*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

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ryan H. - Sacremento, CA

Bullard's Therapy for the Soul Do you ever let your guard down exposing your soul for all to see? In my everyday life I can honestly say that this is something I don't do as often as I should. It is simply not in my nature as through my life I have been taught to maintain a more public constrained facade in the pursuit of being a status quo member of the daily grind. Expressing one's true emotion about elements of the grind encountered throughout the day is not usually expected nor inspired by those very same elements. I have always had the urge to cross this barrier of oppressed expression. The key I feel is if you do cross it, only do so with an outlet that fully allows one to express creativity and emotion without the usual judgement in return. I have been lucky in life to find such an outlet. Mountain Biking for me has provided this opportunity and once discovered I have never looked back to this day. It provides a place of refuge that allows me to release this expressive energy, or passion if you will that all to often becomes suppressed due to the responsibilities and perceptions placed upon people operating inside the confines of the daily grind. One trail in particular I ride named Bullard's Bar, when completed feels like I have just endured an extensive therapy session with a life long friend where I get to release all that before mentioned emotion and creativity upon their non-judgmental ear. This friend's serpentine singletrack therapy takes you back and forth through a thick grove of trees that seem to engulf and encompass the trail. The trees blanket and embrace you from the distractions and limitation of the outside world as they invite you in to begin your self expression session. Inside the cocoon of their all encompassing branches you can let the judgmental eyes of the grind go blind and never be afraid to show that emotion on your face as you ride the singletrack slalom grinning ear to ear the whole way. Charge that steep technical section with out fear, then release the apex accomplishment with a yell of satisfaction knowing that the babbling brook crossing the trail ahead will never judge the before mentioned outburst. Scowl with confident aggression as you fly down the grade at speed commanding the leaves covering the two foot wide trail to part in your wake as you go selfishly in pursuit of the next switchback challenge. It's O.K., crave more then you should be allowed to crave as the mountain takes you on a roller coaster ride consisting of elevation change and emotion. Ferns and moss covered rocks stand on both side of the journey adding a green so intense you feel like you are approaching the Emerald City where OZ awaits your news of slaying the wicked witch. In my case I have slain the wicked witch of non-expression and continue to do so with every pedal stroke down this amazing journey. You are not riding the trail as much as both you and the trail are flowing and moving together along the mountain mile after mile. I find myself thinking about nothing but my bike, the trail and how beautiful life is when you can break it down into such a simple form. As I near the end of the journey I begin to feel fatigued as the release of this expression does take it's toll along the way, especially if you are not used to doing so on daily basis. It is not a painful feeling though, but a feeling of freedom and rebirth like none other I have experienced. Through mountain biking, riding Bullard's Bar for me provides an expressive therapy that I wish everyone has the opportunity to experience in life through some vehicle or path unique and magical to them. Exposing your soul never felt so sweet.