*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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Toyon P. - Los Osos, CA

Bikes Or Snake Oil Yesterday I opened the #129 issue of Dirt Rag to find the '07 What's Your Mission? Contest. I've never entered in an essay contest before, but while pedaling along today the whole idea of what turns your cranks really stuck with me. On this particular ride,while trying to maintain some sense of tact, I wait until my cousin is back around a bend before letting the mouth full of bile spill out onto the side of the trail. Not a common occurrence for me on the bike, but just recently I learned that my “until now” steel trap of a stomach doesn't like dairy products. This discovery was made sometime during the week when my abdomen started to swell up like a balloon. I had been reluctant to ride but, aside from the pressure I didn't feel sick, so I thought I 'd give it a go. The first ride, yesterday, resulted in the afore mentioned tactless incident, but afterwards I felt great. Now after this ride I feel even better. Two years ago I entered in my second downhill race. In all honesty I probably wasn't ready for the event, but I loved to ride hard and push my limits. It was a relatively mellow course and I thought I could learn from the experience. Well, if shattering your hip doesn't teach you a thing or two, I don't know what will. After the first attempt to reconstruct the shattered hip, my doctor said that riding was one of the best things I could do to recover from the surgery. Great! I started on the trainer, and in no time I was back on the trails -- not riding like I used to and not riding on the big bike anymore, but still glad to be out there. Unfortunately, the bones were too shattered to mend, and like Mr. Dumpty, their attempts to put me back together again didn't work. Another six months later and I now have a completely new prosthetic hip, and once again my doctor says biking is one of the best things I can do to recover. From trainer to trail, and now I'm stronger and smoother than I've ever been. Now we all know that riding mountain bikes is fun, or else we probably wouldn't do it. But for me riding is one of life's best remedies. When I feel hurt, sad, mad or even sometimes when I'm ill, the dirt clinging to my sweat covered legs and the fresh air in my lungs makes my mind clear and my heart healthy. Toyon Proulx