*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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kurt G. - Campbell, CA

What’s my favorite trail, you ask? Simple. Downieville. More specifically, Third Divide. Why does it “turn my cranks”? Well, seeing as though it’s a complete warp speed, watery-eyed, face contorting downhill, it doesn’t turn my cranks. In fact, on that downhill, I really don’t even have to pedal once. Sure, I could, but you go so fast down it that pedaling is futile. Gravity makes you its bitch and hurtles your bike at nearly forty miles-an-hour, mere inches from pine trees that are two feet in diameter. For the first time in your life, you don’t mind being something’s bitch. That is, of course, until Mark Weir blows past you like you’re at a standstill. You’ve never been so out of control yet so in control at the same time. You shoot up and over crests that you can’t see the other side of until you’re airborne. The bermed corners shoot you through like a pinball in an Arcade. Trees pass by you so fast that they become green blurs that melt away into nothing. You kick up a roost of dirt bigger than Ivan Stewart in the Baja 1000. Your suspension is more active than a Jane Fonda workout video. Every time you emerge at the top of Third Divide, you ask yourself, “how long can I go without touching the brakes?” Only gravity and your intestinal fortitude know. Oh yeah. I forgot to mention one thing – The Wall. Yes, The Wall. Just when you think gravity will deliver you, The Wall comes. I lied about the “turn my cranks” comment. The Wall is a huge slab of jagged rock that shoots upward for fifty meters, throwing a wrench in the works and forcing you to turn your cranks, that is unless you either dismount or pile drive straight into it. The Wall claims more pinch flats per year than any other trail in the world. It’s got to. One second you’re setting a singletrack speed record, the next, you’ve either grenaded your wheel, you’re bruised and bloody, or you’re grunting up a rock face in search of the next gravity-friendly section. But what is it about Third Divide that puts the “goofy smile” on my face? It’s not the warp speed descents. It’s not The Wall. It isn’t even being the trail’s bitch. No, what really gets me goofy is crashing - especially when I give myself a concussion. Going down with the ship, sampling soil, dead sailor, rubber side up, donating blood, crash and burn, down in flames, running out of talent – the mortal separation of man and machine is what I always remember. It’s the stuff of epic tales, impressive scars, magazine covers and exorbitant hospital bills. It also reminds me exactly how far I went before touching the brakes, and making sure I begin applying them just a tad earlier next time. Life doesn’t get much better than crashing your brains out on Third Divide trail and living to write about it.