Mountain Bike! Northern California
The two loops presented here is really a figure-eight route. Since the main parking area is located right smack in the middle of the “8,” beginners can try one instead of both. With decent endurance, novices and beginning mountain bikers with some technical skill can ride both loops, walking over a few spots of brief rugged, more difficult terrain. Both loops are adequately signed though a good map is suggested. The North Loop (Coyote Ridge Trail) is 5.6 miles, clockwise, with breathtaking, expansive views of the Pacific and the rugged shoreline. Riding mostly dirt fire road over roller-coaster hills and a mile stretch of intermediate technical singletrack, elevation gain on the North Loop is over 1,000 feet—not exactly a great ride for beginners who lack endurance. The South Loop (Marincello-Bobcat Trails) is seven miles, clockwise, over mostly easy dirt fire road. The climbing, though not as much as the North Loop, is still a challenge because the road rising out of Gerbode Valley is unrelenting for over a mile. The valley itself is wonderfully peaceful, filled with singing birds—it really is hard to believe that San Francisco is just on the other side of the southern ridge.