By Tom Clark
We first did this as an alternate Tuesday Night Mountain Bike Ride. It was raining steadily and only three people showed up for the scheduled ride (the Standard Creek Ride). Doug Burnside counselled against the Standard Creek ride because of mud considerations. Even getting down into the valley would be hard work because of the mud on the Standard Creek wood cutting road. So, Doug Burnside, Jim Gower and I rode up Murphy Dome Road, all the way to Abraham Rd., which goes into the Lincoln Creek subdivision.
I was looking for a trail that would take us down to the Cache Creek road, at about the two-mile point. I hadn't looked at a topo map right before the ride, so I couldn't recall exactly where we would be likely to find the connecting trail. After a few wrong turns, we found a trail that looked good, and we were rewarded with one of the best descents any of us had been treated to in a long time. We ended up on Cache Creek road at about nine-mile, a good bit farther in than we'd wanted.
Mud happens. With about six or seven miles left to go, things ground to a halt. The mud got so bad that it was hard to ride the bike, so we got off and pushed. Then, things got really bad. The mud built up in the frames to the point where the wheels didn't turn anymore, and it was all we could do to lift the bike and drop it to shake mud off. This could have been miserable, if it wasn't so damn funny. After twenty minutes of this nonsense, the conditions improved and we were able to ride the rest of the way out. Though we were coated in mud by the time we hit the pavement, the spray from the road thinned things out, and we probably shed 10 to 20 pounds of mud from there to the cars, parked in the gravel pit. Doug commented that this was definitely "Type-Two Fun", and we all agreed that while this was one of the dumbest things we'd done in a while, it was also really fun.
Do this ride! If you aren't into the mudfest experience, do it two or three days after any significant rain. It'll be a great ride. Start at the gravel pit at 7 or 8 mile Murphy Dome road, and ride up Murphy Dome road to Abraham, your first real left-hand opportunity, about three miles up the road. Take Abraham and stay on it. About a half-mile past Reconstruction (a left hand turn that you didn't take), it drops and becomes a nice two mile descent to Cache Creek road. Turn left on Cache Creek and go back to the cars, nine miles away.
This might replace the Standard Creek ride in the future, as there is no shuttling involved.