*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

Monday, July 9, 2007

Natalie C. - Las Vegas, NV

My mountain bike riding hobby is sporadic, at best. I have a few excuses; the main one is I am a mother of three, and I struggle to organize my schedule to enjoy an outdoor bike ride. Still, I manage to find time to head to Cottonwood, an area filled with twisty, tangled trails in Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas. However, on my last trip this past May, I have concluded that I need to replace my 1994 Univega Alpina 5.7 just so that I can survive. My hobby began almost out of duress. After almost ten years of not being on a bike, my boyfriend conned me back on a bike at the infamous Slick Rock in Moab, Utah. I hated it. Colorful words described my bike, the rocks, the uphills, and my boyfriend’s back. (Amazingly, my boyfriend eventually became my husband and we are happily married these last fourteen years.) Since then, my outlook on mountain biking has changed. Overall, I love it, especially if I can go downhill and fast. It’s exhilarating to whip past trees and see how fast I can go downhill. One of my more memorable rides was in King’s Canyon near Carson City, Nevada. I twisted through the pine trees, splashed through tiny streams and bombed my way down a rocky road. Unfortunately, I slid part way down the gravel path, smashing my arm and piercing my helmet. I still have the battle scars and wear them proudly. (As my husband says, it really isn’t a bike ride unless you get a bloody). You would think that after my crash at King’s Canyon, I would insist on a mountain bike with dual suspension, but no. For some reason, I liked my bike. The deep purple still glimmered in the sunlight, and it was a bike that spoke to me when I bought it. I felt at home. Still, I felt I needed some help, so a Rock Shox was bought to add a little more comfort. After my last trip to Cottonwood, I realize that I need more comfort. A full suspension bike is now a necessity. Instead of being rattled by every single rock on the trail, a full suspension bike would allow me to have a much smoother ride. I may even be able to see my husband’s back instead of just empty skies and Joshua trees in front of me. My speed on the bike would be much faster (always a good thing) since I wouldn’t have to meander through the rocky drops. I could just plow right through them. I could even try tackling Bootleg in Boulder City. (I don’t want to talk about my first, and so far, last attempt.) My Univega is still cute, but my nine year old has been eyeing it this last year, so a new bike for me is the logical conclusion. With a Diamondback Mission 3, my mountain bike riding hobby would be a constant, blissful, but speedy pastime—a mission to enjoy.