*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

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Patrick D. - Poland, ME

What proves I have the same passion for Mountain biking as you? Hmm… As I was thinking of what to write about. What part of a ride, or a specific ride that I love…I stopped and thought…. “I can’t think of a single thing I like best.” What I think puts that “goofy smile” on my face is the mental challenge that Mountain Biking gives me. Let me explain. I have the stressful job of being an IT support person for a small Engineering firm. Needless to say, when I deal with people, they are usually angry because their computer is broken, and I need to fix it. When my buddies and I get out of work to hit the trail, I can’t wait! I love how you need to listen to your body. I love how you need to be thinking of what gear you need to be in when you go around the next corner, because you remembered that log across the trail. I love the feeling of accomplishment when you finish a tough climb. The kind of climb that you hate. The kind of climb that makes your legs and lungs burn. But when you get to the top….you feel like you can go anywhere, and accomplish anything. I love when bombing down a hill, you can see far ahead, but the trail is zig, zaggy, and you just pick the lines that make your bike lean from one side to the other. Then you see that stump, or rock that looks like it was put there just for you. It just says “launch here”. So you do. You feel like you were in flight for 10 feet. It was probably more like 2, but who cares. That was awesome! Then you start to catch your buddy. You gave him room because you knew you’d catch him. Then you grab a handful of brakes because he is leading you into a hairpin. You slide your rear wheel around the corner just a bit. And because you were thinking ahead, you are in just the right gear to pedal out of the corner and pass your buddy. He tries to show you some wheel, but he didn’t know you were there. It’s too late. He’s now eating your dust. You continue down the single track that looks like the trees around it were an after thought. Then you remembered that switchback climb. You drop your gears down just at the right time when you loose your momentum, and push, breathe, push, breathe, push, breathe, push, breathe, all while picking the right line. You see your next buddy bobble in front of you. He just falls to the right of the trail. You say, “you alright?” He replies, “Yeah, a rock threw my front wheel off line.” So you continue without stopping. You get to the top where the rest of your friends are waiting. Good time to take a break. We all stand there for a minute or two talking about that last section. How awesome it was. You hear phrases like “Did you see me almost eat that tree!” or “I thought I was going to die on that climb.” Or “Damn, you were moving! You flew right by me!” Then it get’s quiet while some guys are dinking water, or eating some gel. Then someone says “Everyone ready? Let’s go!” and the ride continues….. Mountain biking is physically, and mentally challenging for me. What gear to be in? How is my cardio doing? What’s that noise I hear coming from my drive train? Can I make it up that hill? How much of a drop is that? How high off the ground is that ladder bridge? I wonder where this trail comes out? O.K. I’m done. I can’t stand it anymore, I’m going for a ride. Later………………………………………….