*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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Gerald D. - Budd Lake, NJ

Dirt Rag, Thanks for existing. Means alot to me. Here is my story. When I was 16 I was hit by a speeding car. This ain't no sob story but the point is pertinent. I was getting off of as school bus and the bus driver forgot to put her flashers on. Crash! It was an hour before a track meet too and I was one of the captains. I still feel I let the team down. Before the accident I was a jumping machine. I'd jump over cars. (Volkswagen Bugs are tougher than you could imagine) I'd jump over fences. I'd hop over bushes or a pile of books.......whatever was in my way. Well, obviously my jumping days came to an abrupt halt. And for the next 20 years I wouldn't run, jump or even jog. Walking was limited too. After two leg operations the doctors told me I would ruin my leg if I even tried. Hey at least I could still walk. I was and am very thankful for that. My only regret was listening to them. Speed ahead around 20 years. My wife sees an ad for mountain bikes. My first reaction was, "What???? A bike in the woods???" Then I looked at the pictures of the bikes. "What the.....suspension!?........knobby tires??!! Big gears in the rear????" I was HOOKED. All I could think about was, "Holy W.K.R.P in Cinncinati....a vehicle for hiking!" Talk about right up my alley. I had already built a hiking trail behind our apartment complex. (off topic but btw......there is nothing like watching lots of people using a trail you've built.) The only problem was that I was so blown away with the thought of biking in the woods that I totally forgot about my bum leg. My wife would usually be the one to tell me that I can't play softball, go skiing, or even go golfing but she didn't this time. Even she doesn't know why. We flew down to our local bike shop. As I entered I was overcome with a feeling like a beam of light from God himself shining down on me. I actually had a warm flush feeling come over me. It's sorta corny but it was much like falling in love. All the bikes, the gear, the accessories........WOW. We purchased a Palisades Trail and a Hawk Hill, both from Marin and picked the bikes up the next day. I swear on a stack of Dirt Rag Mags I did not sleep a wink. The last time I felt that way I got a football on Christmas Morning when I was 8. We immediately rolled our bikes around the back of the house ready to put "Ches Trail" (my wife's name) to the test! I immediately hopped on the bike (no helmet, what a greenie I was). The trail was around a half mile long loop back to our apartment. Within the first three crank rotations a grim reality hit me. Despite the pain I continued to pedal around a hundred yards or so. Then I stopped and my wife and I looked at each other. She asked, "Your leg?" She knew what the answer was. I was tearing a little. It wasn't the pain as much as it was the sadness of knowing that I wouldn't be mountain biking. Not now. Not ever. I could tell that she really wanted to go too and that made me feel even worse. It's bad enough that she is 13 years younger and a genuine hotty. This really made me feel inept. Well, after I threw myself a week long pity party I got to thinking..."Okay, so I can't pedal a bike......but what CAN I do?" I could only think of one thing I could do to build up my leg. The simple back and forth motion of ice skating. I bought a pair of CCM ice skates but the thought of mountain biking was still my carrot. I taught myself to skate on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday nights. I was proud too. All I could think about was, "Those doctors can scratch my &^^%%$$!" Spring came and I was ready to try biking again. I was cautiously optimistic yet ready to accept reality. I hopped on my Marin and took off down Ches Trail. This time would be different. I went around 3/4 the way around the loop and still my leg wasn't hurting! By the time I got back to the trail head I was so happy I was crying. I'm misty now writing this. I have since raced three times, gone through a Specialized fsrxc a Merlin XLM and now I have a Single Speed Bianchi. I'm sure that I don't deserve this Grand Prize more than anyone else but the reason that I would like the Diamondback besides not being able to afford it is because I sold every single coin in my collection and almost everything in my attic to buy my used Bianchi on ebay along with a 2006 Specialized Stumpjumper. It took four months of selling and shipping too. The Bianchi arrived but the Stumpjumper is still M.I.A. The Stumpy seller was from Romania and he said that he couldn't use PayPal. He had ebay letterhead and the whole nine yards so I believed him. It turned out to be a scam and like the idiot I sometimes am, I sent 1500 bucks through Western Union. I have always believed in "What goes around comes around" and I hope he gets what's coming to him. One consolation..........I get to be ME my whole life and that idiot has to live with himself. Must suck to be him. Oh, my favorite thing that pumps my nads about mountain biking besides the awesome grueling pain of the last mile? Being able to. Sincerely, Gerald D.

Hey even if you don’t consider my story, go to www.greatwazu.com to check out the Funny Pages on my website. I’m in the East Hanover location eating a sub. BTW the pic is of Allamuchy Mountain from the air.