant must both author their description and take the photo submitted

Friday, May 4, 2007

Robert H. - Eugene, OR

My mission is to share. Just forty-five minutes from Eugene is the sleepy logging town of Oakridge, also the land of over 500 miles of Oregon’s finest single-track. What turns my crank is pure, clean, challenging mountain biking. I will attempt to share with you what was the best ride of the 06-summer season. Bunchgrass, is a 25-mile epic. Not epic due to the distance, rather epic because there is a true wilderness factor. And the trail demands an advanced level of technical expertise. This trail has only recently been brought back from the depths of lost trails. Bunchgrass is located in a roadless area between the town of Oakridge and Waldo Lake Wilderness area. The Warner Creek Burn was the largest burn in Lane County in recent memory. The effect was to rejuvenate and restore one of the largest unlogged areas in the U.S. Many hours of volunteer work by our local Club, the Disciples of Dirt, helped to bring this trail back to the map. Trail work turns my crank, and is strongly encouraged by our local bikers. Despite the trails history and volunteer work, it has not yet been clearly marked, and this trail must not be attempted without a local guide. On a late September weekend, Tim, riding buddy since 1988 and I made the decision to bag Bunchgrass. Everything came together perfectly. Burt, a local hero, agreed to be our guide and a shuttle was provided by Oregon Adventures. Although I typically turn my own cranks, a shuttle is necessary unless you want to ride twenty miles of local highways. The trail starts on the edge of the Wilderness boundary and pushes through rugged, desolate, beautiful National Forest. The trail wanders through old growth forests, climbs rugged ridges where the fire had ripped through and life is returning. There are drops with deadly switchbacks into deep lush valleys and knarly, ravines, some with ancient trees, others with burnt stumps. Of course there are a couple of wicked climbs through meadows of Bunchgrass (bear grass) the trials namesake. Bunchgrass blooms in late June, just after the snow is gone. Riding this trail late in the season paid off in that leaves were turning, and the undergrowth had stopped growing, the trail was easier to follow. The trail eventually connects to a local expert trail called Heckeltooth. Then drops right into town through another connecting trail. It wasn’t until we got within 10 miles of town did we see any other humans. They’re a couple of points along the trail providing views of our local Cascade Mountain Range. We were able to get cell reception from the top of one peak. We called a buddy, who had to work that day, which turned our cranks a little, since we were have the best ride ever and it was cool to share it. So when it comes to what really turns me on about Mountain Biking is sharing it. I have had the opportunity to take people on their first rides and seen them go on to become some of the greatest local riders. It’s hard these days to take the time out of a potential epic ride to go with a new rider on a easy short trail, but over the years the rewards have been varied and numerous. In my twenty years of biking I’ve ridden in Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, and my neighboring States. Riding trails like bunchgrass is as good as it gets, my hope is that by sharing it with you it will encourage others to journey to the Norhtwest. We really have it going on out here. And you’re all welcome