*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

Mike Jackson - Rochester, MN

Hi guys. I recently picked up a copy of Dirt Rag magazine and found the “What’s Your Mission” contest and thought to myself, as good as this old mule has been to me for so many years it might be time for a more modern stud horse (I think the new MISSION3 falls into that category) for the diverse mixture of wooded trails, county roads, bike paths, city streets, and citizen’s lawns that comprise my daily commute. Oh, and I almost forgot, one fast stretch of beautifully groomed highbrow country club downhill, with a devoted greens keeper with a BB gun. I’m not kiddin’ and he’s getting better with it. The assignment sounded pretty simple … describe your favorite trail or part of it. Well then, the theme would be all too obvious to anyone who’d ever bluffed their way through a term paper, “there’s no trail I would rather have ridden then the one I was riding 5 minutes ago.” While it might have earned a low, passing grade, it would have had all the originality and pizzazz of your uncle Bob’s Ford Taurus. I think the truth is everybody has found that one trail whose only explanation for existence is: it was gifted to mankind on the eight day by God himself. Each ride was so personally gratifying; nobody else could have possibly ever been there before. Because then I’d no longer be the only one here, and it would be so packed full of yuppie scum, and then we’d have to name it Yellowstone. If somebody actually printed such a copout, the first reader would say “Ya deud! I know that trail! This guy would load his shorts on the trails that head out of my side of town.” This only means that each rider’s fun meter is equally important as the next’s. From the sponsored-gladiator types to the guy who lost his drivers license and quickly discovers that for years he has forgotten something truly great. Trail Mission? – well those days when we would all motor travel to a sweet location to ride for recreation are likely gone forever, as most of my old buddies (at this very moment) being harshly reprimanded for something stupid. I commute under my own power because I can. I quit my truck driving job to do something less environmentally obtrusive. One year later I have lost 90 pounds, and I feel dirty when I have to start my pickup (13 miles per gallon)! My favorite trail is not so much a defined trail; so much as it is a variable route and an eventual destination. Geography dictates that I will climb 2 hills on any day that I go to and return from town. I guess I try to think of them as 2 very tall friends, with a forgiving loyalty like the world has never seen. Each night I mistreat and abuse them, only stopping for a moment to demoralize a sweet old ladies flower garden. Then I get right back to the relentless pounding and merciless belittling of my 2 friends. Sometimes when they think I’m through with them, I turn around and beat on the bigger one some more, just for good measure. When I have satisfactorily bolstered my own self esteem (at the expense of my 2 pals) I ditch’em outta sight, gone! Faster than a scalded crackhead. Yet each day I see them outside, just waiting for me to spend time with them. Don’t believe that load of crap about good friends being hard to find – they’re everywhere! And that golden rule garbage, I say pound on your friends today for a healthier tomorrow. Thanks, M. D. Jackson