Pebble Beach & Big Rock a.k.a. “The Ridge”
Approx. 26 miles, 2900ft of climbing, 2-3hrs ride time.
Look south from downtown Novato, and you can see communication towers… riding to these is the primary challenge of this loop. This ride is a big bite to take all at once, so if you’re looking for something less daunting, try parking at Big Rock and climbing to the towers as an up n’ back. If you want to make this ride tougher, skip the paved route home in favor of Queenstone fire road, which will take you back over the ridge.
The descent from the towers back down toward Big Rock and Lucas Valley Road offers some mild terrain and several switchbacks. You have to keep an eye on your speed here, as hikers are plentiful, especially on weekends.
The relentless fireroad climb that starts on Pebble Beach Court would be tough enough as a steady incline, but periodic water bars kick the grade up and will spike your heart rate, making it difficult to recover. Ride this one regularly, and you will become a stronger rider!