*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 21, 2007

Mike F. - Rocky River, OH

Not all mountain bikers are the big-air hucking twenty-somethings deified in the magazines. Some of us are (ahem) more mature, and don’t sport any tats, piercings, or even dyed hair. We grew up on bikes with banana seats, hi-rise bars and, if lucky, equipped with something called a “Bendix”. We raced around gravel driveways before BMX was yet invented. We came of age, aerobically speaking, as runners during the boom years when Frank Shorter and Steve PREfontaine were household names. As time went by, our knees and feet gave out, but not our love of the woods. We came to mountain biking to cross-train (the C word), stay fit, and occasionally indulge our warrior urges in Sport Class racing. We climb hills like a SAM launching, but maybe aren’t so fast on the rooty-rocky-twisty trails. Having said that, what really lights us up is hitting the trails to teach our kids to ride. There is nothing like sharing a few hours in the woods passing on what we learned back in the early days (often the hard way) to the 3rd generation of mountain bikers to come down the trail so ably blazed by the big-namers from Mt. Tam. Which trail is our favorite? Well, legal riding usually means a drive for us here in the Midwest, but any of the nearby state parks will do just fine. The trails flow over gullies and through mixed forest and meadows where plenty of wildlife can be observed. It’s really the time together, not the trail, which “turns our cranks”. The rider pictured is my twelve year old son Alex, who is game for any adventure, and savors the GU stops as much as the riding. We play tag through the trees. I play Ned End-over, he plays Geoff Ka-bushy. So far, he has no sideburns. Or tats. ---Mike Foley