Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mountain Biking Mission Statements...

Do you know what a mission statement is? It’s one of those business things that pushes people on “the right track”. It goes something like this: to be the best at being the best and not letting other companies become better than us. Some workers of these businesses will say that it focuses them while at work. Others might roll their eyes, pick up a sharp pencil and throw it at you if the company mission statement is brought up in their presence. Whatever the opinion, or strong feeling, most mission statements have been useful for, um, well, business; so what about mountain bikers? Should we adopt a mission statement?

I took at look at some of the mission statements of American companies and organizations. I wanted to see if any of these statements had language that might be useful for mountain bikers in the search of a mission.


“We are the eyes and ears of the nation and at times its hidden hand. We accomplish this mission by:

- Collecting Intelligence that matters.

- Providing relevant, timely, and objective all-source analysis

- Conducting covert action at the direction of the President to preempt threats or achieve United States policy objectives.”


“At Microsoft, we work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible.”

Boy Scouts:

“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

Ben & Jerry’s (product mission):

“To make, distribute & sell the finest quality all natural ice cream & euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.”

After reviewing these mission statements, I see some good language we could adopt into our mountain biking mission version. However, this is more of a personal exercise; so I decided to pour back into the internet for answers. According to the website, a personal mission statement is all about connecting to your driven self. It is all about buy-in on the most personal level. The mission statement should be broad enough in order to sustain your ever-changing short term goals and precise so that you aren’t bumbling around for direction, all the time.

With this information, I stopped writing and pulled away from the computer. After twenty minutes, I came up with my own mountain biking mission statement. Before I give you the goods, I wanted to detail my thought process.

The first thing I did was outlined my goals: 1) to place in the top five in the mountain states cup; 2) to ride the backcountry single track from Molass pass to downtown Durango, Colorado; 3) to race in three 24-hour races, solo. I took a hard look at my goals. The one thing I noticed was the “epic” nature they all contained. When I say epic, I mean epic in a positive sense – the kind of epic that entails hard work, determination, struggling and lots of wine at the end. I also thought about my personality. Once again, the “epicness” came to the forefront. I wrote several versions of my mission statement and below is what I came up with:

Walker’s Mission Statement –

“To Ride with Passion”

Yep, simple and to the point! I have always put passion (good and bad) into everything I do. I felt, if one rides with passion, then everything else would fall into place.

Now, I want to hear about your experience with mission statements. Would you throw a pencil at me? Have you thought about detailing your mountain biking mission? Give us the word…

PS: yes, the CIA’s mission statement has a grammatical error. Can you spot it?

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