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By Tom Clark

To extract maximum fun from this ride, conditions should be ideal for midsummer hypothermia. We did it as a Tuesday Night Ride, starting out in the rain, with everyone being pretty well wet halfway into the ride. Ride leader Doug Burnside observed though, "Isn't it amazing how thouroughly miserable you can be and still have fun?" True, that. Even though I was soaked, starting to feel the effect of food poisoning (avoid chili dogs at Sam's Club), and couldn't feel my feet they were so cold, I had a great time.

Start from Ivory Jack's on Goldstream Road, and ride a little over 5 miles towards Fox, turning left uphill onto Clifden. It intersects with a few other roads, but if in doubt, stay on the main road. After a couple miles, the road makes a sharp downhill bend. Look for a trail on the left, going uphill. Stay on the main trail, veering left at a Y intersection a ways up the hill, and just continuing up the whole way. There are a few places where you get to coast a bit, but it's mostly up.

When you hit the pipeline corridor (a wide gravel swath), swing left, and zoom along until you intersect with a good dirt road, Old Murphy Dome Road. Again, swing left, and stay on Old Murphy Dome Road for several miles.

There are any number of permutations on this ride, with lots of cool ways to get back down to the start, but we'll just work on O'Connor Creek. Eventually, you pass a subdivision road on your left, and the road basically ends in a cul-de-sac. (There is narrower trail that continues on, but that's a whole other ride.) Stop, go back about 100 yards or so. Look for a trail on your RIGHT, headed south towards town. If you are a great downhiller, put on your eyewear, and go for it. If you are a normal human, put on your eyewear, and use some caution on this descent. The grass can be tall and hide things, and the willows will try to gouge out your eyes. Down, down, down.

You go by some intersections, and through swamps, but just stay on the main trail, and see how much of it you can ride. You WILL have to push a bit of it, and you will have a lot of fun. I ended up going over backwards on my bike, landing on my back in the mud, still clipped in, unhurt. This gave Doug a good opportunity to laugh at my misfortune, and I couldn't help but join him. I only hope that he peed himself laughing so hard. One way or another, you will find Jones Road. Continue south (down) on Jones Road, and you are back at the start, covered in muck and grit, and better for it.