*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, August 1, 2007

Christopher Steeves - Amherst, NS

I have written this 5 times and always come away wanting. Wanting for prose, wanting for emotion, wanting for talent. You see, I enjoy ambiguity to an extent however in this case I find it distracting. I have worked in the bike business for 19 consecutive seasons and never “made the show” I was always the best tech/salesperson/manager and therefore could not be sent. With so much on the line, I would cheerfully ride over a corduroy road paved with the limbs of your entire readership for this chance to get to the big show in Vegas, but I digress. I have in many cases written with passion about my mission, as have many of my fellow DirtRaggers. The challenge to write about it for fun and prizes seems still quite unwieldy but interesting, like broad swords or classic Cadillacs. I will say this about passion when I was six years old I laid on the couch watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and for the first time witness through the camera the drama of the Wolves chasing Caribou. I was enthralled with the caribou herds evasion, their bobbing and weaving, their speed, their grace. Minutes ticked past in slow motion as the race for life and survival was played out for us in Technicolor. In the end however the wolf leaps, the caribou falls. I was on my feet cheering and as I turned around to share the moment with my family they all stared in horror. I knew then I was different. Very different. I envied the wolfs autonomy, ability, instinct and aggression as a way of life. The simplicity of their waxing a waning ballet was romantic and pragmatic all at once. When I rode my first mountain bike, I knew how that wolf felt. The speed, cunning, all terrain, everyone I shared the roads with was my next victim and if they left the road I was undaunted. I was free. Free to hunt without reservation, hesitation or explanation. The one trail that keeps me coming back is Coppermine in Fundy National Park, Alma, Canada. This trail is the first single track I even rode way back in 1981. I’ve been returning ever since as the inaugural ride off road for every Mtn bike I’ve owned since then. The trail is intermediate to advanced, depending on your dabs. (A dab is touching a foot or hand for balance or safety as per my trials days) There are always walking sections since the trail can be delicate based on the time of the year. This trail was closed to cycling in the mid nineties due to poor judgment of riders by following the ridiculous notion that ridding through the middle of wet spots is fine. We ALWAYS dismount and walk all wet sections as this prevents rutting and leaves no trace of the riders whatsoever. The Fundy motto is “If anyone can tell you rode this trail you need to work on your technique.” Wheel draggers and mashers need not apply. I have brought hundreds of people to Fundy over the years and each one of them remarked how quiet, beautiful and challenging the riding is. In Fundy, one is either climbing or descending due to its amazingly tight topography. If your idea of riding is spinning the big ring, ever, this is not your spot. We only use our big rings to keep the chain noise down and to set up on the fire roads for 40 – 45 mph runs back down to the cars. Since a picture is worth a thousand words I will leave you with two (Coppermine Then & Coppermine Now) and this thought. Mountain biking is riding up and down with skill, grace and guile. If these describe you maybe you should come ride in Fundy!