*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, July 28, 2007

Hannah K. - Providence, RI

Careening around sandy banked corners, hopping over fallen logs, balancing across narrow wood planks above rocky creeks, splattering mud, and gliding through long rollercoasters of pine needle trail, I'm concentrating intently at every moment of riding through Big River. A maze of tight single-track trials wind through over 8000 acres of forest, wetlands and sand dunes: getting lost here is a popular excuse for being late to the bike shop where I work. This sea level New England deciduous forest is so different than the western Cascade landscape I grew up in—where rocky precipices towered over evergreen woods; still, biking through here I am transported to a childlike feeling of endless possibility. I could play in these woods all day, undefeated by exhaustion and unaware of obligation. Today the weight of summer humidity and heat has lifted. The low angle of the sun filtering through the trees, the specific birdsongs in their branches, and the smell of dry foliage in the air foreshadow autumn’s imminent arrival. Fall has always been my favorite time of year. The cool nights and windy days carry excitement. Watching my friends, Mike and Lynn, flying off the tops of whoop-dee-doos, I remember at 7 years old building jumps in the yard out of cinder blocks and scrap-wood from the barn, and competing with my little brother for bravery points. I see the same gleeful enthusiasm in my friends' riding today. Approaching a steep rocky descent I tense up, “I can’t!" then focus and relax, "I will. I’m doing it. I did it!” My forward momentum carries me past self-doubt. It thrills me to see my skills improve every time I ride in the woods—I take a rough downhill more quickly, hop a log more confidently, carry more momentum through a technical climb. Trusting my bike, I learn to do things I didn’t know I could. It puts a big goofy grin on my sweaty muddy face.